We’re just entering the very early stages of the baseball season as players are back with their teams and just starting to get set for Spring Training. Even so, it’s been anything but a quiet part of the year as the Houston Astros return and their half-baked apologies have infuriated the rest of the league.
Players like Mike Trout and Cody Bellinger have been loudly outspoken about the Astros cheating and many players have even criticized commissioner Rob Manfred for not coming down harder on the team. Even so, the Astros are among the favorites to win the title in 2020.
Let’s take a look at the early World Series futures bets as the on-field drama plays out.
MLB 2020 Favorites
The New York Yankees (+350) enter the season as the World Series favorites. That’s not a huge surprise as they won 103 games last season and then added ace Gerrit Cole to the roster. Pitching was one of their key weaknesses, so if that’s improved, they might finally be ready for a World Series run.
The Los Angeles Dodgers also share the same odds as they also made a big splash. Their team, which again came close to chasing down that elusive World Series ring, acquired 2018 American League MVP Mookie Betts and David Price from the Boston Red Sox. Those might be the final pieces they need to get over the hump.
Behind those two favorites is the Astros (+700), who – for all of the criticism – still have a very strong roster. With Justin Verlander back along with Zack Greinke to anchor the pitching rotation, and what should be a lethal batting lineup (assuming they can hit without assistance from the outfield camera), they should again be in contention for a division crown and 90+ wins.
The only other teams inside of 20/1 are the Atlanta Braves (+1400), Washington Nationals (+1600), Minnesota Twins (+1800) and St. Louis Cardinals (+1800).
2020 World Series Odds: The Long Shots
A lot of people are curious to see what the Philadelphia Phillies (+2000) do next season as they were among the World Series favorites last season. As you might recall, they landed a big fish in Bryce Harper last offseason but they failed to even make the playoffs.
They made another big signing this offseason, landing former New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler. The Phillies finished with a team ERA of 4.53, so the hope is he helps in that regard. Wheeler’s former team, the Mets (+2000) also have similar odds and the Tampa Bay Rays (+2000) share the same odds.
The Red Sox (+3000) have tumbled quite a bit in terms of the World Series futures. They won the title two years ago but fell back to just 84 wins last year. After losing Betts, Price and being forced to change manager Alex Cora (after he was caught up in the Astros cheating scheme), they figure to be a very different team in 2020 than they were in the previous couple of seasons.