- The Houston Astros have opened up as the 2020 World Series favorite at +500
- The New York Yankees only have a couple of key free agents like Didi Gregorious and Aroldis Chapman
- The Boston Red Sox (+1600) and Atlanta Braves (+1200) offer good value
The opening World Series odds have been posted and a lot of the teams that are favored are the ones that finished the 2019 campaign very well. Is it worth betting on any of the favorites right now or is there value further down the board? Let’s take a closer look at the odds.
2020 World Series Odds
|New York Yankees||+800|
|Boston Red Sox||+1200|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+1200|
|New York Mets||+1400|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+2000|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+2500|
|Los Angeles Angels||+3300|
|San Francisco Giants||+3300|
|San Diego Padres||+4000|
|Chicago White Sox||+5000|
|Kansas City Royals||+5000|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+10000|
Odds taken Oct. 30, 2019
Astros Are the Early Favorite
To no one’s surprise, the Astros are the favorite to win the 2020 World Series. Their 5-1 odds are comparable to the 6-1 odds they offered this season back on January 31 to win the 2019 World Series. That’s because they’re expected to bring most of their roster back outside of one key player: pitcher Gerrit Cole. There are some guys they have to think about like Joe Smith, Robinson Chirinos, Wade Miley and Will Harris, but Cole is the key.
For the most part, most people expect him to leave as he should become the highest-paid pitcher in the game. That may be too rich for the Astros. Even if he leaves, though, remember that the Astros acquired Zack Greinke and will have him for next season, so the Justin Verlander-Greinke duo should be quite formidable.
The other key here is that all of the Astros’ core players are coming back. That includes Jose Altuve, Yuli Gurriel, Carlos Correa, George Springer and Alex Bregman. Yordan Alvarez, who is among the main Rookie of the Year candidates, should take the next step. And this team has an excellent farm system too.
Sure, the Astros could lose Cole but they’re still more than capable of being a 100-win team without him. That along with their recent playoff pedigree is why they’re favored.
Yankees, Nationals Next in Line
The Washington Nationals and New York Yankees are next in line in terms of the odds and that’s not a surprise on either front. The Nats are not a team I’ll be betting here as they have a ton of work to do to maintain their roster. They’re going to have to open up the pocket books and I’m not sure they’re up for it.
Stephen Strasburg is set to become a free agent and he’s going to become among the highest-paid pitchers in the game. That’s probably around $25 million. Anthony Rendon, who has been one of the team’s best bats this season, will also become among the highest-paid players in the game. That could be around $30 million.
Then there are guys like Ryan Zimmerman, Howie Kendrick, Adam Eaton, Yan Gomes, Asdrubal Cabrera, Sean Doolittle and Daniel Hudson. Sure, the Nats could pick and choose here but they’ll be in a really tough spot to keep this roster in place.
As for the Yankees, they’re in much better shape. This is a team that has to take care of a couple of players like Didi Gregorious and Dellin Betances, but the rest of the lineup is mostly intact. We know this team has a stellar batting order that’s going to be mashing for years.
In terms of pitching, they have to make a decision on Aroldis Chapman this offseason but if they can go out and get a starter or two (Cole?), they’re going to be the team to beat. I have much more faith in the Yankees than I do the Nationals as we know the Yankees won’t stand pat.
Value With the Red Sox, Braves
The Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox are two teams that I would be interested in at this point. The Braves are a good bet because they have an excellent team that’s growing by the year, and they don’t have any overbearing concerns in free agency. Sure, it would be nice to bring back Josh Donaldson and Dallas Keuchel, but they can live without.
This is a team that won 97 games last season and is slowly growing into a perennial contender. Guys like Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna Jr., Mike Soroka, Austin Riley and Dansby Swanson are improving. They also have an excellent farm system.
As for the Red Sox, this is a team that’s one year removed from winning the World Series. Sure, things went sour last season but there is still a ton of talent here. They have to figure out what they’re doing with J.D. Martinez but there are still guys like Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Christian Vazquez and Andrew Benintendi.
Even in a “down” year, the Red Sox won 84 games and led the league in runs scored. Their pitching let them down, for the most part, and that’s fixable. Most importantly, you know that they’re going to open up the checkbooks. If David Price is reliable and Chris Sale gets over his elbow issues, that’s already a big step.
The Braves are at +1200 and the Red Sox are at +1600. They’d be my bets as of right now.