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Braves 2019 World Series Odds Slide; ATL No Longer Possess Best Odds Among NL East Teams

Braves rookie Ronald Acuna, Jr. circles the bases after hitting a go-ahead home run.
Braves rookie Ronald Acuna, Jr. circles the bases after hitting a go-ahead home run. Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire.
  • The defending NL East champion Atlanta Braves are no longer the NL East favorites to win the World Series in 2019
  • Both the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies now have better average odds than the Braves
  • The Phillies, in 2008, were the last NL East team to win the World Series

Evidently, Nick Markakis thinks that the Atlanta Braves are a more solid future investment than do the sportsbooks. The veteran outfielder took a $7 million pay cut from $11 million to $4 million to stay with the defending NL East champion Braves.

Meanwhile, Atlanta’s average odds to win the 2019 World Series have gone from as low as +1300 to all the way up to +1800 across a number of online sportsbooks.

2019 World Series Odds

Team Odds to Win 2019 World Series at BetOnline (01/16/19)
New York Yankees +700
Boston Red Sox +750
Houston Astros +800
Los Angeles Dodgers +800
Chicago Cubs +1200
Phildelphia Phillies +1200
St. Louis Cardinals +1200
Milwaukee Brewers +1400
Atlanta Braves +1600
Cleveland Indians +1600
New York Mets +1600

*Follow link for complete list

Both the Washington Nationals (+1500) and Philadelphia Phillies (+1600) have lower average odds to win this season’s Fall Classic than do the Braves.

Is a Braves Regression to Be Expected?

Atlanta was the Cinderella story of the Major Leagues in 2018. Despite fielding one of the youngest and least experienced rosters in all of big-league baseball, the Braves made a magical 180-degree turnaround, going from 90 losses in 2017 and 25 games out of first, to a 90-win campaign last season and their first NL East title since 2013.

Rookies Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies led this resurgence, combining to clout 50 homers and drive in 136 runs. Of the eight youngest pitchers to start a game in the majors last season, five were Braves, and four of them – Bryse Wilson, Kolby Allard, Mike Soroka, and Touki Toussaint – won their big-league debuts, just the second time that’s happened on one team in the same season in 110 years.

Are the Braves About to Be Bold?

There were reports out of Atlanta on the weekend that the Braves had been in contact with third baseman/shortstop Manny Machado, one of two big-time free-agent bats still out there on the market along with Bryce Harper.

According to published reports, the Braves touched base with Machado’s agent Dan Lozano, but still aren’t believed a front runner for Machado’s services. The Braves have also been linked to free agent closer Craig Kimbrel, but Atlanta GM Alex Anthopoulos downplayed that notion.

The Braves have already signed 2015 AL MVP Josh Donaldson to a one-year, $23 million contract.

Who is the Chalk in the NL East?

That’s a tough call at this point. With so many balls still in play, the NL East is a real toss up, and has been in recent years, with three different teams winning the title over the past four seasons.

The NL East is a real toss up, and has been in recent years, with three different teams winning the title over the past four seasons.

Machado has also been linked to the Phillies, as was Harper, who now is being favored to stick with the Nationals. The Phillies were also a team on the rise last season until a late-season swoon took them out of the playoff picture. The Nats completely imploded last year and with or without Harper, should be a much better team than in 2018.

A cryptic tweet posted by the video game MLB The Show on Monday seemed to suggest Harper’s destination might be forthcoming shortly.

The Braves haven’t won back-to-back division titles since capturing 11 in a row from 1995-2005. With so much youth in the lineup, a sophomore step back wouldn’t be shocking.

This division will be decided by where Machado and Harper ultimately end up.

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An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.