2015 World Series Odds for Every Team at the Start of Spring Training

Karl Buscheck@@KarlBuscheckContributor IIIFebruary 23, 2015

2015 World Series Odds for Every Team at the Start of Spring Training

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    From the St. Louis Cardinals to the Washington Nationals to the Los Angeles Dodgers, all the usual suspects are assembling.

    As spring training gets underway, here's a look around the league at 2015 World Series odds for every team in the majors. In the odds-making process, two primary factors were taken into consideration:

    • How a given club performed in 2014.
    • What the team did to improve itself on the trade and free-agent fronts during the offseason.

    The National League Big Three are among the early favorites to bring home a ring, while clubs like the Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies fall at the opposite end of the spectrum.

    Surprisingly, the team with the best odds of all has never once made it to the Fall Classic.

Colorado Rockies

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    JACK DEMPSEY/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: Never

    The Outlook

    In 22 seasons in the big leagues, the Colorado Rockies have yet to win a World Series. The closest the franchise came was back in 2007, when the Boston Red Sox swept the Rockies in the Fall Classic. Based on the way the roster is currently constructed, it's going to be all but impossible for manager Walt Weiss to break that streak in 2015.

    Like the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Rockies' downfall will be the starting rotation. Last year, the staff posted a 4.89 ERA, which was the second-worst mark in the majors. In the offseason, the team didn't make any significant moves to address that issue.

    The Odds: 300-1

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Laurence Kesterson/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: 2008

    The Outlook

    Something nice. Something nice.

    It's nearly impossible to come up with something nice to say about the Philadelphia Phillies. The club's group of position players is the most underwhelming collection of talent in the big leagues, and the rotation has plenty of question marks too.

    A strong bullpen might be the only thing that saves this team from finishing in last place for the second season in a row.

    The Odds: 300-1

Houston Astros

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    Pat Sullivan/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: Never

    The Outlook

    Strange things happen in baseball. The Houston Astros winning the 2015 World Series would be beyond strange. After six consecutive losing seasons, new manager A.J. Hinch and his club should be focused on cracking the .500 mark rather than worrying about the playoffs, let alone the World Series.

    The Odds: 200-1

Minnesota Twins

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    Hannah Foslien/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: 1991

    The Outlook

    The future is extremely bright for the Minnesota Twins. In Bleacher Report's rankings of MLB farm systems, the Twins check in at the No. 2 spot. Unfortunately for Minnesota, that future won't be arriving just yet. Entering the 2015 season, this team has the worst roster in the AL Central, and finishing anywhere but the cellar would be a shock.

    The Odds: 200-1

Atlanta Braves

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last World Series Title: 1995

    The Outlook

    The Atlanta Braves cleaned house in the offseason.

    The NL East squad shipped out Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, Evan Gattis and Tommy La Stella while also allowing Ervin Santana to walk as a free agent. Meanwhile, the most prominent additions include the likes of Shelby Miller, Jason Grilli, Alberto Callaspo and Jonny Gomes.

    Based on the way the offseason played out, it's difficult to imagine that the Braves will come anywhere close to approaching the 79 wins the club totaled in 2014.

    The Odds: 150-1

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: 2001

    The Outlook

    After posting the worst record in baseball in 2014, the Arizona Diamondbacks have a lot of work to do before the club enters the conversation of World Series contenders.

    There's a lot to like about the way new Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa and GM Dave Stewart have reshaped the roster during the offseason, but the rotation remains a serious problem. A season ago, the starting staff posted the fourth-worst ERA in baseball.

    The Odds: 100-1

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: Never

    The Outlook

    In 2015, the Tampa Bay Rays are going to look a lot different than the team did a season ago. Some of the most noteworthy departures include Matt Joyce, Ben Zobrist, Yunel Escobar and Wil Myers.

    The biggest loss of all could be the exit of former skipper Joe Maddon. His replacement, Kevin Cash, won't face an easy task in trying to get the Rays back into the postseason.

    Last year, Tampa Bay landed in fourth in the division. Based on the competitive landscape of the AL East, this year could be even worse.

    The Odds: 100-1

Cincinnati Reds

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    PAUL BEATY/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: 1990

    The Outlook

    The Cincinnati Reds will be facing some serious competition in 2015, as the NL Central is shaping up to be the best division in baseball.

    If the Reds are going to climb back into contention after winning just 76 games in 2014, the team will need to have much better luck than it did a season ago, when injuries knocked out key contributors like Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips for significant stretches.

    A fast start will also be crucial to the Reds. Johnny Cueto is set to become a free agent next offseason, and the right-hander will become a popular name on the trade front if the Reds fall out of the race early in the summer.

    The Odds: 66-1

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: Never

    The Outlook

    The Milwaukee Brewers are a difficult team to peg.

    Last season, the Brewers were rolling along in first place before a second-half collapse dropped the club out of the playoff race altogether. In 2015, Milwaukee will be returning an almost identical roster to the one that simply couldn't get the job done a season ago. For manager Ron Roenicke's squad, another season right around the .500 mark appears to be the most likely outcome.

    The Odds: 66-1

Texas Rangers

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: Never

    The Outlook

    The Texas Rangers are the oldest team in baseball to have never won a Fall Classic.

    The odds are against that infamous streak ending in 2015. For the Rangers to even compete, the club will have to hope for a much healthier season after a flood of injuries contributed to 95 losses in 2014. One player who Texas absolutely has to have in the lineup is Prince Fielder. Last year, neck surgery wrecked the first baseman's season after just 42 games.

    The Odds: 66-1

Chicago Cubs

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: 1908

    The Outlook

    From the signing of Jon Lester to the addition of new manager Joe Maddon, it would have been difficult to script a more productive offseason for the Chicago Cubs.

    Still, that doesn't mean the Cubs get to jump immediately from back-to-back last-place finishes to World Series contention. In the first year of the Maddon era, the club's goal should be to get back to the .500 mark for the first time since 2009. For now, it's much too soon for any Fall Classic talk at Wrigley Field.

    The Odds: 40-1

New York Mets

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last World Series Title: 1986

    The Outlook

    The New York Mets are on the rise.

    The primary reason for optimism in Queens is that the Mets are absolutely loaded with promising young starters. Right at the top of that list are Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. In the upcoming season, the Mets should finish north of .500 for the first time since 2008.

    However, the team still needs to add a bat or two before cementing its status as a serious October threat.

    The Odds: 40-1

New York Yankees

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: 2009

    The Outlook

    Missing out on the postseason for the third year in a row is a real possibility for the New York Yankees after an uncharacteristically quiet winter.

    The health of Masahiro Tanaka will play a central role in whether the Yankees get back into October and have the chance to secure the team's first World Series title since 2009. Last season, the starter sustained a slight tear in his ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

    For his part, the 26-year-old doesn't think his health will be an issue.

    "I actually feel a little bit better than last year," said Tanaka, via Andrew Marchand of ESPN.com.

    The Odds: 40-1

Boston Red Sox

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    Stephan Savoia/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: 2013

    The Outlook

    In combining the likes of holdovers David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Dustin Pedroia with the free-agent additions of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez, the Boston Red Sox are going to score all sorts of runs.

    The limiting factor for the Red Sox will be the starting rotation, which noticeably lacks an ace. There's still time for Boston to land a No. 1 starter via a trade, but for now the Red Sox simply don't have a rotation that is going to intimidate anybody in October.

    The Odds: 33-1

Oakland Athletics

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: 1989

    The Outlook

    It was another busy offseason for Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics.

    Since the end of the 2014 season, the executive has swung nine trades involving a total of 27 players. In the process, Beane gutted the club's middle of the lineup by shipping off impact bats like Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss. Beane has also collected an intriguing assortment of high-upside pitchers, with Jesse Hahn right at the top of the list.

    Oakland has the pitching to once again compete in 2015, but it remains to be seen just who will be driving in the runs.

    The Odds: 33-1

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: 1993

    The Outlook

    The Toronto Blue Jays haven't been to the postseason since 1993, when the club won the second of its back-to-back World Series trophies.

    Thanks to the additions of Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin, the Blue Jays have one of the most dynamic lineups in baseball. However, the pitching staff—especially the bullpen—remains suspect. Last year, Toronto's relief corps ranked No. 25 in ERA.

    The Odds: 33-1

Miami Marlins

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: 2003

    The Outlook

    The Miami Marlins have the roster to become a dark-horse playoff contender in 2015.

    The lineup has been strengthened by the offseason acquisitions of Dee Gordon and Martin Prado, and closer Steve Cishek leads an unheralded but highly effective bullpen.

    Even with Jose Fernandez working his way back from Tommy John surgery, the Fish still have Henderson Alvarez, Mat Latos and Dan Haren atop the starting staff. According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, Fernandez could be back in the mix right after the All-Star break.

    The Odds: 25-1

Cleveland Indians

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: 1948

    The Outlook

    It's easy to overlook the Tribe in the crowded AL Central, but the Cleveland Indians have the potential to make some noise in 2015. Last year, Cleveland went 32-22 in the final two months of he season.

    Corey Kluber, who won the AL Cy Young Award, was the big story, but Carlos Carrasco could be the key for Cleveland in the upcoming season. In the second half of 2014, the right-hander went 6-4 with a 1.72 ERA in 17 outings. If Carrasco keeps pitching like that in 2015, Cleveland will have an extremely dangerous one-two punch.

    The Odds: 25-1

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Last World Series Title: 1979

    The Outlook

    The Pittsburgh Pirates have all the pieces in place to make an October run.

    Andrew McCutchen anchors a lineup that is without any obvious weaknesses, and the bullpen is electric thanks to Mark Melancon, Tony Watson and Jared Hughes. Plus, the Pirates have Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole to provide an imposing one-two punch atop the rotation.

    The Odds: 25-1

San Diego Padres

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    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: Never

    The Outlook

    Thanks to a remarkably busy winter of trades and free-agent signings, the San Diego Padres have been generating a ton of buzz entering the season.

    There's no question that moves like the signing of James Shields and the trades for Matt Kemp and Justin Upton have made the Padres a significantly stronger club. At the same time, it's still entirely reasonable to suggest that San Diego is actually the third-best team in the NL West behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.

    The Odds: 25-1

Chicago White Sox

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    Brian Kersey/Getty Images

    Last World Series Title: 2005

    The Outlook

    Along with the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals, the Chicago White Sox are one of four clubs with a legitimate shot at claiming the AL Central crown in 2015.

    If the revamped White Sox make it to the postseason, the team would be a formidable opponent. Lefty Chris Sale is the kind of ace who could take over a series, while first baseman Jose Abreu has the power to change a game with a single swing.

    The Odds: 22-1

Kansas City Royals

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    Ed Zurga/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: 1985

    The Outlook

    Last October, the Kansas City Royals were on the doorstep of winning the Fall Classic.

    If won't be easy to get back to the World Series, let alone the playoffs, considering the competition in the AL Central. The departure of James Shields also dents the Royals' chances. With the veteran right-hander now pitching for the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, Yordano Ventura and Danny Duffy will have to step up in 2015.

    The Odds: 22-1

San Francisco Giants

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: 2014

    The Outlook

    It's never wise to pick against the San Francisco Giants and managerial wizard Bruce Bochy.

    Last year, Madison Bumgarner carried the club to a World Series title, as the left-hander reeled off a 1.03 ERA in seven October outings. The Giants will once again be counting on Bumgarner in 2015, but it's Matt Cain who will be the team's linchpin in the regular season. After elbow surgery limited Cain to just 15 starts a year ago, San Francisco will need him to step up and take over the No. 2 spot in the rotation.

    The Odds: 22-1

Seattle Mariners

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    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: Never

    The Outlook

    It's been a while since the Seattle Mariners have been to the postseason—2001 to be exact.

    Last year, the M's came within a game of making the playoffs but ultimately missed out on claiming a wild-card spot. A season ago, the Mariners' most glaring weakness was a total lack of right-handed power. This offseason, the club brought in Nelson Cruz, who cracked 40 home runs in 2014.

    From the bullpen to the rotation, the Mariners have all sorts of pitching. The team's most dominant pitcher is Felix Hernandez, and it sure would be fun to see what kind of damage King Felix could do in October.

    The Odds: 22-1

Baltimore Orioles

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: 1983

    The Outlook

    With Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis both leaving, the Baltimore Orioles didn't have a great offseason on the free-agent front.

    However, the O's still figure to be the class of the AL East in 2015 thanks to the returns of third baseman Manny Machado and catcher Matt Wieters. Per Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com, Machado is slated to be ready to go at the start of the season. Meanwhile, Wieters is also angling to be back in the lineup on Opening Day, according to The Associated Press (via ESPN.com).

    The Odds: 20-1

Detroit Tigers

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    Last World Series Title: 1984

    The Outlook

    The window of opportunity hasn't closed just yet for the Detroit Tigers.

    If Detroit is going to return to the playoffs for the fifth year in a row and attempt to win the team's first title since 1984, the Tigers are going to need Miguel Cabrera back at 100 percent. That means Detroit will have to be especially patient with the two-time AL MVP award winner as he recovers from ankle surgery.

    A bounce-back season from Justin Verlander, the club's other former MVP, would also be incredibly helpful. Then again, considering how awful Verlander looked in 2014, that's not looking too likely.

    The Odds: 18-1

Los Angeles Angels

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    Rich Gagnon/Getty Images

    Last World Series Title: 2002

    The Outlook

    The Los Angeles Angels were cruising last season before the Kansas City Royals swept the club aside in the American League Division Series.

    In 2015, the Angels once again project to be the division winner in the AL West. Entering the season, one of the most promising headlines for Los Angeles is that rising star Garrett Richards is recovering rapidly from a serious left knee injury he sustained last August.

    Manager Mike Scioscia told The Associated Press (via ESPN Los Angeles) that the right-hander will be back on the mound sooner rather than later: "He's going to pitch when he's ready. We'll see him early in the season."

    There's no sense in rushing the starter back to action, as the team will want to make sure that Richards is back for good when he does return.

    The Odds: 14-1

St. Louis Cardinals

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Last World Series: 2011

    The Outlook

    The St. Louis Cardinals just have a knack for making noise in the playoffs.

    In each of the past four seasons, St Louis has advanced to at least the NL Championship Series. With cornerstones like Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina and Matt Carpenter still in place, the Cardinals have the potential to extend that streak to five seasons.

    Thanks to the club's impressive recent track record, the Cardinals rank among the early favorites to win the 2015 Fall Classic.

    The Odds: 14-1

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Last World Series Title: 1988

    The Outlook

    The back-to-back champs in the NL West, the Los Angeles Dodgers are among the early favorites to win the 2015 World Series.

    The club has a talented rotation and is much improved defensively thanks to the acquisitions of Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick and the discarding of Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez. However, there are some serious question marks surrounding the squad.

    The bullpen, which caused all sorts of problems in 2014, remains a liability. Then there's staff ace and reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, who has never quite figured out October. In each of the Dodgers' past two postseason trips, the lefty has been shelled by the St. Louis Cardinals.

    The Odds: 10-1

Washington Nationals

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    Evan Vucci/Associated Press

    Last World Series: Never

    The Outlook

    With a rotation of aces, the Washington Nationals are the best team in baseball on paper. That distinction guarantees the Nats absolutely nothing on the field, but it does earn the club the best 2015 World Series odds.

    During the upcoming campaign, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister and the rest of the Nats' stars will be attempting to make history. Dating back to the days of the Montreal Expos, this franchise has not once made it to the World Series—never mind won it.

    The Odds: 9-1

    Note: All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and MLB.com.

    If you want to talk baseball, find me on Twitter @KarlBuscheck.