Last season, the Houston Astros won the World Series, which of course wasn’t popular with anyone outside of Houston…unless you had a bet slip for them.
The Astros begin defending their World Series Thursday, and they are favored to win it all again. At BetMGMthey are +600 to win this season’s World Series.
Kicking off the season, Yahoo Sports’ Nick Bromberg, Scott Pianowski, Zach Crizer and Frank Schwab have shared their best team-based futures bets like overall wins and World Series picks after tackling player props and futures earlier this week:
Which winning numbers are your favourites?
Nick Bromberg: I’m really optimistic that the Kansas City Royals will make a meaningful leap this year, despite not adding much to the team a year ago. Bobby Witt Jr. and MJ Melendez should get better and I think Vinnie Pasquantino will keep mashing. But I also think the biggest improvement will come from the pitching staff and the organization’s open embrace of a more data-driven approach. Pitching last year was abysmal under former pitching coach Cal Eldred, and the Royals walked far too many. A focus on throwing first pitch strikes will be tremendous. And a big reason why the Royals exceed their win total of 69.5 (+100).
Scott Pianowski: The White Sox over 82.5 feels like a gift to me. Everything went wrong last year, with injuries and mishaps, even the wrong manager. There are plausible MVP and Cy Young candidates in the plural on this list. And the division has two rebuild teams (Kansas City, Detroit) and two other teams (Cleveland, Minnesota) that are all good, not great. If Chicago gets a fair runout this year, they’ll beat that number. If they get a break or two, we’re talking a sleeper World Series contender.
On the other hand, bad teams generally get worse mid-season as they try to discard anything of value. The Tigers actually surpassed their Pythagorean last year and still won a paltry 66 games. I don’t see how they can improve and beat the market price of 69.5.
Zach Crizer: Like everyone else, I have personal guesses as to who will beat expectations (the Arizona Diamondbacks, 75.5) and who will fall short (the Texas Rangers, 81.5), but the game with the most value you’ll find in the predictions become is not very noticeable.
Vegas underestimates (understandably) remodeling on the verge of bearing fruit. So my favorite outright bet is… stay with me… the Pittsburgh Pirates. They already have some core pieces that adapt to the majors in Oneil Cruz and Ke’Bryan Hayes. They loaded up some competent veterans for at least the first half, and they’ll likely have some really burgeoning talent in the lineup in the second half. On the large projection systems, they beat their over/under (67.5) by four to six wins. Sign me up.
Frank Schwab: The one that catches my eye is the Washington Nationals under 59.5. I don’t normally bet on win aggregates that low, but this nats team is going to be bad. Really bad. And anyone playing well from afar is likely to be traded in July.
Let’s go to SoCal for my other two. I will fade the Los Angeles Dodgers this year and go under 96.5. There are a few holes in this list (outfield, shortstop, bullpen) and 97 wins is a lot. Then a bit south, I like the Los Angeles Angels over 82.5. Fear are the angels trading with Shohei Ohtani. However, I don’t think they will if they play in the playoffs and the Angels are looking a little deeper than they have been for the past few years. Having two of the greatest players of all time should also help. Oh, and let’s add the reds above 65.5 as well.
What about split bets?
Nick Bromberg: According to BetMGM, the AL Central is the widest open division in baseball, with the top three teams capable of winning at +250 or more. I’m not as big a fan of Chicago’s odds as others seem to be at +250, although I think Pedro Grifol will be worth a few more wins than Tony La Russa. So for me it’s between the Twins and the Guardians and I’ll go with the favourite. Cleveland’s contact-based approach to the plate was a relative outlier in 2022, and I’m curious to see if others will emulate it in 2023. Give me the Guardians at +125.
Scott Pianowski: As you’d expect from above, I’m aiming to beat the White Sox at +250 to win the AL Central. And I’m intrigued by the Mariners at +300 taking over the AL West. The three teams under Seattle are not ready to challenge. And Houston has had a lot of bad luck with injuries this spring. Damn, maybe the Mariners have the better rotation from the start, with four quasi-aces all messing around (making them all excellent fantasy stats). There’s a nice mix of established veterans and up-and-coming young talent in the Seattle line-up, too.
Zach Crizer: It’s a struggle to generate excitement for each division’s Darkhorses this year. The solution? Go for a team that isn’t actually a Darkhorse, but has the odds of being one. The NL East is loaded, meaning the Phillies have a +300 chance of dethroning the Mets and Braves. Yes, they will miss Bryce Harper for a while, and no, they weren’t even close last year. But their lineup has become more balanced and their aces stack well. Far crazier things have happened.
Frank Schwab: If I’m fading the Dodgers, I’ll have to be with the Padres to win the NL West at +115. I also like the odds on the Blue Jays and Twins, both at +200 (between Nick on the Guardians, Scott on the White Sox and me on the Twins, one of us has to cash in a ticket…hopefully). And just in case, a bit on Angels +800.
Who is your World Series Champion?
Nick Bromberg: With six teams at +900 or more winning the title, it seems pretty clear that one of them will win the World Series, right? Among the long shots I like the Cardinals and Rays at +2000 and the Phillies at +1600 with Trea Turner is also an appealing bet. But it’s hard not to stare at the Astros (+600) and Braves (+750) and think the two favorites will clash for the title. I’ll be going with the Astros to go back-to-back, but I also have a nagging feeling the Dodgers (+800) could win it all.
Scott Pianowski: The Braves have the deepest lineup in baseball and a slew of players who are still in cheap age pockets. When they get an upset in the rotation, this is the best team in baseball. Heck, maybe an average runout is enough to get the money. It’s not a juicy longshot play at +750, but let’s get them into the playoffs and then maybe we can fool around with Hedges.
Zach Crizer: My pick for the World Series? The Braves, who are +750 to win everything for the second time in three years. But let’s face it, the postseason is a (very entertaining) crapshoot. What’s not a crapshoot (and maybe not very entertaining either) is the NL Central race. The cardinals are preferred, and as long as they have it some Competition in the Brewers, their clear path to a playoff spot makes +2000 World Series odds quite attractive.
Frank Schwab: It’s a difficult question because I don’t really notice any teams. I’ll probably pick up a World Series futures or two during the season, but right now the only team I’m on is the Atlanta Braves at +750. It’s remarkable how many Impact rookies they had last season, and guys like Spencer Strider and Michael Harris II could be even better this season. I’m not crazy about the Braves at the current odds, but this is my pick.
Source : sports.yahoo.com