The Atlanta Braves have opened as the favorites to win the MLB championship next season, according to early 2024 World Series odds at DraftKings Sportsbook and the Westgate SuperBook, ending the three-year reign of the Los Angeles Dodgers atop the boards when numbers were initially posted.
The Rangers, who beat the Diamondbacks in five games to claim the first World Series title in franchise history, are third on the early 2024 odds board.
The Braves, who were stunningly KO’d by the Phillies in the past two National League divisional playoff rounds, had the best record in baseball this season with a 104-58 mark.
The Dodgers () are the second betting choice ahead of the 2024 season, having just completed their fourth straight 100-win season in a full schedule. They’re followed closely by the Houston Astros (), the 2022 world champs who have qualified for the American League Championship Series for the past seven years.
Based on what transpired this season with preseason longshots Arizona (+17000) and Texas (+5000) reaching the title round, clubs priced at 50-to-1 odds or longer shouldn’t be disregarded.
Then there’s this heads-up for tomahawk-chopping Braves bettors: No team listed as the Series favorite when odds have been posted each year has gone on to win the world title since the 2009 New York Yankees.
Odds to win 2024 World Series at DraftKings Sportsbook
Here are early odds to win the 2024 World Series from top sports betting apps.
Now, let’s look at the teams, division by division. They are listed in order from shortest Series odds to longest.
The defending division champion Baltimore Orioles (), whose record of 101-61 this year was their best since 1979 and earned them the top seed in the league, have the shortest odds in the division and are tied for fourth overall on the World Series odds.
That’s quite a change since midway in the 2022 season when the Orioles were 11 games under .500 and had odds of +200000 (2000-to- 1).
The O’s don’t have any superstars — no 30-home run hitters, no one batted .300, and no pitcher won more than 15 games — just a well-rounded lineup. But, uh-oh! In 2024, Baltimore will be without reliever Felix Bautista, who averaged 16.9 strikeouts per nine innings until injuring his pitching elbow in August and undergoing Tommy John surgery. His absence will hurt.
Tampa Bay (), which has made the playoffs the past five years, is coming off a 99-win season despite suffering numerous injuries to the starting pitching staff and losing star shortstop Wander Franco late in the season.
LHP Shane McClanahan led the league in wins at the time of his forearm arm injury that led to Tommy John surgery. He was 11-2 when he was laid up and is expected to miss all of 2024. The team might not get back Franco anytime soon, either, after he was put on administrative leave for allegedly having sexual relations with a minor(s).
Next on the boards are the Toronto Blue Jays (), a wild-card team in 2023 that disappeared quickly in the first round of the postseason. As long as Vlad Guerrero is in the lineup and right-handers Chris Bassitt and Kevin Gausman head the rotation, this team has what it takes to leapfrog the clubs favored ahead of them.
Next up are the New York Yankees (), whose six-year run of playoff appearances ended this season with their worst record in 31 years (82-80).
Despite RHP Gerrit Coles’ outstanding campaign (15-4, 2.63 ERA), the Yankees couldn’t overcome an offense that dropped off considerably last year, hitting an anemic .227 (next to last in the MLB) and scoring 134 fewer runs than the year before.
Bringing up the rear are the Boston Red Sox (), who have the shortest odds of all teams that are pegged to finish last in a division. It’s hard to like a team with lackluster pitching that plays at Fenway Park.
The best value for next season appears to be the Blue Jays.
Information: Get the best sports betting apps
The Minnesota Twins () were runaway winners in baseball’s weakest division this season, beating out second-place Detroit by nine games despite having a relatively mediocre record of 87-75.
Sonny Gray heads a quality pitching staff. Although he had only an 8-8 record this year, his 2.79 ERA was third-best in the majors. For the Twins to repeat, they had better hope for better health in 2024. No one in the lineup played in more than 134 games.
Cleveland () just completed an extra-disappointing season with manager Terry Francona in his last year in the dugout, going 76-86. That came a year after the Guardians won the division by 11 games.
The Guardians can’t be expected to be a serious Series threat, though, until they ratchet up the power numbers. Cleveland had only 124 homers this season, 27 fewer than anyone else.
Detroit () finished with a flourish this season, going 19-10 down the home stretch, yet still isn’t considered a viable Series hopeful. Gone for 2024 is future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera, but there is new blood on the team, highlighted by the arrival of Kerry Carpenter.
He had 20 homers while being limited to 118 games after suffering a shoulder injury.
The extra-long longshots are the Chicago White Sox () and Kansas City Royals.
Chicago has fallen off the proverbial cliff, going from division favorite in 2023 to having Series odds of 100-1 the next. Based on the team’s fire sale last summer, the team isn’t in a win-now mode. Or even a win-tomorrow mode.
Kansas City () is coming off a 106-loss season and is led by standout shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., who had 30 homers and 49 stolen bases last year. Unfortunately, though, he can’t do it all.
The best value appears to be the Twins, who have fewer holes on their roster.
Although the Astros saw a drop of 16 victories from 2022 to 2023, they remain atop the division heap on the odds boards — even after just being eliminated from the 2023 postseason by division rival Texas in a seven-game ALCS.
While most Astros are expected back next season, there was some noticeable trouble on the mound during the second half of the season. Lefty Framber Valdez, who led the majors in ERA at the All-Star break at 2.51. ballooned to 3.45 by season’s end, 15th on the chart. His ERA was 9.00 in three playoff starts.
Plus, RHP Justin Verlander will be 41 next season, and Jose Urquidy and Cristian Javier didn’t meet expectations.
There won’t be any long odds available to start the season for Texas, which reached the 2023 World Series after opening the year at +5000 on the odds boards.
The Rangers () are well-stocked in the batting order, hitting .263, second best in the majors, with 233 homers, tied for third best. As long as Corey Seager, who was second in the AL in batting last year with a .327 average, is in the lineup along with slugger Adolis Garcia (eight postseason homers, 22 RBIs, both top in the playoffs), there will be strong expectations to earn the division title.
Seattle (_, which went on a 25-6 tear in late summer from 8.5 games back in the West to 1.5 games in front, wound up with heartbreak when they failed to reach the playoffs by one game. As long as the Mariners have Julio Rodriguez playing regularly, bettors can’t ignore them. He had 32 homers, 103 RBIs, and 37 steals for the M’s in 2023.
Then come the LA Angels (), who went all-in at the trade deadline while attempting to secure a playoff berth and soon after went all-out by waiving some of those players after cratering in August. If slugger Mike Trout isn’t traded in the offseason and if the Halos pay up to keep Shohei Ohtani in the lineup, there’s always hope.
As for the Oakland A’s, there’s essentially no hope for them becoming playoff-worthy overnight after losing 112 games with a roster decimated in recent years by trades and free-agency departures.
They are available at now but wait. A’s fans who believe in miracles or don’t mind buying a ticket as a gag gift can probably get them at +100000 (1,000-1) a few months from now.
The Atlanta Braves () are the division heavyweight based on an incredible mix of power, speed, and solid pitching.
They tied the MLB record with 307 homers this season and had a league-high batting average of .276, the best by anyone in the past six seasons. If right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. can come even close to his MVP-caliber season of a .337 average, 41 homers, and MLB-best 73 steals, Atlanta can expect a third straight 100-win season.
Had RHP starters Max Fried and Charlie Morton not suffered late-season injuries, maybe things would have turned out differently in the postseason. After all, the Braves already had 20-game winner Spencer Strider.
The Philadelphia Phillies () are tied for fourth on the Series odd boards, but a big question is how they’ll respond to their NLCS meltdown against Arizona when they blew a 2-0 series lead and were ousted in seven games.
A boost for next year surely will come from infielder Rhys Hoskins, who missed all of this season due to injury after hitting 30 homers the year before, in addition to six in the team’s playoff run.
The New York Mets (), who in 2022 won 101 games, had 26 fewer wins this season — the biggest drop for any team this season. Yet their odds seem extremely short, considering they unloaded key players at the trade deadline, including sending Verlander to Houston and RHP Max Scherzer to Texas. They haven’t shown yet they will be serious contenders shortly, which is why Scherzer wanted out.
The Miami Marlins (), meanwhile, have the longest World Series odds of any team that reached this year’s postseason after surging late to gain the second wild card in the NL. The big issue is whether the team can overcome the likely absence of 2022 NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara, who’s expected to miss all of 2024 after Tommy John surgery.
Lastly, the Washington Nationals () have the longest odds in the division, but they are much shorter than last year’s +20000 (Westgate) listing. However, the team probably won’t improve until it stops giving up home runs. They yielded the most in each of the past two seasons.
The best value? By process of elimination, Miami. The three teams ahead of them have odds that are too short.
The Milwaukee Brewers (), who had the league’s top pitching staff last year (3.71 ERA) and pulled away late to win the division by nine games over the Chicago Cubs, are the choice to finish atop the group again this year.
Not so fast in awarding them another title, though. St. Louis was the choice to repeat as Central champ last year and finished the last 21 games out. It would certainly help if the Brewers scored a few more runs, for they had the lowest positive run differential among division winners last season at plus-84.
Speaking of run differential, the Cubs ()had a plus-96 mark and didn’t even make the playoffs. They’ll have to regroup after their nose dive to finish the 2023 season. After closing to 1.5 games of the front-running Brewers in early September they went 7-15 the rest of the way.
Chicago LHP Justin Steele had a 16-5 breakout season and was briefly one of the top candidates to win the Cy Young. The rest of the staff finished seven games under .500.
Cincinnati had a remarkable 2023 season after having early +12000 odds. In their roller-coaster year, the Reds () emphasized stealing bases, led by rookie Elly De La Cruz’s 35. Their total of 190 was the most in the majors since 2009.
This season, at one point, they were in last, 8.5 games off the division pace, before going 34-20 to grab a 1.5-game lead. They soon fell back again but got some idea of what it’s like to play in important games.
The Cardinals () were a mess last season from the get-go after veteran stars Albert Pujols and Bengie Molina had called it quits. Their trade-deadline fire sale indicates they aren’t ready to make noise in 2024.
The Pittsburgh Pirates () also had their magical moments this year, opening the season 20-8 and holding a 1.5-game lead, but soon after — kablooey. They lost 11 of their next 12 games and weren’t the same. Like with the Reds, that taste of “pennant fever” could help them in the future.
The Reds seem by far to have the best value. Maybe even the best value throughout the majors.
Just like last season and the season before that, the Dodgers and Padres top the chart in this division. Even ahead of Arizona, which swept LA in the 2023 postseason and made it all the way to the 2023 World Series.
In 2023, Los Angeles was largely doomed by a barrage of injuries/suspensions to their starting pitchers as the season wore on. Clayton Kershaw missed six weeks at midseason before returning, and Dustin May, Julio Urias, and Tony Gonsolin left midyear without returning. There’s also a question of whether Kershaw will retire in the offseason.
At least they have star hitters Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts, but as LA’s loss in the 2023 divisional round shows, the Dodgers need pitching to survive.
The Padres (), as usual, play second-fiddle to LA on the odds boards. On the mound, no one was better the final two-thirds of the season than lefty Blake Snell, who opened the year with a 1-6 mark and 5.40 ERA and finished 14-9 with a league-best 2.25 ERA.
There’s no denying they have one of the best middle-of-the-lineups with Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Juan Soto, who teamed for 90 homers this year.
The Padres might even carry some momentum into next season, if possible. After being left for dead in the playoff race on Labor Day — FanGraphs listed their chances at 2.0 percent to reach the postseason — they closed with a 13-2 record and missed the last wild card by two games.
Arizona (), meanwhile, has nice odds, considering the youth on the team and a pitching staff that got better and better as the 2023 playoffs progressed.
As long as star right-hander Zac Gallen and assumed NL Rookie of the Year outfielder Corbin Carroll stay healthy, it’s hard not to like their chances.
As for San Francisco (), the team’s late-season death spiral resulted in a change of managers, with Bob Melvin taking over after leaving San Diego. Perhaps the squad star this season was pitcher Logan Webb, but he had only an 11-13 record with a spiffy 3.25 ERA.
Bringing up the rear are the Colorado Rockies (), whose team ERA was a league-worst 5.67. Maybe next year.
World Series longshots have produced at big odds
Since expansion began in 1961, there have several longshots that have contended deep into the season/postseason for the championship over the years. This past season was no different, with the Diamondbacks and Rangers duking it out for the crown.
Some of the best odds were available for those teams in the mid-to-late season. Some were available at the start.
The first out-of-nowhere longshot came in 1967 with the Boston Red Sox, who hadn’t had a winning season since 1958 when Ted Williams was there. They won the AL pennant at 100-1 before losing in the World Series to St. Louis in seven games.
Two years later came the Miracle Mets. They had 100-1 World Series odds to open, but written accounts indicated the number skyrocketed to 1,000-1 during the season. That’s probably because early on, they were only 21-23 and already nine games behind in the NL East race.
A fun close call occurred in 1984 when the Twins, who finished 29 games off the AL West pace the year before, went off at 120-1 for the pennant and 250-1 for the Series. No one got to cash a ticket on them, but with a 5.5-game lead in late August, it had to be a thrill ride for their backers.
In 1991, the Twins were involved again as a big longshot, climbing to 500-1 during the season by some published accounts, and this time, they pulled off a world championship at the expense of the long-forlorn Braves, who had preseason odds of 250-1.
Of course, the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays paid off for bettors on the AL pennant race at 125-1 odds. Their number was 300-1 for the Series before the season, and they were favored to beat Philadelphia but fell short.
Then comes the mother of all longshots, an extreme example that futures bettors should keep their eyes open until the toe tags are placed on teams.
On Sept. 12, 2011, the Cardinals were languishing while 6.5 games behind in the NL Central and 5.5 behind the only wild card spot with 17 days remaining in the season.
That morning, a bettor wagered $250 at 500-to-1 odds at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on St. Louis to win the pennant. He also put up $250 at 999-to-1 for the World Series. He collected on both for a total of $375,000.
Finally, of course, in the 2021 preseason, the Giants unbelievably were 150-to-1 for the NL pennant and 300-1 to win the World Series at the Westgate. They finished with a franchise-record mark of 107-55 before losing in the division series.
Like the 1984 Twins, it had to be quite a ride for Giants bettors, who might still have cashed in with some hedge bets.
Source : ESPN.com