The 2019 season has officially ended, as the Nationals won a thrilling seven game series over Houston. As we turn to an exciting offseason with a lot of big names potentially on the move and in free agency, we could see the odds change. The Dodgers will be in the thick of it again, and it was another disappointing exit. The Yankees will look to stay healthy and compete again, while Boston will try and rebound from a bad year. Will there be any small market surprises? Could we see a repeat of the Astros and Nationals? FanDuel Sportsbook has odds primed and ready for the 2020 World Series, with Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta all leading the way.
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+380|
|New York Yankees||+380|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+1800|
|New York Mets||+2200|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+2300|
|Chicago White Sox||+3300|
|Los Angeles Angels||+3500|
|Boston Red Sox||+4600|
|San Diego Padres||+5000|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+10000|
|San Francisco Giants||+50000|
|Kansas City Royals||+50000|
Will Free Agency Tip The Scales?
There are a lot of crucial free agents out there this winter, and also we have some big names on the trade market. Let’s start with the names that were in the playoffs. Anthony Rendon is the big one for Washington, and this team would have a big hole to fill if he moves on. Rumors are Washington will offer up big money to keep him, which would keep their odds up there. They are currently +1400, which is the 6th highest. At the same position, Josh Donaldson took a one year deal with the Braves, and his bat really heated up in the second half. While on the older side, he is a crucial part of the offense for Atlanta.
Gerrit Cole is going to be the hot ticket this offseason, as he is barely going to be turning 30 and has been one of the best pitchers in baseball since joining Houston. Say Cole moves on from Houston, we are looking at a drop off in the Astros rotation. Any team that gets Cole should see a sizable bump in World Series Odds. Stephen Strasburg could opt out, which seems even more likely as he could get a bigger deal.. Hyun-Jin Ryu, Michael Pineda, Jake Odorizzi, and Kyle Gibson are a few other playoff pitchers that will be on the open market this winter.
Other Notable Free Agents & Possible Opt Outs
- Zack Wheeler
- Madison Bumgarner
- Cole Hamels
- Nelson Cruz
- Jose Quintana
- Yu Darvish
- JD Martinez
- Nicholas Castellanos
- Starling Marte
- Marcell Ozuna
- Anthony Rizzo
- Jose Abreu
- Yasmani Grandal
The Front Runners
The final few teams each of the last few years has been easy to predict, and not much is changing heading into 2020 at the moment. The Astros are favorites at +500, with the Dodgers at +600. While Cole is a question mark to return, this roster is going to be mostly intact, which makes them a strong futures bet. Los Angeles had an early exit, but still bring one of the best rosters to the table. They also could make a big move to bolster their roster. The Yankees are in a great place for now and the future with all the young talent they have. Unfortunately they ran into the buzzsaw that is the Houston Astros. Atlanta was close and would start the next tier of teams. They are +1100, but upgrades to their pitching staff and bullpen would certainly help.
Boston is the interesting one right now at +1200. Chris Sale‘s health remains a big question mark, and overall the pitching from top to bottom has to improve to even think about contending. They play in one of the toughest divisions in baseball, and there are even more questions surrounding Mookie Betts and JD Martinez. The goal is to get under the luxury tax, and that is going to be tough to do in addition to trying to stay a legitimate contender. Washington comes in at +1400, which is the sixth highest. Re-signing Rendon, and keeping this team together with a few minor additions would have them right back in the hunt again this year.
Can Phillies, Cubs, Brewers, and Cardinals Bounce Back?
These are the four teams in the next tier that are not that far off from establishing themselves as contenders. Philadelphia’s 2019 season did not go as planned, which was disappointing given the moves they made over the offseason. Overall the offense underperformed, and the staff was not at the level of competition it needed to be. Playing in a tough division with the Braves, Nationals, and Mets, it will be a battle. Offseason moves are once again going to dictate next season’s fate, as they can’t continue with this same pitching staff outside of Aaron Nola.
Three NL Central teams were in a battle this year, and 2020 projects to be the same way. The Cardinals ultimately didn’t have enough juice to get past a surging Washington team in the 2019 postseason, and Milwaukee failed to beat them in the Wild Card game. The problem with the Cardinals and Brewers is that they haven’t addressed their biggest need, starting pitching. Chicago is somewhat entering a new era. Joe Maddon was fired, and he is now with the Angels. Chicago hired David Ross to run the show, and they are looking for a change of pace given the subpar years since the World Series. There is still a load of talent here, and the Cubs will be looking to shake things up over the offseason. +2000 is not a bad get at the moment.
At +1500, Cleveland has the seventh best set of odds of winning the World Series. Here is why I am not buying into that. There are rumors of them dealing Francisco Lindor, which would be a blow to their offense, even if Corey Seager is the return guy from the rumored Dodgers trade. The pitching staff was great, but are now starting a downward trend at their age, and the Indians had listed them as trade options last season. This is not a good lineup 1-9, and the organization had no interest in paying Michael Brantley who left last season. Unless this team just decides to go for it again, which they have not given me reasons to believe, I am out on Cleveland.
Small Market Hopefuls
Over the last few seasons, Oakland, Minnesota, and Tampa Bay have been the more successful small market teams. All come in at +3000, and there is a pretty clear tier of their own as far as the small market teams go. It has been a few years since we have seen a small market team in the World Series. Kansas City would fit that bill back in 2015. The problem has been getting over the hump. Oakland has been eliminated early each of the past two seasons. Minnesota continues to meet New York. Tampa Bay pushed Houston to five games, but eventually bowed out. These teams are at a disadvantage. They are not able to bring in the big signings that could push them to being contenders. If these teams can make some smaller moves to improve in areas they need to, I would feel better about taking a shot on their odds.
If I am looking outside this group, the Angels are an interesting team at +5000. Joe Maddon moving to Los Angeles is actually something I like for this club. The Albert Pujols deal continues to haunt them, and if they can navigate around it and spend some cash, they would be putting a team build around Mike Trout in playoff contention. There has to be a pressing urgency for this club to push for the postseason. At the moment they are a middling club, but a few moves could change that.
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