Just a few weeks into the Major League Baseball season, in terms of World Series betting only eight teams’ odds are unchanged from where they were when the season began.
Cleveland (12-1), St. Louis (16-1), Atlanta (20-1), Minnesota (40-1), San Diego (50-1), Arizona (66-1), Detroit (200-1), and Baltimore (400-1) are the steady choices in the field.
That being said, given the Twins’ hot play since a so-so break from the gate, it’s a lot easier to like their chances now than it was – getting into the playoffs is the biggest part of the challenge, and the AL Central appears a lot more in play now than it once did.
Yanks, Sox Struggles Opening Up American League
The lack of a shift in the Twins’ odds is all the more striking when you consider another team that was expected to be a wild card contender but now may be in play for more.
The Rays have dropped from 50-1 to 12-1 to win the World Series, as Tampa Bay leads the American League East and can see a route to get through the summer given the woes plaguing the Red Sox (11-1 after opening 13-2) and Yankees (15-2 after opening 6-1).
At least as far as New York is concerned, though, now might be a good chance to get in on the futures action. Aaron Judge is the latest star injured in the Bronx, but it’s not a devastating injury. He should be back before too long, as will Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, and other ailing stars.
Luis Severino’s issues are more concerning, to be sure, but the Yankees got over .500 with their win on Sunday and appear to be weathering the storm of early injuries.
Through all this chaos in the American League, the Astros have become the World Series favorite, with 13-2 odds at the start now dropping to 5-1. Houston is only a game out of first place in the West, despite having played only six games at home compared to 15 on the road – the Astros have played as many games at the Rangers’ ballpark as their own.
National League Also Chaotic Especially in the East
In the National League, nobody has been able to distinguish themselves in the chaotic East, but the Mets’ World Series odds have dropped from 22-1 to 18-1, and the Phillies from 10-1 to 9-1. The Nationals, meanwhile, have gone from 16-1 to 20-1, and with Stephen Strasburg rounding into form, it’s still easy to make the case for Washington in the division.
One team whose odds have lengthened, but should be seen as cautionary rather than adding value, is the Cubs, who started at 14-1, now are at 22-1, and may well be on their way to making the computer projections look smart – at least, if not for the moribund Reds, seen as a potential sleeper before the season, but now 125-1 after starting at 59-1.
On the other hand, the Pirates have dropped from 66-1 to 50-1 and are starting to fill their ledger with the kind of special moments that can boost a surprise team along the way to something big.
In the West, the Dodgers have cut their odds from 8-1 to 13-2, thanks in no small part to the early struggles of the Rockies, who started at 25-1 and now are at 66-1. Colorado, however, may now be the best World Series value on the board.
After starting 3-12, the Rockies have gotten their act together with six wins in seven games, including an impressive series win over the Phillies this weekend. Colorado’s key free agent addition, Daniel Murphy, should be back from a broken finger soon, and the Rockies will be well positioned to make a run in the West.
It’s still early enough for some dramatic odds shifts to remain ahead, and while there can be only one World Series winner at the end of October, finding good value remains very possible for bettors on the biggest futures market in baseball.