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Phillies a Top 5 2019 World Series Contender after Signing Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
Bryce Harper is Philadelphia-bound after signing a $330 million deal with the Phillies. Photo by Lorie Shaull (flickr) [CC License].
  • Bryce Harper signed a 13-year, $330 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies
  • The contract is the largest financial commitment in MLB history
  • The Phillies finished third in the NL East last season with an 80-82 record

The Bryce Harper sweepstakes are finally over with the superstar outfielder signing a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. A week ago the Phillies’ odds to win the 2019 World Series were +1300, but those days, like the sweepstakes themselves, are in the rear view mirror. The Philadelphia are now not only seen as contenders, but the second biggest threat in the National League.

2019 World Series Odds

Team  Odds
Boston Red Sox +600
Houston Astros +600
New York Yankees +600
Los Angeles Dodgers +700
Philadelphia Phillies +850

*Odds taken on 02/28/19. Click on the link in the table above to see odds for all 30 MLB teams.

After a wild offseason, the Phillies joining the list of contenders isn’t a surprise, but the fact they sit fifth is. Here’s a quick list of reasons why jumping on their odds now is a great bet.

Phillies Spend Big to Compete in NL East

The Phillies added Harper, Jean Segura, Andrew McCutchen, J.T. Realmuto and others this offseason. They spent $440 million after their offseason additions and subtractions.

After losing Harper, the Washington Nationals will likely take a step back, leaving the division crown to the Atlanta Braves or the Phillies. Atlanta was stuck in the muck most of the offseason, outside of a gamble on the aging, oft-injured Josh Donaldson.  With Philadelphia spending big and the other contenders in the division doing little to keep up, it seems like a division crown at the very least is in the Phillies future.

The Price is Right

Are there other contenders for the World Series? Of course. Mostly in the American League, where you’ll find the Astros, Red Sox, and Yankees in an arms race that is likely to result in an amazing summer. That said, the price tag on the Phillies is great.  +850 for a legitimate title contender is intriguing.

In addition to the new look lineup, the Phillies also boast a rotation with two key pieces that could be vital come playoff time. Cy Young threat Aaron Nola and veteran Jake Arrieta offer a fantastic one-two punch. A team with this amount of hitting, plus two studs on the mound, probably shouldn’t be paying +850 when you think about it. As this gets bet and bet often, the price will only get worse.

Vegas Reaction Suggests Phillies Hype is Real

When the San Diego Padres inked Manny Machado to his monster deal, the lines barely moved. The signing was met with a collective yawn and for good reason, as the Padres aren’t a threat in 2019. The Phillies, on the other hand, brought in star after star and Vegas took notice, moving the odds. It’s easy to look and think you missed the boat now that the odds aren’t as enticing as they once were, but the pro move is to take the reaction as a hint that you need to get on board.

Pick: Phillies (+850)

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