New World Series Odds Movement Animation: Which MLB Teams Have Longer, Shorter Odds?

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Written By Mo Nuwwarah | Last Updated
MLB betting

When it comes to MLB betting, bettors often have to take the long view with baseball futures, due to the nature of the 162-game season. It’s easy to get caught up in hot and cold streaks, which can last weeks or even months. Given that the season has basically reached the halfway mark — most teams have played just shy of 80 games — it’s an appropriate time to look at World Series odds movement.

Whose World Series odds have changed the most? TheLines.com takes a look, comparing current markets to Spring Training ones. We’ll highlight a few notable teams on each side of the ledger.

Bettors should evaluate whether the market has adjusted appropriately. If you believe a strong start is sustainable, it may make sense to buy high. Conversely, if a team has been the victim of poor luck or injuries and rates to be better going forward, a slow start may have created value.

MLB Teams With Notably Shorter World Series Betting Odds

TeamImplied Odds Change
Yankees+9.06%
Phillies+8.04%
Dodgers+2.22%
Brewers+2.13%
Orioles+1.83%

New York Yankees (+1100 to )

Everything has developed exactly as the Yankees could have hoped. Sure, there have been a couple of injuries, but every team has those. And Giancarlo Stanton and Clarke Schmidt sustained only minor ones, neither of which should have a long-term impact.

Most importantly, the pairing of super-sluggers Aaron Judge and Juan Soto has been a dream. Judge is favored over the field for MVP, and Soto isn’t too terribly far behind in third. The Yanks are tied for the second-best offense in MLB. Statcast says it’s legitimate, tagging them with a .341 xwOBA that trails only that of the Dodgers.

Luis Gil’s emergence has been massive for the pitching staff. He’s walking too many guys and projects more like an average pitcher going forward, but that will do just fine for a back-end arm. Gerrit Cole returned last week and enjoyed a pretty solid outing against Baltimore with 5 Ks against just 1 BB.

Additionally, things look rosy going forward. The Yanks have the second-weakest remaining schedule in the AL, and the Orioles rotation is on the ropes. They have four starters on the IL, three of whom need Tommy John. FanGraphs projects New York to have a 70% chance of winning the division, almost certainly garnering a bye. Their system gives only the Dodgers shorter World Series odds.

This is one of the strongest teams in baseball, and their depth and all-around quality mean only an injury to Judge or Soto would deal them a serious blow.

Philadelphia Phillies (+1500 to )

The Yankees of the NL? Everything has come together for the Phillies, from the quality of their own team to the injury-plagued downfall of the Braves.

Philly already had a good offense, so Alec Bohm becoming a star is the last thing rival NL clubs wanted to see. He has basically made improvements across the board. The Omaha native is scalding the ball (.372 xwOBA), continuing a trend of improvements there in each of the past three years. Just as importantly, he stopped giving away a ton of runs on defense, though Statcast doesn’t like his work as much as the other systems do.

With Bohm smacking the ball, the Phillies now have the second-best offense in the NL, and it will only improve statistically with more games from Trea Turner (recently back) and JT Realmuto (sidelined with an injury until late in the season).

The offense hasn’t even been the strongest part of the team. Philly ranks first in starting pitcher fWAR and second in reliever fWAR. By total pitching WAR, they’re as far ahead of second place as second is from 10th. Given this team is projected at the top of the pitching heap, that should be sustainable.

Rival Atlanta has been defanged by injuries. Ronald Acuna Jr. and Spencer Strider, arguably the two best players on the team, are out for the year.

The way is clear for Philadelphia, and with how strong the pitching is, perhaps no team is better set up for the postseason.

Orioles (+1200 to )

Perhaps no team has a more well-rounded offense than Baltimore. Sure, they have the star power with Gunnar Henderson and Adley Rutschman. The former is on pace for an 11-WAR season, peak Mike Trout territory. But the depth of this lineup is staggering.

Jordan Westburg and Colton Cowser typically bat in the bottom half of the lineup. The former has a 139 wRC+ that his xwOBA says is perfectly legitimate. The latter has a solid 110 wRC+ but the contact quality is much better. Austin Hays isn’t even a full-time starter and projects as an average regular.

Most days, the Orioles don’t put a single bad hitter in the lineup which has real power.

The problem is the pitching. Baltimore came into the season with the staff hanging by a thread because of ominous-sounding injuries to Kyle Bradish and John Means. Sure enough, they’re both out for the season.

Corbin Burnes and Grayson Rodriguez make for a fine 1-2 punch. After that, this staff is a giant question mark. The bullpen can’t reasonably be expected to do better than they have, ranking seventh in fWAR.

Orioles fans will remember the thumping the Rangers offense handed them in last year’s playoffs. Unfortunately, they may see a repeat performance in 2024.

MLB Teams With Notably Longer World Series Betting Odds

TeamImplied Odds Change
Astros-8.98%
Braves-5.38%
Rangers-4.93%
Blue Jays-4.86%
Cubs-2.47%

Astros (+650 to )

It’s been quite a fall for the Astros, a fall that fans around the country are undoubtedly delighted to see, given the team’s checkered recent history.

Everything is fine on the batting side of things. Houston’s offense ranks sixth by wRC+ and ninth by xwOBA. And that’s with Kyle Tucker missing a sizable chunk of the season.

To say the pitching staff has been beset by injury would be like saying Patrick Mahomes has been known to come up clutch every now and then. The Astros currently have six starters on the IL, including top prospect Jake Bloss, who lasted all of 3.2 IP in his call-up.

Even the “reliable” starters have dealt with more than their share of speed bumps, from sticky stuff suspensions (Ronel Blanco) to minor injuries (Framber Valdez) to disastrous stretches of play (Hunter Brown and Spencer Arrighetti).

The result has been one of MLB’s worst staffs (25th in fWAR).

The bullpen was expected to be top-heavy, sure, but very strong at that top, at least. Instead, the unit ranks 20th by fWAR. Josh Hader, Ryan Pressly, and Bryan Abreu have shown signs of coming around, but the team has already dug quite a hole, sitting six games back of the Mariners.

The saving grace is that the rest of the AL West has stunk it up as well. Seattle is hardly a powerhouse, sporting a below-average offense. FanGraphs still projects Houston as the class of the division by a fair amount, with a 23.3% chance of winning the AL West.

Atlanta Braves (+550 to )

Much like Houston, Atlanta projected as one of the best team in baseball, but a combination of injuries and underperformance have sunk them.

Obviously, the aforementioned injuries to Acuna Jr. and Strider headline the maladies. Michael Harris II and A.J. Smith-Shawver have joined them, the latter a much-needed body in the rotation, considering two other starters and two top relievers are on the shelf as well. Sean Murphy and Ozzie Albies missed large chunks of the season as well.

Albies, Harris II, Austin Riley, and Matt Olson simply haven’t returned to the heights of the past few years, either.

The good news for the Braves is that unlike the Astros, they haven’t gotten themselves buried in the standings. Yes, catching the Phillies from seven games back looks incredibly unlikely. But, they’re in a fantastic position in the Wild Card, and there’s still talent remaining.

The bullpen has been excellent as expected (3.23 ERA). Chris Sale and Max Fried give the staff two legitimate aces. The key will be getting those two to October healthy, no sure thing given their recent histories.

Atlanta came back from a similar position in 2021 to win it all. Perhaps the front office can work some magic with trades once again to shore up the threadbare outfield.

Bottom line, there’s still enough here to give the Braves a shot, given good health going forward. FanGraphs still projects them as nearly top-tier contenders, with 9.5% World Series odds. Unfortunately for bettors, the market seems to reflect this, not offering a particularly attractive price.

Texas Rangers (+900 to )

The defending champs are on the ropes. The market moved against them before the season, and that looks to have been justified.

Texas’ bats have experienced a baffling collapse. Despite basically bringing the band back, the Rangers have gone from fourth in wRC+ to a shocking 24th. Sure, Josh Jung has missed almost the whole year, and Corey Seager was gone for a chunk, but that doesn’t come close to explaining this drop.

The batters’ performance has dropped off across the board, with every returning starter hitting worse than he did in 2023. Some bad luck has plagued players like Seager and Leody Taveras, but enough milk has been spilled that it probably can’t be cleaned up.

Max Scherzer has returned to the staff, and he still projects as solid. But half a year of Scherzer and whatever Jacob deGrom can provide doesn’t seem like enough to move the needle here. David Robertson and Kirby Yates are the only reliable bullpen arms.

Texas is even a hair further back than Houston, with a worse projection. The Rangers don’t seem likely to even have a chance to defend their crown in the playoffs.

More MLB betting Odds

Photo by Associated Press

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