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Which MLB Teams Will Benefit the Most from Coronavirus Delay?

New York Yankees
The delay of the MLB season could allow Yankees' slugger Aaron Judge enough time to recover from his rib injury and be ready for Opening Day. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr).
  • MLB has delayed the start of the 2020 season by at least two weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic
  • The delay will allow teams with major injury problems to heal, therefore making them more valuable in the World Series odds market
  • See the current World Series odds as well as who we think could benefit from a shorter offseason below

MLB announced Thursday that the start of the 2020 season will be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. While the action on the diamond may be paused for now, there is no hiatus for the baseball futures’ market. Online sportsbooks are still taking World Series bets, and plenty of teams stand to benefit from an extended break.

2020 MLB World Series Odds

Team Odds
New York Yankees +350
Los Angeles Dodgers +375
Houston Astros +800
Atlanta Braves +1400
Minnesota Twins +1600
Tampa Bay Rays +1800
Washington Nationals +1800
New York Mets +2000
St. Louis Cardinals +2000
Philadelphia Phillies +2200
Chicago Cubs +2500
Chicago White Sox +2500
Cincinnati Reds +2500
Los Angeles Angels +2500
Oakland Athletics +2500
Milwaukee Brewers +2800
Boston Red Sox +3000
Cleveland Indians +3000
San Diego Padres +3500
Arizona Diamondbacks +5000
Texas Rangers +8000
Toronto Blue Jays +8000
Colorado Rockies +15000
San Francisco Giants +20000
Pittsburgh Pirates +25000
Seattle Mariners +30000
Baltimore Orioles +85000
Detroit Tigers +100000
Kansas City Royals +100000
Miami Marlins +100000

Odds taken Mar 12th

Perhaps the team with the most to gain is the New York Yankees, the current favorite in the 2020 World Series odds.

The Rich get Richer

The Yankees’ have been hit hard by injuries this spring to both their pitching staff and their offense. Luis Severino was ruled out for the season thanks to a shoulder injury and James Paxton isn’t expected to return until May after back surgery. With two of their top-three starters down, the back end of New York’s rotation looked vulnerable.

Now, with the season delayed, Paxton’s absence should be short-lived, and the trio of Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ should be more than capable of shouldering the early season load.

As for the offense, sluggers Aaron Judge (ribs) and Giancarlo Stanton (calf) were both expected to miss Opening Day, but now could be ready to go once the season finally starts up, or shortly thereafter. Just to be clear, the Yankees lineup would still have been terrifying without those two studs, but now that we can safely assume they’ll miss limited action, the Bronx Bombers’ will truly live up to their reputation.

As if New York needed any more help, now they won’t have to play as many games without center fielder Aaron Hicks either. The 30-year-old is targeting a June return from Tommy John surgery, which means his absence won’t be felt for long. The rich get richer, and all of a sudden the Yankees’ +350 World Series odds look very enticing.

Who Else Stands to Benefit Greatly?

Another AL team with plenty of injury concerns is the Cleveland Indians. They were expected to open the season without starters Carlos Carrasco (elbow) and Mike Clevinger (knee), and potentially without center fielder Oscar Mercado (wrist) as well. For a team who already dealt Corey Kluber, going down two starters could have spelt doom.

Now, however, the added rest could be enough time for all three to heal. That bodes well for Indians’ backers at +3000, because without those three key pieces, Cleveland was sure to dig themselves an early hole.

Shorter Season Could Increase Volatility

While MLB was only delayed the season for two weeks as of now, that period could be significantly longer depending on how this pandemic plays out. The longer the delay, the shorter the eventual season will be and that could definitely increase the volatility in the MLB futures market, especially in the divisional odds.

Trendy sleepers like the Chicago White Sox will be far more live to win the division because they won’t have to excel for as long. Plenty of teams are capable of staying hot for a few months if a few breaks go their way, and bettors who are looking to cash in on a long shot should target teams like the White Sox, Padres, Diamondbacks and Rangers to win their division.

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