MLB: 10 Double-Digit Odds Teams That Could Make the World Series

Kevin StottSenior Analyst IMay 23, 2012

MLB: 10 Double-Digit Odds Teams That Could Make the World Series

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    Betting odds are like the temperatures outside—always going up or down and never staying exactly the same. 

    With that being said, I have procured fresh odds (Tuesday, May 22) from the LVH SuperBook here in Las Vegas and found what I believe to be 10 Major League Baseball teams whose current double-digit odds (10-1 and up) may provide some value down the road should any of these teams reach the World Series.

    But like bread, odds get stale and some slices get eaten, so if you like any of the futures bets below, best grab them now before we hit the All-Star break when the contenders will start to be separated from the pretenders.

Los Angeles Dodgers, 10-1

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    It seems like since Magic Johnson joined the fold, it’s been all puppies and rainbows for the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

    At 30-13, the Dodgers have the National League’s best record and their 19-4 home record is the best in Major League Baseball right now.

    L.A. is also 16-6 versus the NL West, 10-5 against the NL Central, is riding a six-game win streak and became the first team in the big leagues to reach 30 wins on Tuesday.

    And with Matt Kemp leading the charge, though injured (hamstring) now, and Andre Ethier, the Dodgers have a decent offense and may be able to represent the NL (5-1 to win league) in the Fall Classic.

    If so, a starting pitcher like Clayton Kershaw could be the key to cashing a 10-1 ticket against whichever team represents the American League.

    May 18 Odds: 12-1
    Value Grade: A-

Tampa Bay Rays, 10-1

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    Tampa plays in the most competitive division in MLB (AL East) and is now 17-7 at home and an impressive 10-3 against the AL West to date.

    The Rays may be fueled by their homestretch run last season, and with B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria have a couple big hitters in their lineup.

    The key for Tampa will be to play good baseball against the teams within its own division (Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles and Blue Jays), a feat much easier said than done.

    But with manager Joe Maddon, the Rays at least have a sharp guy that knows how to manage a roster and survive the tribulations of a long summer.

    Should Tampa make the ALCS, getting by the Texas Rangers may be the biggest hurdle in winning this bet. Tampa is 6-1 to win the AL pennant.

    May 18 Odds: 12-1
    Value Grade: B-

St. Louis Cardinals, 12-1

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    The defending World Champions have a solid core of hitters in Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday, David Freese and Yadier Molina and enjoy the reality of playing in the same division as the Astros, Reds, Pirates, Brewers and Cubs.

    Freese’s health will be an issue, but it seems the Redbirds haven’t missed a beat since losing star Albert Pujols in the offseason to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

    Starting and relief pitching will be important ,and if Adam Wainwright can pitch the way he did Tuesday in a 4-0 shutout win over the San Diego Padres, the Cardinals have a shot to play in the NLCS (9-2 to win NL) again and maybe make it to the October Classic for a second straight season.

    May 18 Odds: 10-1
    Value Grade: B+

Philadelphia Phillies, 12-1

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    What in the name of the Phillie Phanatic is wrong with Philadelphia?

    The Phillies have one of the strongest rosters in baseball, but we all know games aren’t won on paper.

    If Philadelphia is to win, it needs to start beating division opponents (6-11 vs. NL East), and need guys like Ryan Howard and Chase Utley to be 100 percent.

    With such a great pitching staff with studs like Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, the Phillies have the capability to turn it around and go on some nice winning streaks—but I have yet to see that fire.

    And it seems the Nationals have their number and may be a big obstacle to both winning the division and the NL (5-1).

    May 18 Odds: 12-1
    Value Grade: C+

Cincinnati Reds, 18-1

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    The Reds could be a surprise team in the second half, and like the Cardinals are lucky to get to play so many games against the Pirates and Cubs, which often translate to wins.

    Tony Phillips and Jay Bruce lead a solid corps and the pitching is serviceable, but out of all the 10 teams in this slideshow, I feel the Redlegs have the worst chance to make or even win the World Series.

    Cincinnati is 8-1 to win the NL at the LVH SuperBook.

    May 18 Odds: 18-1
    Value Grade: D+

Washington Nationals, 20-1

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    Apparently bettors haven’t believed in Washington enough to move this number, but I see the odds only going down (toward 10-1) in the future the more people find out about this upstart team.

    As mentioned, the Nats have Philadelphia’s number, so the Braves (8-1 to win World Series) are likely their biggest obstacle in the NL East right now. The Nats are 8-2 vs. division foes at this point in the season.

    The pitching staff is phenomenal with Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez leading the way. With Ryan Zimmerman and rookie Bryce Harper proving his worth in the big leagues and providing some youthful energy, I think this futures bet is one to grab for a small amount.

    The Team Formerly Known As the Montreal Expos are 15-8 at home and have started to believe they should win at home with “Nattitude” being the 2012 theme.

    Two rooms for improvement are the ability to score bunches of runs and the home attendance, something completely out of the players' control.

    Washington is also 11-1 to win the NL, something you may want to consider if you don’t think they can win it all this season.

    May 18 Odds: 25-1
    Value Grade: B

San Francisco Giants, 25-1

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    The Giants have played well of late (7-3 L10) and it seems their biggest problem would be catching the Dodgers, who are trying to run away with the division.

    For me, the key to this is the health and success of Buster Posey, the team leader.

    Tim Lincecum has been very mediocre this season and for San Francisco to have any chance to win the NL (9-1) and even make the World Series, Lincecum and the pitching staff will have to be spot-on.

    This wager may be best left for the Giants die-hards.

    May 18 Odds: 20-1
    Value Grade: C-

Cleveland Indians, 25-1

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    Futures players here in Sin City apparently have seen some value in the Tribe as the odds have gone from 40-1 on May 18 to 25-1 on Tuesday (May 22).

    Cleveland is an impressive 12-6 on the road, 10-4 against the AL West and 11-7 against its division (AL Central) and has benefited from weak showings by the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox.

    If the Indians can find a way to win at home and beat up on teams like the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins, then they have a good shot at winning the AL Central.

    The LVH SuperBook had Cleveland at 20-1 to win the AL Pennant on May 18, but I’m sure with the World Series odds at 25-1 now, the current odds are probably around 15-1 to win the ALCS.

    May 18 Odds: 40-1
    Value Grade: C

Toronto Blue Jays, 25-1

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    Just surviving the AL East is always a big thing for Canada’s only representative in MLB, but the Blue Jays always seem to hold their own.

    Sluggers Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion are heating up and if Toronto could ever find a way to beat the Rays in Tampa, its chances of winning the AL East would vastly improve.

    The Blue Jays, 8-3 against the AL Central, are 15-1 to win the ALCS and are a team I actually believe could hang with the Rangers or Yankees if they meet in the postseason.

    May 18 Odds: 30-1
    Value Grade: B

Baltimore Orioles, 40-1

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    Here’s the one I really like.

    It seems the Orioles have found a new sense of confidence this season, and with Adam Jones and Matt Wieters finding their groove, this is a tough team to play.

    On May 22, the night I started this story, Baltimore actually had the second-best record in all of MLB (28-16) behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (30-13), so the 40-1 seems like real value to me right now.

    The big problem, as is with all the teams in the AL East, is each other.

    Baltimore has been solid on the road (15-6) against the AL Central (8-1) and during the daytime (10-3) to date.

    The Orioles are 30-1 to win the ALCS, which may be worth a look if the odds have changed a small bit already.

    Well worth a shot in my opinion at these lofty odds, and a fun ride nevertheless. And notice the number went from 60-1 to 40-1 in three days. Seems like smart money to me.

    May 18 Odds: 60-1
    Value Grade: A

Conclusion

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    A couple of things to consider when betting futures.

    The first is pretty obvious: Only one team can win the World Series.

    Second, shop around for the best odds here, and offshore if that’s your preference. In Las Vegas, in my experience, the LVH SuperBook (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton) offers the best futures odds.

    Third, and worth noting, is that if you have a team that wins either the American League or National League, you can hedge your bet before the World series starts and guarantee yourself a profit.

    With all that in mind, good luck.

    I’ll try to update these odds occasionally in the comment section below (before it goes off into CyberHeaven), so keep your eyes open, Bubba.

    Here are the other 20 teams' odds on May 22nd:


    The Good

    Rangers 4-1
    Yankees 8-1
    Braves 8-1
    Tigers 8-1
    Angels 16-1
    Red Sox 18-1
    Marlins 25-1

    The Bad

    Diamondbacks 30-1
    White Sox 50-1
    Rockies 60-1
    Mets 80-1
    Brewers 80-1



    The Ugly

    A's 100-1
    Pirates 100-1
    Astros 150-1
    Mariners 150-1
    Royals 200-1
    Cubs 200-1
    Padres 300-1
    Twins 500-1

    NOTE: All statistics from games played after Tuesday, May 22nd action.


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