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MLB World Series Preview: Dodgers, Braves Lead Way

There were 12 teams with better odds to win the World Series than the eventual champion Texas Rangers heading into the 2023 season.Four National League teams had longer odds than World Series finalist Arizona. When it comes to the MLB odds, will there be more surprises during the 2024 season?

The front-runners in the odds to win the Most Valuable Player award in both the American League and National League have found new homes with Shohei Ohtani moving from the Los Angeles Angels to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Juan Soto being traded from the San Diego Padres to the New York Yankees. That was just part of the changing landscape as the big-money teams are making a push to win it all.

MLB World Series Preview: Dodgers, Braves Lead Way
Shohei Ohtani #17 | Chris Coduto/Getty Images/AFP

The MLB betting lines have the Los Angeles Dodgers as the favorite to win the World Series followed by the Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros, New York Yankees, and the defending champion Texas Rangers.

Keep on reading for more on the World Series odds as baseball returns on Feb. 22 when the Dodgers and Padres kick off spring training with a game in Peoria, Arizona.

Going National

Even though American League teams have won the last two World Series, the current front-runners in the World Series odds are a pair of National League powers.

The additions of former American League Most Valuable Player Shohei Ohtani as well as pitchers Tyler Glasnow and Yoshinobu Yamamoto made an already imposing roster for the Los Angeles Dodgers downright scary. It is not a surprise that the Dodgers lead the way at +375 in the odds to win the World Series according to the World Series odds.

The Atlanta Braves added pitchers Chris Sale and Aaron Bummer to one of the best lineups in the majors as the Braves look to return to the World Series for the first time since winning the title in 2021. The Braves come in at +550 in the baseball championship odds.

AL West Powers Ready to Rumble

The last two World Series champions came out of the American League West Division. That hasn’t happened since the New York Yankees won three consecutive World Series from 1998-2000.

Could it be three straight out of the division?

The Houston Astros (+900 in the World Series odds) saw manager Dusty Baker retire at the end of the 2023 season with bench coach Joe Espada being promoted to manager.

Houston signed Josh Hader to give the bullpen some help but most of the other faces will be the same for a team that has appeared in three of the last five World Series.

The defending champion hasn’t made it back to the World Series since the 2009 Philadelphia Phillies. Texas is looking to change that.

Even with key offseason acquisition Jacob deGrom not being able to pitch for most of the 2023 season, the Rangers won it all.

With the exception of catcher Mitch Garver and pitcher Martin Perez, most of the key players are back after the Rangers won the franchise’s first World Series title.

Texas is priced at +1100 by the BetUS sportsbook to make it back-to-back titles.

Are the Bronx Bombers Back?

Despite posting a winning record, the New York Yankees missed the playoffs by seven games a season ago. There was a stretch when the Yankees were in danger of finishing last in the ultra-competitive American League East Division.

The Yankees did not stand pat with the acquisition of former National League batting champion Soto and starting pitcher Marcus Stroman as the Yankees come in at +1000 in the World Series odds.

It won’t be easy as fellow American League East contenders Baltimore (+1400) and Toronto (+2000) are coming off playoff appearances. The Orioles added former National League Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes.

The Philadelphia Phillies might be overshadowed a bit by Atlanta in the NL East but it is hard to overlook the +1200 odds to win it all.



Questions Of The Day

Which defending division champion has the longest odds to win the World Series?

The Milwaukee Brewers, who won the National League Central Division by nine games, are priced at +8000 in the World Series odds.

Who are some players to watch in the individual awards races?

Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees is the AL Cy Young Award favorite with Atlanta’s Spencer Strider the front-runner in the National League. Aaron Judge (+550) and Juan Soto (+600), both New York Yankees, lead the way in the AL Most Valuable Player odds with Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. (+550) favored to win the MVP in the National League again.

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