With three months and approximately half of the baseball season in the books, let’s check in on the new futures odds for Major League Baseball. The futures market continues to shift and we can look the changing dynamics with futures odds from four different points of the season. These mlb odds are courtesy of Bovada.lv.
|Team||March 5||May 1||June 4||July 1|
The Dodgers are now the favorite to win the World Series, which makes perfect sense because they have the game’s best starting rotation and one of the game’s better bullpens. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Dodgers add another reliever or two prior to the trade deadline and their odds may go even lower than 11/2 based on what they do.
The Oakland A’s are the AL favorite to win the World Series at 6/1. Scott Kazmir left after a visit from the trainer on Monday, but the A’s insist that he’s not hurt. The triceps soreness he experienced in Spring Training has lingered and it could only be a matter of time before Kazmir hits the DL. Even though the A’s have the best record, their playoff struggles are well-documented and it’s hard to see them getting over that hump with the rotation that they have.
The Tigers are the only other team under 10/1 at 13/2. Justin Verlander remains a major question mark, as does the Tigers bullpen, but Dave Dombrowski has a history of quality trade deadline moves and money is never an issue.
At 10/1 are the Nationals, Giants, and Angels, with the Brewers checking in at 12/1. The teams are ordered by their preseason odds, so read across the columns to see the progression in their odds throughout the season. This is a way to not only look at the perception of teams, but also find value on teams that may be underachieving and could make a run over the final 80 games.
Since Bovada has taken down their player props, let’s look at the division futures in MLB’s six divisions.
|Toronto Blue Jays||+160|
|New York Yankees||+225|
|Boston Red Sox||+650|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+3300|
Is it really that crazy to think the Tampa Bay can’t close 9.5 games and make this thing really interesting at 33/1? The potential David Price trade is a major concern, but the Rays are playing better and this division truly is up for grabs. Stranger things have happened. The Dodgers are a much better team than the Rays, but they made up a 9.5-game deficit in the NL West in a month. Tampa Bay has more time than that.
|Kansas City Royals||+350|
|Chicago White Sox||+3300|
Lay the four dollars on the Tigers and collect your profit. The other teams in this division are far too flawed to win it. The Royals probably have the best shot, but their rotation is pretty pedestrian behind James Shields and there’s no guarantee that Yordano Ventura or Danny Duffy will stay in one piece. The Indians can’t get out of their own way and the White Sox and Twins have no shot.
|LA Angels of Anaheim||+275|
The Athletics could be vulnerable, but they haven’t showed any signs of slowing down and still have the league’s best run differential. Their offense is pretty immune to slumps with the platoon advantages that they have and the bullpen is excellent. The Angels get Tyler Skaggs back and could be a player, but at less than 3/1 to make up a five-game deficit and hold on to win the division, the price isn’t good enough. Seattle doesn’t have enough offense to close the gap.
|New York Mets||+3300|
The Braves have gone from the favorite to even money to +150 as the Nationals have gotten healthier. The Braves and Nationals are separated by just 0.5 games and have nine head-to-head meetings left this season. The Braves have won seven of their last eight, while the Nationals have won seven of their last 10. This will be a toe-to-toe prize fight until the end of the season. The value lies with the Braves, who have owned the Nationals over the last three seasons and are already 7-3 against their chief division rival so far this season.
|St. Louis Cardinals||+160|
The Brewers still control their own destiny in the NL Central and the Cardinals have fallen to 6.5 games off the pace. The Brewers could probably play .500 the rest of the way and still have an excellent shot at winning the division given the pitching injuries for the Cardinals and their season-long lack of offense. Only the Padres average fewer runs per game than the Cardinals. The Reds and Pirates are making a charge, but they’re both pretty far back. The Brewers odds might go down if they slump and another team gets hot, so this is a division worth watching.
|Los Angeles Dodgers||-180|
|San Francisco Giants||+110|
|San Diego Padres||+25000|
This is the epitome of a two-team race as only the Dodgers and Giants have better odds than 66/1. As mentioned earlier, the Dodgers probably have the league’s best rotation and a $200M+ payroll can buy a lot of nice things. The odds on the Giants certainly aren’t good enough at +110 given some of the concerns that they have and the return of Clayton Kershaw was a big part of why June was so special for the Dodgers.
Keep an eye on Bovada.lv for any favorable movement in these futures as we approach the All-Star Break and as teams gear up for a second half postseason run.