When I first looked at some Vladdy Guerrero Jr. props bets before the season, I had some issues to deal with.
One was the question of when he would get the call to the big leagues as the Blue Jays were sure to manipulate his service time and promote him once he would not accrue a full year of service time in 2019.
What I didn’t know at the time was that Guerrero would actually get hurt in Spring Training, which was another whole issue to be dealt with.
However, he’s here now and despite struggling mightily out of the gate, Guerrero blasted two home runs Tuesday night in San Francisco, oddly enough the league’s least hitter-friendly venue – so perhaps the stick is now hot and we are about to witness the beginning of greatness from the 20-year-old slugger.
With that in mind, some MLB betting sites have released some Vladimir Guerrero Jr. prop bets as they did prior to the start of the regular season. Let’s get into those over/under props and see if we can make some money during the rookie’s 2019 regular season!
Total Batting Average in 2019 Regular Season
After his two-homer game on Tuesday, Guerrero is now hitting .235 which is quite impressive considering he hovered around the .150 mark just a handful of days ago.
He’s actually 6 for 10 with two homers over his last three games, so the bat was heating up prior to Tuesday, we just hadn’t seen the power until that point in the big leagues. He’s played in just 14 games and his batting average will see large fluctuations from game-to-game at this point as a result, but this is still an easy one for me.
Guerrero hit .367 in eight Triple-A games this year prior to his promotion, .336 in 30 Triple-A games in 2018 and .402 in 61 Double-A games in 2018. I’m not about to mistake big league pitching from that of the minor leagues, but come on. Those are video game numbers and he’s been hitting like that in the minors since posting a .316 average and .889 OPS in 71 games at High-A ball in 2017… as an 18-year-old.
A big reason why he maintains a high average is due to his batter’s eye. Guerro walked at rates ranging all the way up to 17.2% in the minors, and he owns a 12.1% walk rate so far in the bigs this season. He’s a mature hitter who sees the ball well and is not afraid to take a walk. Even when he was struggling he was taking his walks – a sign of a mature hitter.
As a result, he’s not going to get himself out often by striking out on pitches out of the zone or rolling over on outside pitches and grounding out to the left side of the infield.
This one to me is a lock, I’ll go with the over.
Total Hits in 2019 Regular Season
First, let’s do some math.
Guerrero has appeared in 14 games at this point and has 12 hits. That is 0.86 hits (rounded) per game. The Blue Jays have 121 games remaining. At that 0.86 hits/game pace, Vladdy would record another 104 hits in those 121 games. Add in the 12 he already has, and he’s at 116 hits.
This one becomes real simple as a result. Even if Vladdy misses some games here and there, it’s still a real easy play for me. He’s hitting just .235 to this point, but I expect him to hit closer to .300 the rest of the way to be honest.
As a result, the over for me is a lay up.
Total Home Runs in 2019 Regular Season
This one is a little more difficult as hitting home runs in the big leagues isn’t as “easy” as it is in the minors as Guerrero found out in the first 13 games of his MLB career.
If we did the same math as we did above, but for two homers per 14 games, he would be at 17.3 homers at the end of the season if he played in every game. A homer every seven games is a quality season for a big league player who plays in all 162 games as that equates to a 23-homer season.
We should probably factor in the homer-friendly Rogers Centre in Toronto, however. This stadium can be a launching pad, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. can hit the ball a long way.
I’m an optimist, and I think it’s going to be close regardless, but I’ll take the over here again.
Total RBIs in 2019 Regular Season
This one can be out of the control of the player in question as the hitters in front of him have more to do with this than Guerrero Jr. himself.
Hitting in front of him has been players such as Eric Sogard and Freddy Galvis, two players that have had excellent starts to the 2019 season but their career numbers suggest a notable drop in production is expected. Randal Grichuk and Justin Smoak have also hit in front of Guerrero, but could also hit behind him if manager Charlie Montoya decides to move Guerrero somewhere around the three-hole which seems like a prudent move sooner than later.
As a result, I’m going to look at Sogard, Galvis and Grichuk as the players who will hit in front him of him most often.
Let’s take a look at the OBP numbers versus their career numbers to this point.
|Player||2019 OBP||Career OBP|
The result here is an expected massive drop for Sogard while Galvis and Grichuk are more or less in line with their career numbers. Galvis’ hot start as been fueled by a jump in slugging percentage while Grichuk is a consistent hitter that produces similar numbers year after year.
The Blue Jays as a team rank 28th with a .287 team OBP. Not good. They rank 22nd with a 7.,9% walk rate. Better, but not great.
Doing the math on Vladdy himself, his five RBIs in 14 games puts him at roughly 43.2 RBI over the next 121 games, if he plays them all.
He has not had much traffic on the bases ahead of him to this point, and while that could increase, I wouldn’t expect a big jump considering the Blue Jays’ overall OBP woes.
For the first time, I’m going with the under.
Total Runs Scored in 2019 Regular Season
For a minute, let’s say that Guerrero Jr. will eventually be a mainstay in the three-hole if he can continue his recent success and allow Montoya to put him into that all-important spot in the lineup.
Therefore, he will have some combination of Justin Smoak, Rowdy Tellez, and Brandon Drury. Smoak and Tellez are solid power bats and Drury has bounced back nicely this season with five homers to this point.
That said, I’m not excited about the opportunity for him to rack up the runs even if a promotion up the lineup is in store.
The weak Blue Jays offense ranks 27th in ISO, 28th in batting average, 28th in slugging and 28th in wRC+. That’s not a whole lot of production and despite the Blue Jays’ best bats – other than Vladdy – hitting behind him in Smoak and Tellez, I still don’t think he can get to this total.
He has a decent if unspectacular .328 OBP so far, and he’s scored just two runs in 14 games. That equates to 17.3 runs over the remainder of the season. Even with a notable increase in OBP, I don’t see this happening in Vladdy’s rookie year.
Sign me up for the under.