With the start of the MLB season delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, there’s some light at the end of the tunnel with whispers that baseball will resume by mid-summer. At the start of May, the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees are co-favorites to win the 2020 World Series at 3/1 odds in most betting markets.
William Hill’s latest update has the Dodgers and Yankees at the top of their MLB futures board. The Houston Astros, at 9/1 odds to win the title, are the only other team with single-digit odds.
The Astros might have been the only team that benefited from the pandemic shutdown. The team was vilified after its sophisticated cheating system was unearthed by internet sleuths. Despite losing their manager and Gerrit Cole to free agency, the Astros were still 9/1 odds to win the title.
2020 World Series Odds – Top 5
New York Yankees 3/1
Los Angeles Dodgers 3/1
Houston Astros 9/1
Minnesota Twins 15/1
Atlanta Braves 17/1
The Dodgers appeared in the World Series in 2017 and 2018, but settled for a runner-up finish both times. The Dodgers were the team to beat in 2019, but they were upended in the postseason by the red-hot Nationals. The Nats won the NLDS in five games.
The Minnesota Twins surprised a lot of people last season. Rookie manager Rocco Baldelli guided the team to a postseason berth, but the Twins couldn’t escape the curse of those damn Yankees. The Yanks swept the Twins in the ALDS in three games. The Twins are one of the top 5 teams on the board at 15/1 odds.
The Atlanta Braves quietly won the NL East last season. They held the #2 seed in the NL, but they were eliminated in five games by the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS.
Impossible to Win Back-to-Back?
The defending champion Washington Nationals are 18/1 odds to repeat in 2020. The Nats are facing an uphill battle against history as no team has managed to repeat as champs in the 21st Century. The Yankees were the last team to repeat when the Bronx Bombers shipped three World Series titles between 1998 and 2000.
The NY Mets and Boston Red Sox are toast after both of their aces opted for Tommy John surgery.
2020 World Series Odds — Middles
NY Mets 17/1
Washington Nationals 18/1
Oakland A’s 18/1
Los Angeles Angels 18/1
Chicago Cubs 20/1
Cincinnati Reds 20/1
Tampa Bay Rays 22/1
Chicago White Sox 25/1
Arizona Diamondbacks 25/1
Cleveland Indians 28/1
St Louis Cardinals 28/1
Boston Red Sox 30/1
Philadelphia Phillies 35/1
Milwaukee Brewers 45/1
San Diego Padres 50/1
It’s strange to see the Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies at the back end of the middle tier when both teams should be fighting for a playoff spot.
The Phillies added Joe Girardi to the mix as their new skipper. Girardi won World Series titles as a backup catcher with the Yankees in the late 1990s. He also won a title as the Yankees manager in 2009.
The Brewers have one of the best players in baseball with Christian Yelich. They lost him due to a broken kneecap, but the Brew Crew was still one of the hottest teams down the stretch last season. Oddsmakers doubt they can continue that momentum into this season.
Donkshots, Save Your Money
It’s fun to buy a lottery ticket when the jackpot reaches ridiculous figures. But when it comes to betting futures, sometimes it is best to save your money and avoid betting your favorite team … no matter how bad they are.
A friend of mine from San Francisco, Big Dog, owns a bar in the Marina District. He always fires a wager on the San Francisco Giants, no matter if they’re legit contenders or are expected to be one of the bottom feeders of the NL West. This year, Big Dog will have a juicy payout at 150/1 odds if the Giants can pull off the impossible and run the table in the playoffs. I told Big Dog to keep his money this year, but sometimes, hardcore fans will blindly bet their teams. You have to appreciate their loyalty. I know the local bookies do!
2020 World Series Odds — Long Shots
Texas Rangers 125/1
San Francisco Giants 150/1
Toronto Blue Jays 250/1
Seattle Mariners 300/1
Colorado Rockies 300/1
Kansas City Royals 400/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 400/1
Miami Marlins 750/1
Baltimore Orioles 1000/1
Detroit Tigers 1000/1
It’s almost sad to see that oddsmakers have given up on the Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers. They were among the worst teams in the big leagues last season, and they’ll be fighting for that distinction again this year.
The Miami Marlins have a perpetual lock on being the doormat for the NL East. The Marlins don’t have much competition as the worst team in the NL this upcoming season.