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In 80-Game MLB Season With Universal DH and 14-Team Playoffs, White Sox Stand Out as Good Value Bet

White Sox stadium
The White Sox look poised for success if baseball resumes. Photo from Flickr.
  • A proposal gaining approval from team owners would see an 82-game MLB season beginning July 4th weekend
  • Which teams offer the best bets in an 82-game campaign? What clubs should you consider as value bets?
  • Analysis of the odds, and some wagers to make on MLB’s proposed season are in the story below

It’s looking more likely that there’s going  be an MLB season after all. Put into dry dock in mid-March by the COVID-19 outbreak, MLB owners have drawn up a plan to launch an 82-game season that would begin on the July 4th weekend.

Under this proposal, teams would play interlocking schedules with their opposite division. The AL East and NL East, AL Central and NL Central and AL West and NL West would be grouped together. Seven teams in each league will qualify for postseason play.

Games would be played without spectators and the NL would join the AL in employing the DH. It should be noted that this plan still needs the rubber stamp of approval from the players to give it the go ahead.

Naturally, a shorter season changes things up in terms of competition. For instance, had the 2019 campaign ended after 82 games, the eventual World Series champion Washington Nationals wouldn’t have made the playoffs.

2020 World Series Odds

Team Odds
Los Angeles Dodgers +325
New York Yankees +325
Houston Astros +775
Atlanta Braves +1500
Minnesota Twins +1800
Washington Nationals +1800
New York Mets +2000
Chicago Cubs +2200
St. Louis Cardinals +2200
Tampa Bay Rays +2200

Odds taken May 12th

Dodgers Still the Cream

Even in what basically amounts to a half season, it’s still difficult to tab any club with better odds to win the World Series than the Los Angeles Dodgers. LA has been to two of the past three World Series.

The core from those clubs still remains intact. To that, the Dodgers brought 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts and 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner David Price into the fold.

The Dodgers are loaded with depth in starting pitching, the bullpen and among their position players. It’s difficult to find a weakness on this team.

Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers to win World Series (+325)

Shortened Season Benefits ChiSox

The defending champion Minnesota Twins are the deepest team in the AL Central, but in a shortened campaign, depth won’t prove as vital a quality.

2020 AL Central Odds

Team Odds
Minnesota Twins -160
Chicago White Sox +300
Cleveland Indians +300
Kansas City Royals +6600
Detroit Tigers +15000

The Chicago White Sox were among the boldest movers during the offseason. The ChiSox spent $200 million on free agents. They added 2015 AL Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel and two-time all-star catcher Yasmani Grandal.

Keuchel and 14-game winner Lucas Giolito headline a steady rotation. Closer Alex Colome saved 30 games.

A team already with solid everyday players like Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez, Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada is debuting AL ROY favorite Luis Robert.

The White Sox will benefit from lots of games against the Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pick: Chicago White Sox to win AL Central (+300)

Diamondbacks Closed 2019 Strongly

How much emphasis should be placed upon strong finishes to last season?

Arizona Diamondbacks Win Percentage Odds

Outcome Odds
Over 51.5% -110
Under 51.5% -110

The Arizona Diamondbacks closed out 2019 going 31-20.

The Diamondbacks were a .525 team last season and added Madison Bumgarner to their pitching staff. They’re rated to win 51.5% of their games this season.

That total seems beatable.

Pick: Arizona Diamondbacks over 51.5% winning percentage (-110).

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