Finally, the MLB season is approaching without a sideshow. There is no lockout or pandemic that risks derailing the start of the 162-game schedule, and the season is rapidly approaching.
The sport has been defined by the haves and have nots in recent years. Some teams spend, spend, and spend some more, while others have total payrolls that hover near the salary of Aaron Judge alone. Because of this, we know some franchises that almost certainly won’t be winning the World Series. On the other hand, oddsmakers haven’t identified a clear-cut title favorite, so there is plenty of value to go around among baseball’s best teams.
Have a look at the full list of 2023 World Series odds as we dive into where you can find the most value in 2023.
All odds are current as of January 3, 2023 and provided by DraftKings.
World Series Odds 2023
Houston Astros (+600)
In a major shift from the last three seasons, the Dodgers don’t enter the season as consensus World Series favorites. While they remain near the top at +800, the reigning champion Astros lead the way at +600 to repeat.
Houston has proven it knows how to consistently develop talent and replace stars. That’s why overreacting to the loss of Justin Verlander is risky, even if his 2022 season isn’t something that can be matched by one pitcher alone.
However, no team has gone back-to-back since the 2000 Yankees. It’s extremely difficult to make a championship run and do it all again the next year, even if all of the talent is still in place.
What might be helping the Astros stay at the top is an American League that is pretty weak at the top outside of the Yankees.
New York Mets (+700)
There’s no doubt the Mets have the talent to win the World Series. We’ve seen them come up short with high expectations, but 101 wins last season seems like a decent start considering they were missing Jacob deGrom for more than half of the year.
With deGrom out but Verlander, Carlos Correa (presumably), Kodai Senga, and Jose Quintana now in, the Mets have potentially an all-time great infield and a significantly better starting rotation.
One storyline bettors might want to worry about: Verlander and Max Scherzer will be 40 and 39, respectively, by October. Can they be trusted to lead the staff to a championship? If they have their health in October, you’d have to think the Mets are the best team in baseball.
Los Angeles Dodgers (+800)
The Dodgers aren’t preseason favorites this time around, but they’re only closely behind the Astros, Mets, and Yankees. Los Angeles has had a very rare quiet offseason despite whispers of Aaron Judge or Carlos Correa being potential targets. Instead, the Dodgers have watched Trea Turner, Tyler Anderson, Justin Turner, and others leave.
This has the look of a transitional year for the Dodgers with some serious young talent coming up the pipeline, but maybe lower expectations are exactly what this team needs. The starting rotation still looks like one of baseball’s best, and between rising prospects and the possibility of an impact addition at the deadline, it’s probably not time to rule the Dodgers out.
Top Value Picks
Seattle Mariners (+1600)
The Mariners were one of the best teams in baseball after the first two months in 2022 and hung with the Astros in the ALDS more than the Yankees did in the ALCS. Seattle proved it took a meaningful step forward from a bit of a lucky season in 2021, and recent additions have only made the Mariners more dangerous entering 2023.
There weren’t any blockbuster moves for the Mariners this offseason, but the addition of Teoscar Hernandez’s underrated bat and Kolten Wong’s value as both a contact hitter and defender will help balance out the lineup. Julio Rodriguez is also poised to be an MVP candidate if he takes even the slightest step forward from his great rookie year.
The starting rotation is one of baseball’s best with Luis Castillo and Logan Gilbert at the top plus George Kirby coming off a very strong finish to his rookie year. With Robbie Ray, Marco Gonzales, Chris Flexen, and eventually Emerson Hancock also in that mix, the Mariners have the pitching depth to compete with the best in October.
There isn’t a clear No. 3 team in the AL behind the Astros and Yankees, so the Mariners have a huge opportunity to make a postseason run.
Cleveland Guardians (+2800)
Let’s stay in the AL with another team on the rise. The Guardians had a rare offseason in which they didn’t trade off key pieces and actually made a couple meaningful additions in Josh Bell and Mike Zunino. That pair should give Cleveland more power, and while the offense still likely won’t be anything special, pitching can get a team far in October.
Just about the entire rotation and bullpen are back after a strong 2022, led by aces Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie. If the offense, with two all-stars and plenty of promising bats, can moderately improve, the Guardians have a chance to run away with the AL Central and seriously compete for a deep run.
Teams to Avoid
New York Yankees (+700)
There’s no question the Yankees have one of the best starting rotations in baseball. I just can’t get past the holes in the lineup that haven’t been filled.
This is also an older Yankees team. Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, Josh Donaldson, DJ LeMahieu, and Aaron Hicks are all bats 33 or older. There are younger pieces, from Gleyber Torres and Harrison Bader to Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza, but so much of the core has an injury history and couldn’t be counted on in the second half last season.
Can the Yankees pitch their way back into the ALCS? Sure. I’m not certain the lineup is strong enough in terms of talent, not names, to put the Yankees at +700 to win the World Series.
San Diego Padres (+1000)
It takes an offense to win in October, as you can tell by what happened to the Yankees and Guardians this past season, but pitching seems to take precedent under the lights. The Padres have the bats – Xander Bogaerts and eventually Fernando Tatis Jr. are set to join Manny Machado and Juan Soto in a lineup that’s nothing less than mouth-watering. Do they have the starting pitching?
Joe Musgrove was a huge pieces of San Diego’s run to the NLCS, but he’s the only sure thing in that rotation. Yu Darvish is nearing 37 years old, Blake Snell is either dominant or a disaster, and the last two spots in the rotation belong to Seth Lugo and Nick Martinez for now. The lack of starting pitching depth cost the Padres in the NLCS, especially when Mike Clevinger couldn’t get an out to save his life, and it’s not a safe bet to say San Diego will get bailed out by Robert Suarez all postseason again.
There’s no denying the raw talent in the lineup, but the staff needs help to make the Padres a legitimate World Series contender.