Ian Desmond Opts Out, Colorado Rockies’ MLB Futures Get Longer

Posted on July 1, 2020 - Last Updated on July 7, 2020

Rockies utilityman Ian Desmond will skip the shortened 2020 MLB season. The absence of the three-time Silver Slugger award winner means Colorado Rockies futures at sportsbooks in the state are now longer.

Desmond’s decision is a reminder for bettors in Colorado that the state of North American sports is still tentative. Other players may still exercise their options before the season begins.

The Ian Desmond effect on the Rockies

Over the past three seasons, Desmond has become a fixture of Colorado’s outfield rotation. In 2019, Desmond played 140 games with the Rockies, making 104 starts at one of the outfield spots, and two more starts as the team’s designated hitter.

The season was an improvement at the plate from a down 2018 as well. Desmond slashed .255/.310/.479 with 20 home runs, 55 extra-base hits, and 65 runs batted in.

The fourth-best offense in the National League in terms of average runs per game last season will certainly miss Desmond. Desmond was clear about his rationale for skipping the season, however.


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On my mind.

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Regardless of Desmond’s motivation, Colorado will have to try to make up for his absence. Sportsbook operators in the state don’t appear very optimistic about that happening.

New Rockies futures at CO sports betting apps

Suffice to say, should the Rockies win their first World Series title this year, it could make bettors who took the risk very happy. The Rockies are among the longest shots right now at the following Colorado sports betting apps:

Sports betting appRockies to win World Series
FOX Bet+20000

The 2020 Fall Classic isn’t the only market where the Rockies are one of the MLB franchises with the longest odds, however. For example, BetMGM has Colorado +10,000 to win the NL pennant in the coming season. Only the Rockies’ sister expansion franchise, the Miami Marlins, have longer odds in that market right now.

BetRivers has Colorado with the longest odds to win a division crown in 2020 at +3000. DraftKings has set its over/under on regular-season wins for the Rockies at 26.5, which would be a losing record.

Perhaps what is most telling about sportsbooks’ respect for Colorado this season, is that Nolan Arenado is their player with the shortest NL MVP odds, at +1,700 on FanDuel. Seven other NL players have shorter odds right now.

Accordingly, the Rockies’ starting pitcher German Marquez is the only Colorado contender in the NL Cy Young futures market at FOX Bet. Only four other players in that field have longer odds than Marquez’s +6,000.

When considering these markets, Colorado bettors should note that situations affecting MLB games will also affect the odds. Desmond’s decision may just be a sign of more to come.

Know the rules before you bet

Many Colorado sportsbooks are doing their best to adjust to situations on the fly. This means bettors should take extra care to familiarize themselves with house rules before placing their wagers.

For example, FanDuel has a rule on its league MVP futures markets that states a player must get into at least 30 games in the coming season in order for a bet on that player winning the award to be graded. Should a player fail to reach that threshold, FanDuel will cancel bets and return wagers.

Bettors should not assume this will always be the case, however. Sportsbooks clearly post their terms and conditions within their apps/websites. Now is the time for bettors to become familiar with them before placing any bets, as circumstances may continue to change.

Desmond’s decision to skip the coming season has already had an effect. That may not be the final off-the-field factor to influence MLB lines at Colorado sportsbooks.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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