The 2023 MLB season is here with Opening Day coming on Thursday!
Unfortunately, Spring Training has seen a number of serious injuries, including a torn ACL for Phillies’ first baseman Rhys Hoskins, a broken thumb for Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, and a torn patellar tendon for Mets closer Edwin Diaz.
All of those injuries coming to players of that caliber has shifted the betting landscape when it comes to World Series futures. As a result, it’s a good time to parse through the current odds to help us determine which bets could be profitable for you in a few months’ time, so let’s dig in.
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2024 World Series Odds
|Team||Odds to win|
|New York Yankees||+750|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+850|
|San Diego Padres||+950|
|New York Mets||+950|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+1300|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+1600|
Odds courtesy of Draftkings Sportsbook, click here to see up-to-date odds.
Despite the injury to Jose Altuve, the Astros (+600) are the betting favorites after coming off of their second World Series title in franchise history. Jose Altuve will likely only miss the first month of the season, so sportsbooks are not concerned about the long-term implications of that injury. Houston also upgraded at first base from Yuli Gurriel to 2020 AL MVP Jose Abreu, so this should still be an incredibly well-rounded lineup.
The biggest news for the Astros in the offseason was losing Justin Verlander to the New York Mets and while that’s a big loss they do still have a wealth of pitching talent with Framber Valdez, Lance McCullers Jr., Cristian Javier, Jose Urquidy, Luis Garcia, and top prospect Hunter Brown. As a result, this feels like a pretty safe bet to make.
The Yankees (+750) are a team that saw their odds drop a little from +700 at the start of spring training, likely due to the injuries to Frankie Montas and Carlos Rodon. While Rodon could be back in May Montas is likely lost for the majority of the year due to shoulder surgery. If the starting rotation isn’t elite then the Yankees could be in trouble because there are major concerns about their offense.
Judge had a career year last year, but the Yankees were inconsistent at best apart from him. Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton can be productive hitters, but both carry major injury risk. Anthony Volpe is an exciting prospect but is just 21 years old and there are concerns about a lineup that features Josh Donaldson and Aaron Hicks. Enough that it’s hard to bet them at this cost.
The Braves (+750) were one of my favorite bets when they were listed at +950 prior to Spring Training and those odds have now gone up rather significantly. It’s likely due to the injuries suffered by the Mets and Phillies, but the Braves won the NL East and then added catcher Sean Murphy in the offseason. Their only real departure was Dansby Swanson, but with Michael Soroka returning to join a rotation headlined by Max Fried, Charlie Morton, and last year’s breakout stars Spencer Strider and Kyle Wright, the Braves like real World Series contender. I just think we maybe missed the boat if you didn’t bet it earlier.
The Padres (+950) were an intriguing bet at +1100 prior to spring training, but now those odds have gone up as the Braves did. Yet, after making it to the NLDS last year, the Padres remain a real contender. They still have Juan Soto and Josh Hader and added shortstop Xander Bogaerts to bolster an already-solid lineup that should also see the return of shortstop/right fielder Fernando Tatis Jr. They also added Matt Carpenter and Nelson Cruz and remain an intriguing bet given their long odds. I’d rather bet on them than the Yankees.
I still don’t love the betting odds for the Mets (+950), and that’s even after the odds dropped from +750 prior to spring training. The Mets have a solid offensive core in Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, and Starling Marte, and a pitching staff anchored by Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, which makes me less worried about them losing Jacob deGrom.
However, questions remain about the bullpen and the end of the lineup. Who will close with Edwin Diaz out? Can the team trust Daniel Robertson? Is Daniel Vogelbach good enough to be a full-time DH? What will they get from Brett Baty and Francisco Alvarez? There remain too many questions to bet them over the teams listed above.
The Blue Jays (+1300) are an intriguing long-shot bet after recording their second-straight 90-win season. They have not been able to get over the hump and win a big game in the playoffs, but they improved their defense by adding Daulton Varsho and Kevin Keirmaier to one of the most talented offensive lineups in the AL. Adding Chris Bassitt to their rotation should also help, but the AL East is going to be a grind again, so I think you will likely be able to find better odds for the Blue Jays a few weeks into the season if the Yankees or Rays start out strong.