Baseball is just around the corner with Spring Training a few weeks away, and that means that it is time to discuss some World Series futures. With a lot of key pieces moving around in the off-season, I expect there to be a lot of surprises early in the season, which is something we can take advantage of in future betting.
The Top of the Board
The Yankees are +300, and the Dodgers are just behind them at +350. Both teams made major acquisitions in the offseason to bolster their already elite rosters even more.
I prefer the Yankees, and I think that this is basically a can’t-miss team with their roster at this point. I expect them to end the season with a rotation of Cole, Severino, Paxton, Tanaka, and German, making them one of the best starting rotations we have seen in a long time.
This is paired with a team that projects to lead MLB in home runs and a bullpen that should be a top 5 unit this season.
The biggest aspect about this team is the depth, and I just find it incredibly hard to see them truly disappoint this season. The bullpen has five pitchers with set-up man stuff or better, the lineup has plenty of depth, as we saw last season, and the starting rotation has some teams’ second-best pitcher as their #5.
The Dodgers have a great lineup and a great rotation, but they struggled a bit on the back end last season, and we will have to wait and see if Blake Treinen is the answer. The Dodgers lineup is great, but I also do worry about their depth if a few players have a tough season.
Cody Bellinger is projected to be one of the best hitters in baseball moving forward, but we have seen him really struggle for very extended periods of time. While I expect Bellinger to be a great player, I think that it is possible that he really regresses following his incredible season last year.
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Is There Anyone Else Out There?
The biggest question marks around this baseball season are which teams will float to the second level behind teams like the Yankees and Dodgers. It is very possible that the Astros jump into that tier, but they lost their best pitcher and have a lot of distractions surrounding them. At +800, I don’t mind the Astros, but I will not be going there myself.
After the Astros, the best odds are with the Braves at +1400, and then there is a bevy of teams in that area. I expect this range to change a ton before the end of the season, and I just want to get my foot in the door of some teams that I expect could make a big move at some point.
Obviously, a Nolan Arenado trade could change the fortunes of a team like the Cardinals or the Cubs. If this ever does happen, I like getting in on that team before the odds go crazy, as a lot of these teams are a star away from leading this second pack.
I have two deeper teams that I really like this season, and World Series odds for all three are definitely not the best way to bet them long term, but I think getting a good price now is viable in the long run.
The White Sox (+4000) are loaded with young talent, and I expect them to be relatively quick to move these guys up to the major league level this season. We have seen young kids come up and instantly flash as an elite hitter, and I think that could be the case for guys like Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal.
The Sox rotation isn’t great, but they added an elite pitch framer and defensive catcher in Yasmani Grandal, and they have a lot of raw talent.
The Reds are another sleeper team that I like at +3000. They made much-needed improvements to the lineup with a now solid top 6 batters, and the rotation has three playoff-caliber pitchers that would not be an easy out for anyone.
All three parts of this team lack clear depth right now, but I expect them to be aggressive in the trade market throughout the season, and they have the top end to be annoying all season long.