2020 MLB World Series Betting Odds: Breaking Down Favorites, Top Value Plays

Jacob Shafer@@jacobshaferFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2020

2020 MLB World Series Betting Odds: Breaking Down Favorites, Top Value Plays

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    We're wading through the waning days of the cold, soggy offseason. Spring training hasn't even begun. Boy, do we miss baseball.

    As we wait for the final free agents to sign and any eleventh-hour trades, let's examine some early potential bets for the 2020 World Series.

    We used the odds at Caesars sportsbook. Obviously, they're fluid and will swing significantly throughout the season. Right now, though, here's how the picture looks.

Odds for the Field

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    Here are the odds for each squad, for reference, before we dive into the favorites and dark-horse value picks:

    Arizona Diamondbacks: +6000

    Atlanta Braves: +1300

    Baltimore Orioles: +100000

    Boston Red Sox: +1800

    Chicago Cubs: +1800

    Chicago White Sox: +2000

    Cincinnati Reds: +2500

    Cleveland Indians: +3300

    Colorado Rockies: +7500

    Detroit Tigers: +100000

    Houston Astros: +600

    Kansas City Royals: +25000

    Los Angeles Angels: +2000

    Los Angeles Dodgers: +600

    Miami Marlins: +100000

    Milwaukee Brewers: +4000

    Minnesota Twins: +1800

    New York Mets: +1500

    New York Yankees: +350

    Oakland Athletics: +2000

    Philadelphia Phillies: +2000

    Pittsburgh Pirates: +25000

    San Diego Padres: +2800

    San Francisco Giants: +10000

    Seattle Mariners: +25000

    St. Louis Cardinals: +1200

    Tampa Bay Rays: +2500

    Texas Rangers: +4000

    Toronto Blue Jays: +12500

    Washington Nationals: +1700

Favorite: New York Yankees

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    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    Odds: +350

    After adding ace and reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Gerrit Cole via free agency, the Yankees are the runaway favorites to hoist their 28th Commissioner's Trophy. 

    Cole joins a team that boasts a potent lineup, strong bullpen and, now, a top-notch rotation.

    New York also plays in a relatively soft division, with the Tampa Bay Rays and possibly the Boston Red Soxassuming they don't sell assets such as star outfielder Mookie Betts by the trade deadlineserving as the only plausible threats.

    Winning the AL East and securing home-field advantage in the postseason ought to be a cakewalk, and a buzz-saw run to champagne and confetti is a distinct possibility for the Yanks.

Favorite: Houston Astros

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    Odds: +600

    To say the Houston Astros have had a tumultuous offseason is, well...a bit of an understatement.

    The Astros' misdeeds have been well and widely documented, including in this official report from commissioner Rob Manfred and MLB.

    They fired manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow after the league suspended both for a year following its sign-stealing investigation. MLB also fined the 'Stros $5 million and stripped them of their 2020 and 2021 first- and second-round draft picks.

    Yet, they'll bring back much of the core that won a championship in 2017 and a pennant in 2019 (minus Cole).

    They'll be forced to play the heel in 2020 and will hear boos everywhere they go. But they're also the favorites to win the American League West and should pull out all the stops for one more run with so much uncertainty lurking in their future.

Favorite: Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

    Odds: +600

    No team is more desperate for a title than the Los Angeles Dodgers, considering their massive budget, big-market expectations and 31-year championship drought. They lost the Fall Classic in 2017 and 2018 and won 106 games in 2019 before falling in the division series to the Nationals.

    Los Angeles hasn't landed any marquee free agents or trade targets this winter, but it's got a loaded roster and more blue-chip prospect talent knocking on the door.

    Credit president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman for building a title contender every year while maintaining a robust farm system. That's no small achievement.

    But he and the Dodgers have yet to pull off baseball's ultimate feat. They'll be highly motivated in 2020.

The Value Picks

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    New York Mets (+1500)

    The New York Mets won 86 games in 2019 but finished third in the National League East. They've got a rotation fronted by reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman. They signed free agents Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello. Oh, and don't forget holdover lefty Steven Matz. Talk about depth.

    They also inked reliever Dellin Betances, formerly of the crosstown Yankees, to boost an already solid bullpen.

    The offense is fronted by 2019 NL Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso, who swatted 53 home runs last season. The Mets could stand to add bats, but don't count them out as 2020 contenders.


    Washington Nationals (+1700)

    The defending champion Washington Nationals lost third baseman and lineup anchor Anthony Rendon to the Los Angeles Angels via free agency. That's a significant blow.

    Yet they've re-upped veteran infielders Howie Kendrick and Asdrubal Cabrera and signed infielders Starlin Castro and Eric Thames. They've also got prospect Carter Kieboom knocking on the door.

    More than that, they'll bring back a starting corps topped by the dynamic trio of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin.

    Repeating as champs is tough. No MLB club has done it since the Yankees won three straight titles from 1998 to 2000. The Atlanta Braves are the favorite among NL East teams at +1300 (and that might be a value pick as well). But the Nats have the assets to rekindle their 2019 magic, even minus Rendon.


    Tampa Bay Rays (+2500) 

    For a team that won the AL Wild Card Game against the Oakland A's and took the Astros to the maximum five games in the division series, the Tampa Bay Rays aren't getting much odds-based respect.

    Yes, their offense finished 14th in OPS (.757) and 21st in home runs (217). Yet their pitching staff led the Junior Circuit with a 3.65 ERA. 

    To address their lack of pop, they signed Japanese slugger Yoshitomo Tsutsugo. And they acquired Hunter Renfroe from the San Diego Padres and Jose Martinez from the St. Louis Cardinals, both of whom boast plus power.

    The Rays have been to the World Series only once, in 2008, when they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies. The odds might be long, but this could be the year they bring the first title to Central Florida.


    All statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference.