With two months complete and part of the first week of June, it’s time for an updated look at the Major League Baseball futures market. If the season ended today, there would be some interesting playoff participants as the American League would be Toronto, Detroit, Oakland, Los Angeles of Anaheim, and Seattle. The National League would have the Atlanta, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Miami, and Los Angeles. Just as everyone would have predicted.

The result of being approximately 60 games into the season is that the futures market has shifted quite a bit. Here’s a list of the 2014 World Series odds from March, May, and the current odds from Bovada.lv:

TeamMarch 5May 1June 4
LA Dodgers13/215/26/1
St. Louis8/110/19/1
Tampa Bay12/120/150/1
NY Yankees14/110/116/1
San Francisco16/114/17/1
LA Angels20/120/116/1
Kansas City33/133/150/1
Chicago (AL)50/175/166/1
San Diego50/1100/1200/1
Chicago (NL)66/1500/1250/1
NY Mets75/166/1100/1

It’s interesting to see the progression from preseason expectations to one month into the season to the present. Despite slow starts for the Yankees and Red Sox, their futures numbers remain much lower than they should be because of public perception and name recognition. Recency bias and a bad American League East have sent the Blue Jays down to 10/1 after opening at 33/1. Keep in mind that an important element of futures is trying to position for hedging possibilities to guarantee profit and picking a division winner presents that opportunity. The Blue Jays don’t have enough pitching to win the World Series, but they can definitely make the playoffs to provide a risk-free bet in the divisional round.

The top value play on the board right now looks like the Atlanta Braves at 12/1 because the Mets and Marlins are overachieving and the Nationals are having some injury problems yet again. Given the parity in the NL West and the potential for the Reds or Pirates to climb back into the NL Central race, the Braves have the best shot at securing the top seed and taking on a wild card team.

The Oakland A’s present some intrigue in the AL at 9/1. The Tigers are having some hardships and every team in the AL East is vulnerable. The A’s will have to stay healthy and may need to add another starting pitcher for the stretch run since both Jarrod Parker and AJ Griffin are out and Scott Kazmir is a constant injury risk, but there are both the prospects and the bullpen depth to snag a good rental later this season. It’s not how the Athletics operate, but their bullpen spending this season alluded to a paradigm shift in their ideology and that may extend to being very proactive when the AL is ripe for the taking.

The player prop market certainly looks interesting right now with futures odds for the MVP and the Cy Young Award winners in each league.

Mike Trout (LAA)8/5
Miguel Cabrera (DET)7/2
Josh Donaldson (OAK)5/1
Nelson Cruz (BAL)7/1
Jose Bautista (TOR)10/1
Victor Martinez (DET)12/1
Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)15/1
Alexei Ramirez (CWS)25/1
Melky Cabrera (TOR)25/1
Jose Abreu (CWS)25/1
Robinson Cano (SEA)25/1
Albert Pujols (LAA)33/1
Masahiro Tanaka (NYY)50/1

Masahiro Tanaka is the only pitcher to show up in the top candidates for the American League MVP. It would appear that both Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion are decent value bets because one of them should probably win the MVP if the Blue Jays can make the playoffs. Encarnacion’s month of May coinciding with the Blue Jays torrid run of winning 16 out of 19 will remain in voters’ minds. If the Angels make the playoffs, Trout is a good bet to win the award.

Troy Tulowitzki (COL)3/1
Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)4/1
Andrew McCutchen (PIT)6/1
Yasiel Puig (LAD)7/1
Justin Upton (ATL)9/1
Ryan Braun (MIL)12/1
Carlos Gomez (MIL)12/1
Chase Utley (PHI)16/1
Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)18/1
Freddie Freeman (ATL)20/1
Yadier Molina (STL)20/1
Charlie Blackmon (COL)25/1
Justin Morneau (COL)50/1

It’s hard to see a lot of value here. If Troy Tulowitzki stays healthy and continues to produce, he wins in a runaway because his road numbers are also impressive. The Marlins and Pirates probably won’t be a factor come playoff time and that’s a hurdle that some voters cannot overcome. Realistically, Yasiel Puig is the most likely candidate to have the production voters are looking for, but the character police among the voters will have a lot of reservations voting for Puig. The same can be said of Ryan Braun, whose past indiscretions (read: cheating) make him a hard sell to voters. If the Brewers can hang around and make the playoffs, Carlos Gomez is probably the best value on the board because he’s a complete player.

Masahiro Tanaka (NYY)4/1
Felix Hernandez (SEA)11/2
Mark Buehrle (TOR)13/2
Yu Darvish (TEX)13/2
Max Scherzer (DET)15/2
Chris Sale (CWS)15/2
Sonny Gray (OAK)8/1
Justin Verlander (DET)12/1
Corey Kluber (CLE)12/1
Scott Kazmir (OAK)15/1
James Shields (KC)16/1
Jesse Chavez (OAK)25/1
Jon Lester (BOS)33/1

Masahiro Tanaka looks like the runaway favorite here, winning the AL Pitcher of the Month award for May even though Corey Kluber had a better month. There will be some voting bias for Tanaka. He will earn the award with his performance, but he will also get some votes because of who he is and where he pitches. That’s not a stereotype or a generalization. It’s just a fact.

Given Felix Hernandez’s win a couple years ago with a 12-11 record, Cy Young seems to be the one area where voters are willing to overlook whether or not a team made the playoffs. That should open up the field and also include Hernandez if the Mariners fall short.

If the Indians make the playoffs, it will be on the shoulders of Corey Kluber, so there’s some value there at 12/1. There would also appear to be some value on Sonny Gray at 8/1 because of the sour opinions on the Athletics after Parker and Griffin went down with Tommy John. Gray has stepped up and people will take notice.

Adam Wainwright (STL)3/1
Johnny Cueto (CIN)5/1
Zack Greinke (LAD)7/1
Clayton Kershaw (LAD)6/1
Kyle Lohse (MIL)9/1
Madison Bumgarner (SF)10/1
Julio Teheran (ATL)12/1
Tim Hudson (SF)12/1
Michael Wacha (STL)12/1
Stephen Strasburg (WSH)12/1
Josh Beckett (LAD)16/1
Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD)20/1
Cliff Lee (PHI)25/1

This looks like Adam Wainwright’s award to lose and that could be the case if the Cardinals don’t make the playoffs. However, Zack Greinke may be the most deserving when it’s all said and done. Prior to his May 27 start, Greinke had gone 22 straight starts allowing two earned runs or less. In those starts, the Dodgers were 17-5 and Greinke was 14-2 with a 1.76 ERA. This season, Greinke has a K/BB ratio of 83/16. Greinke looks like the top bet on the board.

Josh Beckett has an outside shot as well because he has a no-hitter to his name this season and the media will fawn over it if his numbers at the end of the season work out. Madison Bumgarner could also be worth a bet as he has been striking hitters out at a career-best rate and the Giants are the best team in baseball.

Keep an eye on Bovada.lv throughout the season for updated MLB futures odds.