Opening World Series Odds have been published at Bovada, and our MLB Handicapper runs down the list to identify the Contenders and Pretenders worth your pick.
The MLB Winter Meetings are upon us, and so are opening 2016 World Series Odds at Bovada. Let’s run down which of these wagers actually have some value.
San Francisco Giants +800: The Giants signed hard throwing Jeff Samardzija to a five-year, $90 million deal before the Winter Meetings. They are still reportedly in the market for another starting pitcher and a left fielder. You can’t be the World Series favorite and missing any pieces so this is a pass.
Chicago Cubs +900: The Cubs haven’t won a World Series in 107 years. If this was 107:1 it might be worth your wager.
Boston Red Sox +900: Now we’re talking. The Red Sox were predicted to win 86 games last year according to the futures markets, and ended up last in the AL East. They won’t be jumping Toronto in 2016 either so this is a pass.
New York Mets +1000: The Mets still have plenty of nice pieces in their roster, and their reluctance to overpay to keep Yoenis Cespedes so far gives some hope that this team is more than just a one-year splash. This may be worth a look, but look for the odds to improve as other teams make splashy additions.
Kansas City Royals +1200: The Royals are now in the mode of trying to keep their championship team together, especially left fielder Alex Gordon. Their excellent bullpen will go through enough regression to make a repeat an unlikely scenario.
Los Angeles Dodgers +1400: With the Dodgers losing Greinke to the Diamondbacks there is some logic to why a 92-win team is down this far in the odds. LA has picked up Hisashi Iwakuma; however, an underrated starter who was with the Mariners the last three years. I think the Dodgers have some value here at 14 to 1.
Toronto Blue Jays +1600: Speaking of value, the Toronto Blue Jays lead all of the MLB last year with a +221 run differential. I’m going to enjoy seeing how many runs this lineup of Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, and Troy Tulowitzki can put up. They just might have enough offense to keep up with the loss of David Price.
St. Louis Cardinals +1600: So far the Cards haven’t done much in the offseason, and have an aging roster trying to keep up with the Cubs and Pirates in the NL Central. A wager on the Pirates has more value than taking the Cardinals to even win the NL Central for the 4th year in a row.
Washington Nationals +1600: Oh, how the hyped have fallen. Picked to win 119 games in 2015, the Nationals are looking to rebuild their bullpen this offseason. Bullpen signings aren’t the sexiest, so the Nationals are worth keeping an eye on. If they make a few deft moves, they could be a value pick at 16 to 1.
Houston Astros +1600: The Astros arrived a year earlier than they were supposed to in 2015, much to the surprise of the rest of the American League. All of the three other teams at 16 to 1 are more attractive to me than the Astros are right now, to be honest.
Pittsburgh Pirates +1800: The Pirates winning of 98 games last year wasn’t a fluke, as their team of young super stars hit their prime at the same time. With a great chance to make the playoffs again in 2016, at 18 to 1 this is where the odds are deserving of a flyer bet or two.
Texas Rangers +2000: Texas has the longest odds on the board for any 2015 division winner, and for good reason. Their +18 run differential in 2015 suggests an element of luck in their 88 wins, and their early exit from the playoffs backs this up. Word on the street is the Rangers are looking for two starting pitchers. That’s a lot of uncertainty to be worth any wager for a World Series win.
Arizona Diamondbacks +2000: The Diamondbacks have made the splashiest move of the winter, signing Zach Greinke to a six-year $206.5 million contract. This has shades of the late 90’s, when the Diamondbacks signed Randy Johnson and went on a run of dominance and a World Series win in 2001. It will either be a galvanizing force or a complete disaster for the D-Backs.
Next time we will look at those teams with odds at 25 to 1 or higher, to see if there are any dark horses worth your time!