MLB World Series Odds: The Los Angeles Dodgers Lead The Way Early in the Season

With the MLB season just one week old, who are the contenders for the World Series, and which teams provide the most value in the early going?
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MLB World Series Odds: The Los Angeles Dodgers Lead The Way Early in the Season

Just Missed the Cut:

Boston (+2500), Philadelphia (+2500), San Francisco (+2500), St. Louis (+2800)

San Diego Padres (+1800) (Bet $100 to win $1800)

The injury bug has already come for the Padres this season. They lost Fernando Tatis, Jr. to a wrist injury and also just lost Blake Snell to a groin injury. This is on top of Mike Clevinger still out with Tommy John recovery to start the year. But these injuries are all somewhat short-term and all should be back in action by the All-Star break. Last season the Padres were exactly middle of the pack in wRC+ and pitching WAR. If their players returning can vault them above those levels of mediocrity, this could be a team to watch come the postseason. But right now, health is a major concern for them.

Tampa Bay Rays (+1600) (Bet $100 to win $1600)

It's quite unusual that oddsmakers have the Rays at +1600 to win the World Series and Boston at +2500 when Boston is projected to finish slightly higher in the division. Assuming the Yankees and Blue Jays make it to the postseason, that would eliminate the Rays from postseason consideration. The Rays are also suffering from injuries to their young, talented pitching core. Tyler Glasnow is, of course, still recovering from Tommy John. Now, Shane Baz and Luis Patino are both on the IL, with Patino going on the 60-day IL. The Rays have a reputation of a team that can do a lot with a little, but they are really going to need their young studs like Wander Franco and Josh Lowe to have massive seasons to cover for the patchwork pitching staff they will need to likely use. I'm personally staying away here.

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Milwaukee Brewers (+1600) (Bet $100 to win $1600)

Perhaps no team in baseball has a pitching staff as formidable as the Brewers, who feature last year's Cy Young winner, last year's Cy Young fifth-place winner, and another pitcher who had almost 200 strikeouts and a 2.81 ERA in 27 starts last year. Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta will likely carry this team to a division title and Josh Hader and Devin Williams lurk in the bullpen to shut down games. But the offense is going to need some work, especially if Christian Yelich continues to be a former shell of himself. Newcomers Andrew McCutchen and Hunter Renfroe are nice players, but the Brewers lack the signature bat that the elite teams have. If they are buyers at the trade deadline and acquire that bat, I will be all in.

New York Mets (+1500) (Bet $100 to win $1600)

Much like the Rays, the Mets are already struggling with pitcher injuries. They lost Jacob "DeGOAT" deGrom for the first two months of the season and now saw Taijuan Walker go on the IL with a shoulder injury after just a few innings pitched. But unlike the Rays, the Mets have an elite offense that can cover for some of the pitching until it's ready. Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, Starling Marte, and Brandon Nimmo represent a nightmare matchup for pitchers with their combination of on-base ability and power. If they can add a healthy deGrom to Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt for the postseason, this team will challenge the Dodgers for the pennant.

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New York Yankees (+1400) (Bet $100 to win $1400)

The Yankees and Blue Jays are both projected to win around 92 games this year and cruise into the playoffs. Considering the wide discrepancy between their odds and the upgrades the Yankees made on offense, throwing some shekels at the Bronx may be a wise move. With the additions of Josh Donaldson and a full year of Anthony Rizzo, they have beefed up their power output and now just need to keep Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, and Nestor Cortes healthy for a full season. But with all of the additions and health concerns, stalwart Aaron Judge may be the key to their season. He is healthy and locked in and we have seen superhuman power numbers from him before. If gets back to the .290 average-50 homerun level, watch out.

Atlanta Braves (+1200) (Bet $100 to win $1200)

Your reigning World Series champs will make a massive addition in the month of May when they get to add Ronald Acuna Jr. to an already formidable lineup. They traded in a dollar for 97 cents when they lost Freddie Freeman to the Dodgers but backfilled the position with Matt Olson. Another year of progression for Ozzie Albies and Austin Riley should make this a very dangerous offense. The pitching staff is a good-not-great of pitchers that throw to induce soft contact and limit hard-hit balls. But now the bullpen is as unstoppable as ever with the addition of Kenley Jansen to Will Smith, Tyler Matzek, and A.J. Minter. This Braves-Mets duel for the division should be one of the most interesting races of the entire season. For the odds, however, my money is on the Mets assuming they have deGrom.

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Chicago White Sox (+1100) (Bet $100 to win $1100)

The White Sox do get the early-season award for most injuries that could impact their season. But hopefully, they are getting them out of the way early and can gain full strength in the last two-thirds of the season. All of Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito, Yoan Moncada, AJ Pollock, and Garrett Crochet have been lost to the IL to start the season. All are expected back in relatively short order. With the leaps we are seeing from Luis Robert and Dylan Cease in the early going, it's not hard to envision the White Sox having enough hitting and pitching to win it all this fall. Last season, their offense was fourth in wRC+ and fifth in wOBA and that was with Robert and Eloy Jimenez missing huge chunks of time.

Houston Astros (+1000) (Bet $100 to win $1000)

Sometimes you just wonder how teams do it. After losing George Springer and Carlos Correa in back-to-back offseasons, the Astros have replaced them with Kyle Tucker and Jeremy Pena. Alex Bregman already looks fully recovered from last season's wrist injury and Yordan Alvarez is primed to make a huge leap in his age 25 this season. The pitching staff also continues to get it done with guys you never heard of before and if they get anything out of Lance McCullers Jr. this year it will just be gravy for them. The Astros' offense still only strikes out 17% of the time and is a category they have led for three seasons in a row. Will the loss of Correa eventually be too much to match up against the Yankees and Blue Jays? Perhaps, but three World Series appearances in five years is hard to ignore when deciding where to place our bets.

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Toronto Blue Jays (+875) (Bet $100 to win $875)

The full unbelievable force of the Blue Jays' offense has been on display early this season, including when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. launched three home runs in Yankee Stadium last night as if to say "we're not just going to give you this division title." One of their new pitching ace acquisitions, Jose Berrios, has looked awful so far. But we've seen that dance in seasons past and he rights the ship by season's end. The Blue Jays have assembled an offense that can certainly rival the Yankees and Dodgers this year and with the additions of Berrios and Kevin Gausman, they have a strong 1-2 punch for a seven-game series. It's for a good reason they look to be the favorites to represent the AL in the World Series.

Los Angeles Dodgers (+500) (Bet $100 to win $500)

It probably won't surprise you to learn that the Dodgers' traditional lineup consists of seven former All-Stars, plus one of the best young hitting catchers in the league. Their pitching staff also features three top-10 Cy Young finishers, plus another winner in their bullpen. Their closer is postseason battle-tested and is backed up by two flamethrowers who are lights out. Really, there are no weaknesses on this team. Only injuries could likely prevent them from making a deep postseason run and they very well could challenge the modern record of 1,067 runs in one season set by the 1931 Yankees. As the Dodgers get closer and closer to the postseason, these odds (already comparatively short at +500) will get shorter and shorter. Lock in your bets now if you believe this team will have health on their side in 2022.

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Proudest husband and dad you will ever find. When I'm not with my wife and two kids I split my time working in higher ed, grinding DFS and season-long, collecting silver age comics, studying behavioral economics, and drinking coffee. I once played Pat Connaughton in an actual NBA DFS lineup for money. Astros, Rockets, and Texans for life.

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