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We are actually closer to last year’s World Series victory than we are to this year’s but that doesn’t mean we can’t start looking into prognosticating who is going to win the trophy. Last year’s World Series was just about five months ago and this year’s ending is close to seven months away. If you have the money to tie up in the futures market, there can be a lot of value found in the World Series markets. I’ll break down who I think has the best chance to win it all.
Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, Chicago White Sox
Yes, I only put three teams under contenders. There are certainly more legitimate contenders, but you can’t bet on everyone and make money. These are the three teams I think have the best shot in baseball. I’ll explain some others in the next section, but these are the three teams that I think have the best combination of pitching and hitting to get to the next level. The Braves have the lowest odds at +750, but with their hitting I think they have a chance to be one of the best teams in baseball. Their pitching staff needs to replicate last season, but if that happens, they could compete for the #1 seed in the NL. The Padres don’t have the best rotation in baseball, but they do have some of the best hitting in the game. Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts, and eventually Fernando Tatis Jr. lead a team that has almost a 10:1 odds to win it all. I like their chances. Finally, the White Sox… Last year was a complete disaster for them, but they still ended the season at .500 and that’s with them hating their manager. The Sox are +4000 to win the World Series and I think they have one of the best rotations in baseball. Their lineup, at least on paper, is one of the best in baseball as well. Again, for something like this to happen, there are a lot of things that all need to go correctly, but this is worth it. I think they should be closer to 30:1 or 25:1 to win.
Contenders, but I won’t bet on them:
Yankees, Blue Jays, Astros, Mets, Dodgers
That’s a lot of teams, and surely one of them won’t make the playoffs. There will be some sort of surprise team that makes a big impact this season. I’ll try and give a reason for why I won’t bet on each of them. The Yankees are +750 to win, and that isn’t a surprise because they are a public team, but they also have one of the best lineups in all of baseball. The pitching staff should be okay, but they are starting with Carlos Rodon on the injured list and I think the back half of the staff is more of a question mark. The Blue Jays (+1300) don’t have the pitching staff to make it through the playoffs in my opinion. I’m also not sure their offense is built for the playoffs. The Astros are +600 and they won last season. They don’t have Verlander anymore, but that’s not the only reason. I think during the season you’ll find them with better odds than this. Jose Altuve is out to start the season, and there could be that World Series hangover. Mets are +950 and do have the two pitchers you’d want in the playoffs to get them through the gauntlet. I just don’t like their hitting enough. In order to bet on them I’d want to get 13:1 or higher. The Dodgers got their World Series ring and have remained one of the best teams in baseball but it hasn’t translated to another win. I do think they regress a bit this season and don’t like their staff as much because of the injury concerns. +850 is good value for a team that is annual contention, but probably too low.
Contenders with value:
The Phillies made it last year, but it can be very difficult to get back to the World Series. They added Trea Turner and have a really good team. I’m not a believer in Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler as playoff starters though. +1700 is actually pretty good value on them, but I’d like it more if they didn’t get to the World Series last year. The Cardinals are another team that I think are better than people anticipate and at +1700 also have pretty decent value. They should easily win the NL Central. Adam Wainwright will start on the injured list. I like, but don’t love, their pitching staff.
If everything goes completely perfect, Texas could win the World Series. How would that work? Well, Jacob deGrom would need to pitch 30 games and probably another five or six in the playoffs. The lineup takes a big step forward and the Astros and Mariners stumble backward. I don’t think this happens, but at +4500 there is the slimmest possible of potential.
I will put some small plays on the first three teams that I mentioned. The goal here is to get one of these teams into the playoff and hedge some of the bets. In best case scenario, one of the teams makes it to the World Series and we can bet the opposite side to guarantee profit. I personally like betting for a team closer to the beginning of the playoffs because usually it is the team that gets hottest that makes it to the World Series – like the Phillies from last year.
For more sports betting information and plays, follow David on Twitter: @futureprez2024