5 best value bets for a potentially shortened MLB season
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It won't be March 26, but we will get our 2020 Opening Day. I'm sure of it.

Until then, if you're anything like me, you're probably willing to give up a kidney just to watch Danny Jansen hit a routine ground ball to short right now. I feel you.

But it's alright. Because when baseball does come back, we'll just appreciate it that much more. Right now, we have all the time we could want to comb through the odds looking for value ahead of what could be a shortened 2020 season.

Here's my attempt to swing for the fences as we examine five of the best value bets for the upcoming campaign.

Oakland Athletics win the World Series (35-1)

No team would benefit more from a shortened season than the Athletics. The rotation is loaded with dynamic hurlers who could contribute to their full capacities in an abbreviated campaign. This team can flat-out hit, too, with no weak spots in a lineup sporting plenty of power; Khris Davis and Ramon Laureano are healthy and Matt Olson is a year removed from a hamate injury. There's nothing this team doesn't do well. Getting the A's at 35-1 is absolute robbery.

Austin Meadows to win AL MVP (50-1)

Meadows finally enjoyed his breakout campaign last season, living up to the hype that accompanied the highly touted prospect he once was. At the age of 24, he's only going to get better. He possesses elite plate discipline, a healthy blend of power and speed, and will be the focal point in a very underrated Rays lineup. If he continues on last year's trajectory, a .300 average with 40 home runs, 100 RBIs, and 20 steals - averaged over a 162-game season - isn't far-fetched. In Tampa's lineup and coupled with the team's superb pitching staff, those numbers could easily elevate the Rays to an AL East title with Meadows claiming MVP honors.

Jose Berrios to win AL Cy Young (16-1)

Last season, Berrios entered August with a terrific 2.80 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP, and a 10-5 record with nearly a strikeout per inning. His ERA over the final two months was 5.88. In 2018, the Twins ace had a 3.56 ERA at the start of August with over a strikeout per inning. Again, he tailed off over the final two months. Fatigue has proven to be a problem for Berrios, but he wouldn't have to worry about waning effectiveness in a shortened season. He has dominant stuff, and the conditions could be perfect for him to put together a Cy Young-worthy campaign.

Chris Paddack to win NL Cy Young (25-1)

The grind of the MLB season got to Paddack somewhat during his debut campaign with the Padres. He took a 2.79 ERA into August before fatigue started to take its toll. But with a year in the big leagues under his belt and a shortened season likely on the horizon, Paddack has the potential to post and sustain some incredibly gaudy numbers. He's got one of the best repertoires in the big leagues and plays his home games in a pitcher-friendly park. The sky is the limit.

Luis Robert to win AL Rookie of the Year (3-1)

Compared to the rest of these odds, 3-1 might not seem like much value, but anything longer than even money is a gift. I can't see a pitcher winning Rookie of the Year honors this season. With a condensed schedule likely and seven-inning games and frequent doubleheaders proposed, teams will probably try to limit the exposure of their young arms to the intensity of such conditions. Robert, meanwhile, can flat-out rake. He's done so at every level, and he's really the only high-profile rookie slugger assured of regular at-bats in 2020. He's a five-tool player and already an important piece in the White Sox organization despite not yet making his MLB debut.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

5 best value bets for a potentially shortened MLB season
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