- The Angels’ 2020 World Series odds are now third-best in AL
- The Halos replaced one-and-done manager Brad Ausmus with Joe Maddon
- Los Angeles signed the biggest position-player free agent in Anthony Rendon
The Los Angeles Angels’ 2020 World Series odds keep improving. The Halos now have the third-best consensus odds in the American League at +1900, up from +4500 less than two months ago. The team bid adieu to one-and-done manager Brad Ausmus, bringing in accomplished skipper Joe Maddon, and the franchise signed Anthony Rendon, the biggest free agent among position players.
2020 World Series Odds: AL Teams
Odds taken Jan. 23 at BetOnline.
Upon glancing at the table above, you may think it’s misleading to say the Angels have the third-best World Series odds in the American League. But that’s precisely the case according to the 2020 World Series odds, which averages the odds from multiple sources. The Halos, at +1900, rank only behind the Yankees (+300) and the Astros (+667) on the tracker.
Los Angeles was at +4500 Dec. 5, prior to signing Rendon and before Houston’s sign-stealing scandal came to light.
Should Maddon’s ball club have the odds they do? Or should bettors fade a team that has only made the postseason once in the last decade?
Another Big Fish
Of course, the biggest reason the Angels’ odds improved was the Rendon signing. Los Angeles was at +3767 prior to the former Nationals star heading west. They climbed to +2000 following the mega-deal.
Combining Rendon, who slashed .319/.412/.598 with 34 homers and an NL-leading 126 RBIs in 146 games last season, with three-time MVP Mike Trout could be formidable. The third baseman is the only other player besides Trout to have a WAR of six or more in each of the last three seasons.
But pairing an offensive stud with Trout hasn’t equaled success for the Halos. Albert Pujols, Justin Upton and Shohei Otani have all had flashes over the last eight seasons while sharing a clubhouse with Trout, who is a generational talent. And yes, Rendon in his prime is better than that trio. But I’m fading the notion that Rendon’s addition is enough to move the odds that much.
Rest of the Sea
What do the Angels have after Trout and Rendon? Well, for starters, Joe Maddon is still one of the game’s best strategists. Returning to the Junior Circuit, after winning a World Series for the Cubs then curiously falling out of favor with the Chicago front office, should serve the iconoclastic Maddon well.
The former Angels lifer — Maddon spent 31 years in the organization before taking over in Tampa Bay — is in familiar surroundings with new toys. Whether or not Otani will be ready for Opening Day is still undetermined following September knee surgery. But if the 2018 AL Rookie of the Year is ready, he’s the team’s third-best player and will help at the plate and hopefully on the mound.
The offense should be fine. It’s the pitching that leaves much to be desired. After swinging and missing on Gerrit Cole, the Halos’ rotation features the likes of Dylan Bundy, Andrew Heaney and Julio Teheran.
While serviceable — and ripe for Maddon’s tinkering — the pitching staff is far from elite. Worth betting on? Not for me.
Signs, Signs, Everywhere There’s Signs
How much the Houston scandal affects the Astros’ clubhouse remains to be seen. But prior to the controversy that left not one, not two, but three teams looking for new managers (AJ Hinch, Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran were all let go from their respective clubs for being affiliated with the fiasco), Houston was seen as the class of the American League. Houston is still without a replacement for Hinch.
I’m certainly fading the Astros as the second-favorite in the AL. While still loaded with talent, there’s too much of a dark cloud over the organization to meet expectations in 2020. But just how much does that open things up for Angels in the AL West?
The A’s are coming off consecutive 97-win seasons, and the Rangers should get a bump from moving into a new ballpark and acquiring Corey Kluber. With four teams battling for the division crown, I like teams like the Indians and Twins to benefit from Houston’s fall from grace more than the Angels.
Even with Rendon, Maddon and a more wide-open American League, I’m staying away from the Angels as a sleeper World Series team. There’s simply too many question marks.
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