We are less than a week removed from the Giants winning the 2014 World Series, but we already see some nice value plays in the MLB 2015 World Series Futures!
You can put a wrap on the 2014 MLB season with the San Francisco Giants needing the full seven games to put away the Kansas City Royals in an exciting World Series battle between two wild card MLB picks. That marked the first World Series ever in a non-strike season that pitted two teams that did not win 90 games during the regular season, but that did not take away from the excitement of the series.
Now, the 2014 season may have just ended but the 2015 World Series Futures have already been released at Bovada! Obviously it is tricky trying to find value at this early stage with a plethora of big free agent signings expected in the upcoming months, and for that very reason we would not recommend taking any short prices for the time being.
Nationals and Dodgers Co-Favored
For the record, the top two seeds in the National League this past season are the current co-favorites at +750 odds for the 2015 World Series in the Washington Nationals, who had the best record in the NL this year, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who finished two games behind Washington with the second best record.
Those are also the only two teams currently listed at single-digits, as the teams with the two best records in the American League in 2014, the Los Angeles Angels and the Detroit Tigers, as the co-third choices at +1000.
Here are the Top 10 favorites on the 2015 World Series Futures at Bovada as of this writing:
Washington Nationals +750
Los Angeles Dodgers +750
Detroit Tigers +1000
Los Angeles Angels +1000
St. Louis Cardinals +1200
San Francisco Giants +1200
Seattle Mariners +1800
Kansas City Royals +1800
Oakland Athletics +2000
Pittsburgh Pirates +2000
As mentioned, we are not fans of taking short prices this early in the game, and of these top 10 favorites, the only two teams that we find even mildly intriguing are the two co-ninth choices Oakland and Pittsburgh, each at 20/1 odds. Also three teams that we feel are severely overvalued and would not bet with other people’s money are the defending champion Giants at 12/1, the Mariners at 18/1 and the Royals at 18/1.
So Where is the Early Value?
So who exactly would we be willing to put our money on right now? Well, we have two recommendations and you need to scroll down below the top 10 to find each of them. Then again, that is generally not a bad idea even when the season draws closer, as it would take an absolutely dominant team for is to accept less than 15/1 or so on any Future anyway and we do not expect to see any dominant teams next year as of now.
And there is certainly some speculation involved when playing futures this early, and in the case of our first longshot, we are expecting them to make a big splash in the free agent pitching market to enhance their chances in 2015. As for the second longshot, this is a team that was beset by injuries in 2014 and was never able to play to its maximum potential.
So without further ado, here are our two longshot 2015 World Series choices as of early November of 2014.
Boston Red Sox +2200
Although it has absolutely nothing to our reasons for liking the Red Sox in 2015, one fun fact about them is that they went from finishing in last place in 2012 to first place (and a World Championship) in 2013 to last place again in 2014, making them the first team in MLB history with that last, first, last pattern in that order over any three-year period! And if that pattern now continues…
But that is enough about karma, so let us now move on to some facts. When the Red Sox traded away starting pitchers Jon Lester and John Lackey at the trading deadline, they opted not to trade them for prospects that may or may not help them sometime down the line, but rather for proven Major Leaguers in outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, first baseman Allen Craig and pitcher Joe Kelly.
Granted Boston uncharacteristically struggled offensively this past season, but having Cespedes and Craig from Day 1 should help next season while David Ortiz showed no signs of age this year belting 35 homers and driving in 104 runs and Dustin Pedroia was solid as usual. Add in Cuban import Rusney Castillo and the Boston offense should be more reminiscent of years past than the 2014 version.
But perhaps more importantly the Red Sox have more money to spend in free agency than a lot of other teams and there is wide speculation that money will be spent to bring back Lester and also to sign James Shields away from the Royals, suddenly making the Boston rotation formidable again. And if those signings happen as expected, this 22/1 would look awfully good.
Cincinnati Reds +3300
If the Reds were at full strength this past season, they easily could have contended for the National League Central Division crown. Instead Cincinnati lost former MVP Joey Votto and All-Star Brandon Phillips for much of the season and they also had a bevy of other injuries that put a lot of pressure on Jay Bruce to try and carry the offense, and as a result he had just a terrible season.
Now you would think that a repeat of all of those injuries will not happen again in 2015, which would probably allow Bruce to relax and return to being his old run-producing self. One positive that came out of 2014 was the blossoming of Todd Frazier, and if he continues to move forward in 2015, the Reds could have a vastly underrated offense provided their stars can stay in one piece.
And if the Reds get into the playoffs, that would make them already dangerous because they do have three potential stud starting pitchers in Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey and Matt Latos, with Cueto being the only member of that trio to effectively avoid the injury bug that swept across the entire Cincinnati team for the whole season.
If you believe that the plethora of injuries the Reds had this year were just a random anomaly that will not repeat, then Cincinnati could have the best value of all at 33/1.