At the start of each season, optimism is all around for most teams in Major League Baseball, but then the realities of the season kick in.
We, of course, have seen teams in the past sell at the deadline and go on a run, making their way to the postseason. The most obvious example being the 2017 Minnesota Twins who bought leading up to the deadline, sold at the last minute, then went on an August run and grabbing the second Wild Card spot.
Even in the above example, however, the Twins were eliminated in the Wild Card game by the New York Yankees and sent packing.
The deadline has given us some insight on the intentions of each team. Can the teams that made a big splash, like the Houston Astros, transfer that off-field momentum into on-field performance in the postseason? Or will a team that came up a big short leading up to the deadline—like the Yankees or Los Angeles Dodgers—overcome that post-deadline disappointment to be the ones standing at the end of the season despite making no—or little—enhancements?
There are still plenty of games left, but the postseason picture continues to gain clarity, but there’s still enough questions to provide some lucrative odds if you can pinpoint the 2019 World Series champions.
Visit one of the top online sportsbooks today to take advantage of some of post-trade deadline World Series odds in the futures action as odds makers and bettors alike jump on and off bandwagons based on perception following the flurry or moves by some teams and lack thereof by others.
2019 MLB World Series Betting Odds
Arizona Diamondbacks +8000
Atlanta Braves +850
Baltimore Orioles +400000
Boston Red Sox +2200
Chicago Cubs +1600
Chicago White Sox +50000
Cincinnati Reds +12500
Cleveland Indians +1600
Colorado Rockies +18000
Detroit Tigers +400000
Houston Astros +275
Kansas City Royals +400000
Los Angeles Angels +12500
Los Angeles Dodgers +275
Miami Marlins +400000
Milwaukee Brewers +2500
Minnesota Twins +1400
New York Mets +20000
New York Yankees +350
Oakland Athletics +4000
Philadelphia Phillies +2400
Pittsburgh Pirates +25000
St. Louis Cardinals +1800
San Diego Padres +15000
San Francisco Giants +5000
Seattle Mariners +400000
Tampa Bay Rays +2800
Texas Rangers +15000
Toronto Blue Jays +400000
Washington Nationals +2200
The Astros were the biggest winners at the trade deadline, pulling off an impressive move late to bring Zack Greinke into the fold, forming a dynamic trio at the front of the rotation alongside Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.
The veteran right-hander has already recorded over 70 WAR in his career according to Baseball Reference’s calculations of the stat and was enjoying another strong season in his age 35 campaign. While Greinke will, undoubtedly, miss swinging the bat given his success at the dish this year, he gives Houston, essentially, three aces come the playoffs and, as we know, pitching wins championships.
Of course, Greinke wasn’t Houston’s only addition as the Astros also added Aaron Sanchez on an underrated move. The right-hander was amid a terrible year with Toronto, sporting an ERA north of six, but immediately delivered in his first game for Houston, throwing six no-hit innings in what became a team no-hitter.
With those moves to bolster the rotation, the Astros make sense as the favorites now. They, of course, already had a loaded offense and strong back-end of the bullpen.
Following Houston, the Dodgers and Yankees are the next most favorite teams despite the Dodgers adding only depth pieces like Tyler White, Kristopher Negron, Jedd Gyorko, and Adam Kolarek. The bullpen is the weakness and the team saw the deadline come and go without address it. Instead, they’ll look to the large collection of starters to help fill in the later innings come play off time. We’ll see how that pans out.
As for the Yankees, New York failed to find the pitching it needed and will go to battle in September hoping for health and productivity from its current crop despite some serious struggles of late.
After the big three, there’s a bit of a drop off in the odds. The Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins are the last two in the top-5. Atlanta made some great moves to sure up the bullpen and the Twins got a few pieces for the late innings, too.
Beyond those five, the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Nationals, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers and Tampa Bay Rays are all given odds between +1600 and +2800. Beyond that, the Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, and Arizona Diamondbacks round out the teams with odds better than five-digits.
LONGSHOTS TO WATCH
At this point, anyone outside the Astros, Dodgers and Yankees could qualify as a longshot. The Dodgers seem destined to represent the National League, again, while most figure the ALCS will come down to the Astros and Yankees.
The best pick for the longshot is the teams with the best shots at overcoming those teams. The NL seems destined to go through Los Angeles for any team other than Houston or New York to come out of the AL, that team will have to beat at least one—if not both—of those teams.
It’s not a huge longshot, but the Braves are in a good position. They added three impact late-inning arms, pushing guys like Luke Jackson into the middle innings. The rotation has questions given the age and inexperience of guys like Mike Soroka, but if they young guns can avoid a late season swoon like we saw from Sean Newcomb last year, they’ve got the talent on the bump. Atlanta also has a stacked offense with the likes of Freddie Freeman, Josh Donaldson, and Ronald Acuna Jr.
Another interesting team to watch out of the NL is Washington. They, too, added a few relievers at the deadline. The bullpen has been atrocious all year, but despite that, the Nationals have been the hottest team in the sport the last couple months. If the additions prove to solidify the pen down the stretch, this could be a scary team to face in October even with them not yet making it out of the division series. After all, who wants to face Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin in a best of five series. Considering Anibal Sanchez is having a strong season, too, Washington can boast—arguably—the best postseason rotation aside from Los Angeles and Houston.
Moving to the AL side, the Twins’ offense has been phenomenal. The power is real, and this team can mash with anyone, including Houston and New York. It’s the pitching that’s the question, but Jose Berrios has developed into a legitimate ace and the rest of the rotation has been serviceable. If someone like Jake Odorizzi or Kyle Gibson can get hot at the right time, Minnesota has a chance in a short series.
Going with a bit longer odds, the Cleveland Indians are an interesting choice. The Oakland Athletics are intriguing, too, with even longer odds.
Cleveland dealt away one of it’s best pitchers, but emergence of Shane Bieber as an All-Star still gives the Tribe a top notch rotation provided two of Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar can come back from injury. Meanwhile, Jose Ramirez has heated up, finally, and the additions of Franmil Reyes and Yasiel Puig greatly depends this lineup.
As for the A’s, they’ve been doing what they did last year, getting hot later in the season and going on an impressive run.
The strategy didn’t work in the postseason last year, but the Oakland rotation is stronger this year than last.
A repeat of the 2017 World Series matchup seems likely with the Dodgers and Astros the favorites for good reason. Both have a strong rotation and deep lineup. With Houston having the strong bullpen—on paper—it would make the Astros the most likely pick to pay out come October, but that doesn’t necessarily make them the best bet.
If you’re looking for safe money, jumping on the Houston bandwagon makes sense. Their rotation is now as good as anyone’s. Their bullpen remains strong. And their lineup can matchup with the best in the game. But the odds won’t allow for a great payout without a large pay-in. The same is true for the Dodgers and Yankees.
If you’re looking to take a bit of a gamble on potential larger payday, there’s a lot more risk with a pick like the Nationals, but it comes with a good value.
After a 19-31 start, Washington has been the best team in baseball going 39-21. Scherzer is a proven ace and Strasburg showed what he can do in the postseason in his 2017 NLDS against the Cubs. Offensively, this team has some versatility. Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto are a dynamic foundation with Adam Eaton and Tre Turner proven on base options.
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