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MLB Opening Day Reactions: Astros Now Co-Favorites to Win World Series

Ryan Murphy

by Ryan Murphy in MLB Baseball

Updated Jan 6, 2023 · 8:30 AM PST

George Springer
Oddsmakers are expecting big things from George Springer and the Astros. Photo by Keith Allison (flickr).
  • Major League Baseball’s Opening Day made quite an impression on oddsmakers
  • The Astros are now co-favored to win the World Series
  • Sportsbooks are already souring on the Phillies’ chances of winning the NL Pennant 

Opening Day isn’t just a busy time for Major Leaguers. It’s also a busy time for bookmakers, who pore over every pitch of every game and diligently re-adjust their futures odds to reflect each teams’ performance. We’ve taken a deep dive into their latest calculations and have identified five of the most noteworthy line movements from Opening Day.

Astros Co-Favorites to Win the World Series

Houston saw its odds of winning the 2019 World Series improve significantly, where they went from +700 on March 22nd to +600 on March 29th. Online sportsbooks now have the Astros neck-and-neck with the Yankees as co-favorites to hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy this October.

2019 World Series Odds

Team 2019 World Series Odds
Houston Astros +600
New York Yankees +600
Boston Red Sox +700
Los Angeles Dodgers +900
Philadelphia Phillies +1000

All odds taken 03/29/19.

The Astros looked every bit like a champion on Opening Day as they crushed the Rays 5-1. Justin Verlander led the way, striking out nine in seven innings as he outdueled fellow Cy Young winner Blake Snell.

It remains to be seen whether Verlander will justify his $66 million extension, but for one day at least he looked like the best pitcher in baseball.

Oddsmakers Are Fading the Braves’ Odds of Winning the NL East

The Braves shocked the world in 2018 by capturing the NL East crown one year after losing 90 games. It was a true rags-to-riches story, but oddsmakers don’t expect it to happen again. Sportsbooks have given the new-look Phillies the shortest odds to win the NL East at +175. Atlanta, meanwhile, opened at +240 on March 25th, and saw their odds lengthen to +250 on March 29th.

2019 NL East Odds

Team 2019 NL East Odds
Philadelphia Phillies +175
Atlanta Braves +250
Washington Nationals +250
New York Mets +360
Miami Marlins +20000

The divisional pecking order played out as anticipated on Opening Day as Philadelphia demolished Atlanta 10-4.

Andrew McCutchen, Maikel Franco, and Rhys Hoskins all homered for the Phillies, and Aaron Nola barely broke a sweat, striking out eight in six innings.

Warming Up to Seattle After the Mariners’ 3-0 Start

Fans were quick to write off the Mariners this winter after the team embarked on an aggressive fire sale that saw them part ways with All-Stars Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, Jean Segura, and Nelson Cruz, as well as ace James Paxton.

Oddsmakers understandably had Seattle pegged as a +6600 longshot to win the 2019 World Series on March 22nd, but has since warmed up to Scott Servais’ rag tag crew, adjusting their odds to +6000 on March 29th.

2019 World Series Odds

Team 2019 World Series Odds
(1) New York Yankees +550
(2) Houston Astros +650
(3) Boston Red Sox +650
(4) Los Angeles Dodgers +750
(20) Seattle Mariners +6000

That bump can be attributed to Seattle’s perfect start as the Mariners are now 3-0 following a two-game series against the A’s in Japan, and an Opening Day win versus the Red Sox at home.

The M’s won’t remain undefeated for long, but they looked sharp yesterday, hanging 12 runs on the defending champs and chasing Cy Young hopeful Chris Sale out of the game after just three innings.

Astros Already Crowned in AL West

The Astros entered the 2019 season with plenty of fan fare as the only team in the Majors to win 100 games in back-to-back seasons. Sportsbooks liked their chances of winning the AL West for the third straight year so much that they assigned them -700 odds on March 25th.

It seemed unlikely those odds would get any shorter, but the online sportsbook readjusted them to -750 on March 29th following the team’s resounding victory over the Rays.

2019 AL West Odds

Team 2019 AL West Odds
Houston Astros -750
Oakland A’s +700
Los Angeles Angels +1000
Seattle Mariners +2200
Texas Rangers +6000

Houston now has the shortest divisional odds of any team and is light years ahead of the A’s, who are a distant +700, and Angels, who sit at +1000.

Dodgers’ NL Pennant Odds Get a Boost After Record-Setting Opening Day

The Dodgers odds’ of winning the NL Pennant went from +380 on March 25th to +350 on March 29th.

The online sportsbook was already bullish on Los Angeles before the season began, but found new reasons to love LA after the team set an Opening Day record by hitting eight home runs, including five homers in the first six innings.

2019 NL Pennant Odds

Team 2019 AL West Odds
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
Philadelphia Phillies +610
Chicago Cubs +625
St. Louis Cardinals +640
Milwaukee Brewers +715

The Dodgers’ improved odds have had a profound impact on their closest competitors as the Phillies went from +450 to +610, and the Cubs tumbled from +600 to +625.

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