World Series Futures: The Four Teams Moving Up Most Since Opening Day

Written By Stephen Andress on May 4, 2021 - Last Updated on May 5, 2021
World Series futures

We have reached the second month of baseball season and, despite the fact that the vast majority of the 162-game season remains to be played, World Series futures are already on the move at sportsbooks.

The oddsmakers have made big changes in potential payouts for some teams. We’ll take a look at which odds have likely moved due to on-field performance and which odds have likely moved due to increased handle percentage, comparing opening day handle percentage at DraftKings Sportsbook to now.

First, let’s take a look at the biggest shifts in World Series futures in terms of potential payout.

Further below, two tables will show how odds have shifted both in terms of potential payout and implied probability. For example, +1000 odds equal an implied probability of 9.1%. The data in the May 4 column come from the best available odds across several legal sportsbooks.

You can use our World Series futures page to track live odds and shop for the best price.

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World Series Futures: Four Biggest Movers Up The Board

Kansas City Royals: 110-1 down to

No team has seen their World Series odds shorten more than the Royals in terms of potential payout. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, there’s been a slight change in handle percentage since Opening Day, increasing from 0.3% to 0.5% of all money wagered on World Series futures. Through May 3rd, Kansas City has a record of 16-11 to lead the AL Central; however, KC has a run differential of -5. Based on that, their expected win-loss record is 13-14. The Royals are 13th in team OPS and a 4.48 team ERA is good enough for only 22nd in baseball. Royals pitchers have struggled putting runners on base, ranking 5th in walks per nine innings.

San Francisco Giants: 110-1 down to

The percentage of money bet on the Giants to win the World Series has not changed since Opening Day at DraftKings Sportsbook– the handle percentage remains 0.2%. This is a move based on the early success of the Giants. At 17-11, San Francisco holds a half-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West after May 3rd. Their expected record matches that 17-11 mark as well, supported by a +25 run differential. That’s second in the National League, behind only the Dodgers. The Giants have the second-best team ERA in baseball at 3.00, behind only the Padres. A huge part of that has been their starting pitching, where San Francisco’s starters lead Major League Baseball with a 2.34 ERA and are second in innings pitched. The starters also lead MLB in ground ball percentage. That has made up for a 20th-ranked bullpen ERA of 4.30.

Boston Red Sox: 45-1 down to

This is also a change in odds based on early team success. According the DraftKings Sportsbook, the World Series futures handle percentage for the Red Sox has not changed from Opening Day, still at 2%. Is Boston back? Maybe. Their 17-12 record after May 3rd is justified by a +20 run differential. The Red Sox have a top-10 bullpen ERA in the early going and 3.98 ERA from starting pitching, ranking 12th in baseball. Their pitching stats are pretty much middle of the road across the board, but the offense has lifted the Sox. Boston is second in baseball in team OPS.

Milwaukee Brewers: 45-1 down to

Many sharp baseball bettors were on the Brewers in Spring Training, with odds before Opening Day that were even longer than +4500. The NL Central was thought to be wide open, but the popular preseason projection systems from FanGraphs and PECOTA were on the Brewers. However, the change in odds at DraftKings Sportsbook does not appear to be based on increased handle. The operator reports the same 1% handle on the Brewers from Opening Day.

So far, the Brew Crew is still making the algorithms look good. They are tied with the Cardinals in the NL Central after May 3rd at 17-12, but a deeper dive does show some concern. Milwaukee has a -2 run differential and an expected win-loss record of 14-15. St. Louis has a +20 run differential. The Brewers’ starters rank sixth in baseball with an ERA of 3.17 and a ground ball percentage that trails only the Giants. They are also 7th in strikeouts per nine innings. Milwaukee may need its offense to get going though to maintain this all season, ranking just 25th in team OPS. Add in an 18th-ranked bullpen ERA of 4.27, and there’s more cause for concern.

Video: Cardinals Among World Series Values

World Series Futures: Biggest Changes in Potential Payouts

TeamMarch 29 oddsMay 4 oddsPayout Change
Kansas City Royals110007000-4000
San Francisco Giants110008000-3000
Boston Red Sox45002000-2500
Milwaukee Brewers45002200-2300
Los Angeles Angels35002500-1000
Houston Astros25002000-500
Oakland Athletics25002200-300
New York Mets1000950-50
Los Angeles Dodgers350325-25
San Diego Padres800900100
New York Yankees550725175
Minnesota Twins18002200400
Toronto Blue Jays22002600400
Chicago White Sox8501300450
Atlanta Braves10001500500
Cleveland Indians40004500500
Tampa Bay Rays25003200700
Cincinnati Reds350045001000
Philadelphia Phillies350045001000
St. Louis Cardinals220035001300
Chicago Cubs350055002000
Washington Nationals350055002000
Seattle Mariners8000100002000
Baltimore Orioles11000150004000
Texas Rangers15000200005000
Miami Marlins6500120005500
Arizona Diamondbacks13000200007000
Detroit Tigers100002000010000
Pittsburgh Pirates150002500010000
Colorado Rockies150002500010000

World Series Futures: Biggest Changes in Implied Probability

TeamMarch 29 Implied ProbabilityMay 4 Implied ProbabilityImplied Probability Change
Boston Red Sox2.24.82.6
Milwaukee Brewers2.24.32.1
Los Angeles Dodgers22.223.51.3
Houston Astros3.84.81.0
Los Angeles Angels2.83.81.0
Oakland Athletics3.84.30.5
Kansas City Royals0.91.40.5
New York Mets9.19.50.4
San Francisco Giants0.91.20.3
Cleveland Indians2.42.2-0.2
Seattle Mariners1.21-0.2
Texas Rangers0.70.5-0.2
Baltimore Orioles0.90.7-0.2
Pittsburgh Pirates0.70.4-0.3
Colorado Rockies0.70.4-0.3
Arizona Diamondbacks0.80.5-0.3
Detroit Tigers1.00.5-0.5
Toronto Blue Jays4.33.7-0.6
Cincinnati Reds2.82.2-0.6
Philadelphia Phillies2.82.2-0.6
Miami Marlins1.50.8-0.7
Tampa Bay Rays3.83-0.8
Chicago Cubs2.81.8-1.0
Washington Nationals2.81.8-1.0
Minnesota Twins5.34.3-1.0
San Diego Padres11.110-1.1
St. Louis Cardinals4.32.8-1.5
Atlanta Braves9.16.3-2.8
New York Yankees15.412.1-3.3
Chicago White Sox10.57.1-3.4
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Written by
Stephen Andress

Stephen Andress joined Catena Media as Managing Editor of TheLines.com in March 2021. He began his career as a sports anchor and reporter in Eugene, OR before moving to Louisville, KY. There he covered the Kentucky Derby, Sugar Bowl and three consecutive Final Fours. Stephen later won an Emmy award while working for the Indianapolis Colts. More recently, he produced content for the PGA TOUR and multiple fantasy football and sports betting websites. Nothing has excited him more in his career than seeing legalized sports betting in the United States and the opportunity to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for it. His hobbies include kicking his high school friends' butts in fantasy football, Japanese whisky and Kentucky bourbon, golf outrights and supporting RIP Medical Debt, a charity which works to wipe out medical bills for those who have been unable to cover the cost of getting sick.

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