With the conclusion of the 2023 MLB World Series, we’ve had a first-time champion in the four major U.S. sports for the third time since June.
The Texas Rangers joined the Denver Nuggets and Vegas Golden Knights at the top of their respective sports Tuesday night in Phoenix, when they put away the Arizona Diamondbacks in five games. The Rangers took home the title on the strength of their performance on the road. They were an MLB-record 11-0 away from Globe Life Field in the 2023 playoffs.
Looking Ahead to 2024 World Series Futures Odds
As is tradition, before the dust settles on the 2023 MLB season, we must look ahead. Specifically, to the 2024 World Series futures odds, courtesy of BetMGM.
TEAM TO WIN 2024 MLB WORLD SERIES
Los Angeles Dodgers
NY Yankees / Bal. Orioles / TB Rays / Tor. Blue Jays / SD Padres
Early 2024 World Series Futures Odds Analysis: The Favorites
Oddsmakers are not expecting a repeat of 2023 for the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers, even though 2023 was a repeat of 2022 for each club. Both teams dominated the National League in the regular season, only for each to be bounced out in short order in their first round of action. For the Braves, the Phillies did them in twice. LA was beat by the Padres in 2022 and Arizona this past October.
The Braves are locked in. We likely won’t see too many improvements to their team because their core is young and under contract. Much like the 1990s Braves, it will be up to this group to play better in the postseason. For the Dodgers, it really was a miracle that they won 100 games considering that the only starting pitcher they had on Opening Day going into the playoffs was Clayton Kershaw. Injuries befell Walker Buehler, Tony Gonsolin, and Dustin May while Julio Urias found himself ineligible after a domestic violence arrest in September.
AL Favorites: Don’t Mess With Texas
In the American League, the top favorites are the two most-recent champs: Texas and Houston. The Astros were close again this year, taking a 3-2 lead in the ALCS back to Minute Maid Park before the Rangers did their thing on the road in Games 6 and 7. Expect Houston to look largely the same on the diamond, but skipper Dusty Baker retired.
Texas isn’t afraid to spend, so expect them to boost the pitching rotation, which was held together by Nathan Eovaldi and two players who weren’t on the team until July: Jordan Montgomery and Max Scherzer. There are no concerns about an offense bringing back two-time World Series MVP Corey Seager, ALCS MVP Adolis Garcia, and Marcus Semien.
If you’re going with a favorite at this early point, the AL contingent has been the one to get it done as of late.
Who Has Good Value in the 2024 World Series Futures Odds
For a sport where conventional wisdom says the favorites always win, the odds don’t reflect that. Nine of the last 19 World Series winners won with preseason odds of at least +2000.
While they’re not quite at +2000, one team we’re looking at is the Baltimore Orioles at +1600. The Birds’ sweep at the hands of Texas in the ALDS doesn’t look quite as bad now.
In addition, Baltimore won an AL-best 101 games. They have a young core both at the plate and on the mound. And expect them to learn from the butt-whooping Texas handed them in early October.
Speaking of a team that will have a chip on its shoulder, look out for the Philadelphia Phillies (+1100). Things couldn’t have looked better for the Phils after holding leads of 2-0 and 3-2 over Arizona in the NLCS. The Diamondbacks, however, shockingly upset the Phillies two nights in a row in front of a shellshocked audience at typically raucous Citizens Bank Park to win the NL pennant. A team that had aspirations of finishing the 2023 postseason with two more wins than they amassed in 2022 didn’t reach the summit.
Going into this offseason, top-line pitcher Aaron Nola is a free agent. Yet it’s clear the Phillies need a dominant arm to go with Zach Wheeler. Their offense is typically solid, but bats will eventually go through a cool stretch against good pitching in October. As they’re currently constructed, the Phillies aren’t equipped to win 2-1 games when their offense is off the mark.
The Big Question Mark: Shohei Ohtani
Expect these odds to shift a bit once Shohei Ohtani makes his free-agency decision. However, his impact may not be as large as previously expected in 2024. While trying to avoid a second Tommy John surgery, Ohtani is not expected to pitch next year after undergoing a surgical procedure. His doctor, however, said that he shouldn’t have any hitting restrictions going into the new season with a potential new team.
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