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Defending Champion Nationals See 2020 World Series Odds Immediately Fade from +1200 to +1300

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in MLB Baseball

Nov 8, 2019 · 7:46 AM PST

Anthony Rendon running bases
The uncertain status of free agent third baseman Anthony Rendon is among many factors causing the 2020 World Series odds of the Washington Nationals to climb. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr)
  • The average odds of the Washington Nationals retaining their World Series title in 2020 have already faded from +1200 to +1300
  • Washington could potentially lose MLB RBI leader Anthony Rendon and World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg to free agency
  • There hasn’t been a repeat World Series champion since the 2000 season

The 2020 World Series odds of the defending champion Washington Nationals are fading back, back . . .

Okay, so they’re not gone yet. But in the nine days since the Nats celebrated their seven-game World Series triumph over the Houston Astros, Washington’s World Series odds are already going in the wrong direction.

Across the leading online sportsbooks, the 2020 World Series odds of the Nationals faded from +1200 to +1300.

2020 World Series Odds

Team Odds
Houston Astros +600
New York Yankees +600
Los Angeles Dodgers +800
Atlanta Braves +1200
Boston Red Sox +1300
Washington Nationals +1500
Cleveland Indians +1600
St. Louis Cardinals +2000
Philadelphia Phillies +2200
Chicago Cubs +2500
Minnesota Twins +2500
New York Mets +2500
Tampa Bay Rays +2500

Odds taken on November 8, 2019

Washington is the seventh betting choice to win at +1500.

World Series One and Done

By comparison, a year ago at this time, the Boston Red Sox, winners of the 2019 Fall Classic, were listed as the co-fourth betting choice to win the 2020 World Series at +1200.

There’s a reason why sportsbook fade defending World Series champions, and it’s one with a solid base of reasoning behind it. Teams no longer repeat as World Series winners. They haven’t for a long, long time.

When the New York Yankees won the 2000 World Series by defeating the New York Mets in five games, it marked the third straight Fall Classic triumph in a row for the Bronx Bombers. Since then, defending World Series champions are 0-for-19.

You don’t need to be a stats whiz to calculate that those are very bad analytics.

All of the other three North American major sports championships – the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup final and NBA Finals – have seen back-to-back winners during that same time period.

In the World Series, though, repeating the beating has become like pitchers batting in American League games. It just doesn’t happen anymore.

Nationals Have Issues

It’s conceivable that two vital cogs in Washington’s World Series win might not be in the nation’s capital on opening day of the 2020 MLB season. Third baseman Anthony Rendon is a free agent.

All Rendon did last season was lead the majors with 126 RBI. He also batted .319 with 34 homers. Rendon posted a 6.3 WAR and shows a 16.4 WAR over the past three seasons.

In September, Rendon turned down a seven-year, $215 million offer from Washington.

World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg elected to use the opt-out clause of his seven-year, $175 million contract extension he agreed to in May of 2016 to declare free agency, and who can blame him? Strasburg led the NL in innings pitched (209) and registered an ERA+ of 138 with 251 strikeouts. He was utterly dominant during the postseason.

Rendon and Strasburg are going to get paid. But will Washington be the team doing the paying? Last season, the Nationals let 2015 NL MVP Bryce Harper walk away, and still won the World Series.

Go For a Price

Last season at this time, the Nationals were +1500 to win it all. As late of February of 2018, you could still get +1700 odds on the Boston Red Sox wining with the 2018 World Series.

The St. Louis Cardinals were among baseball’s hottest teams during the second half of the 2019 season. The Redbirds went 47-27 (.635) after the MLB All-Star break. They figure to be a major player in the Rendon sweepstakes.

Getting +1500 right now on St. Louis could prove a wise investment.

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