World Series odds update: 4 teams to bet before Opening Day
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We previewed the World Series odds earlier this month for what we hoped would be an upcoming MLB season. Now that baseball is officially back, let's revisit the oddsboard and find some preseason values before Opening Day.
However, it's not ideal to bet on any of them ahead of an unpredictable 60-game sprint. You're better off waiting until the playoffs when their prices are sure to be similarly short, and let the wild season play out as it may.
For the rest of the league, though, a chaotic regular season brings plenty of value and opportunity. Here are the updated World Series odds and four teams we're targeting a month before the season begins:
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+350|
|New York Yankees||+350|
|New York Mets||+1500|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+1500|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+1800|
|Chicago White Sox||+2000|
|Los Angeles Angels||+2500|
|San Diego Padres||+2500|
|Boston Red Sox||+3000|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+10000|
|Kansas City Royals||+30000|
|San Francisco Giants||+30000|
Minnesota Twins (+1500)
It seems everyone has forgotten how impressive the Twins were a year ago when they set the single-season home run record. Outside of the specter of regression, there's little reason to expect their offense to actually be worse in 2020, especially after Minnesota added a rejuvenated Josh Donaldson to the heart of the order.
A lot is riding on the starting rotation - spearheaded by All-Stars Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi - and a loaded bullpen. Fortunately, the Twins face arguably the easiest schedule of any team based on early projections, which includes a slate of uninspiring offenses. They should waltz into the playoffs, at which point they'll surely be shorter than 15-1. Now is the time to buy.
Chicago White Sox (+2000)
I was skeptical of the White Sox earlier this summer. The team has obvious upside after inking Yasmani Grandal, Dallas Keuchel, and Edwin Encarnacion to deals, but the floor is equally concerning for a club that had serious issues last season.
However, then I saw the proposed schedule, which features a combined 12 games against the Tigers and Royals and another 20 against the NL Central, the least inspiring division top-to-bottom in the majors. If the White Sox don't make the playoffs with the talent on their roster, something went wrong. And if they do? Watch out.
Oakland Athletics (+2500)
It's hard to fly under the radar with three MVP candidates and a high-upside rotation, but the Athletics have managed to do just that this offseason. Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien, and Matt Olson headline one of MLB's steadiest lineups, while Sean Manaea (injury) and Frankie Montas (suspension) return from disappointing 2019 campaigns with ace potential.
With the uncertainty surrounding small sample sizes for pitchers and hitters, the one thing we should feel fairly certain will translate is defense, which is a major boon to an Oakland team that ranked first in Fangraphs' defensive rating in 2019. At 25-1, there's no better value on a legitimate contender.
Arizona Diamondbacks (+4000)
The Diamondbacks have been as high as 66-1 this offseason but bettors are catching onto one of baseball's best-kept secrets. Arizona's lineup is anchored by 2019 breakout star Ketel Marte, and additions along the margins - namely new outfielders Starling Marte and Kole Calhoun - help round out what should be one of baseball's more consistent squads during a wacky campaign.
The staff doesn't have an obvious ace, though Zac Gallen is potentially on the cusp after posting a 2.81 ERA and 10.8 K/9 rate through 15 starts as a rookie, and newly signed Madison Bumgarner is still a capable arm alongside Robbie Ray and Luke Weaver. Arizona boasts a high ceiling and modest floor, which makes it a fantastic value halfway down the oddsboard.
Odds source: theScore Bet
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.