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World Series Futures: Braves Head Pack

Astros, Yankees Fall to Second, Third Favorites

The first month of the MLB season has come and gone, and we’re a little closer to understanding which teams are legit World Series contenders and which are not. As the MLB odds for World Series champions are always on the move, I wanted to update readers on the current state of the futures market. The MLB lines aren’t where they started for most teams four weeks ago, and now is as good of a time as any to get up to speed.

The current MLB World Series odds for reasonable contenders from BetUS Sportsbook are as follows:

World Series Futures: Braves Head Pack
Joe Jimenez #77 of the Atlanta Braves - Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/afp
  • Atlanta Braves +600
  • Houston Astros +750
  • New York Yankees +850
  • Los Angeles Dodgers +850
  • Tampa BayRays +900
  • New York Mets +900
  • SanDiego Padres +1000
  • Toronto Blue Jays +1200
  • Milwaukee Brewers +1800
  • St. Louis Cardinals +2200
  • Minnesota Twins +2000
  • Philadelphia Phillies +2500
  • Seattle Mariners +2500
  • Cleveland Guardians +3000
  • Texas Rangers +3000
  • Los Angeles Angels +3500

While the MLB betting odds are about what you’d expect after four weeks of play, a few surprises are on the list. A few teams have overachieved early, and their odds are shortening; others are falling short of expectations. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples and make some predictions.

New York Yankees +850 (+700 Preseason)

The New York Yankees are a hard team to pin down after the first four weeks of the MLB season. They have some things going for them and some against.

Their 14-11 record isn’t bad, but not nearly good enough to keep up with the rest of the American League East. The Yankees are six games behind the Rays for first place, and only the Boston Red Sox have a worse record in the division. While Boston’s failure is a good consolation prize for Yankee fans, we’d still rather have the wins.

Injuries to the pitching staff and tepid hitting are the two main issues for the team. The good news is the rotation and bullpen are getting healthy and just about back at full strength. But the Yankees need to step up at the plate and regain their dominance from 2022.

Their odds to win the World Series haven’t shifted too drastically, but it’s clear that opinions are souring on New York.

Tampa Bay Rays +900 (+2200 Preseason)

The Tampa Bay Rays have seen the most dramatic shift in their World Series odds after starting the season with a ridiculous 13-0 record. Now, at 20-5, the Rays lead the AL East and boast the best record in the MLB. Because of this, their Las Vegas MLB odds have seen a dramatic shift of 1300 points.

I don’t believe the Rays will keep up this pace for the entire season, so maybe hold off on betting in favor of their World Series hopes. The Rays’ odds, as of this writing, lack value after they shortened so much over the previous four weeks.

My biggest reason to be wary of trusting the Rays is their early season schedule. Yes, they won 13 in a row to start the year. But each of those 13 wins came against teams with losing records. The first good team they faced, the Toronto Blue Jays, beat them in two of three games. Since then, the Rays played only one good team, the Houston Astros, and went 1-1.

Once the competition starts to heat up, expect the Rays to melt into a mediocre team.

Pittsburgh Pirates +12500 (+25000 Preseason)

As if the Rays having the best record in the MLB wasn’t enough of a surprise, the Pittsburgh Pirates have the second-best at 17-8. The Pirates, who lost more than 200 games in their last two seasons combined, are leading the National League in wins.

Due to their totally unexpected success, the Pirates World Series odds are way shorter than they were on opening day. Still, there is a lot of value to be had at 125/1, where the Pirates currently sit.

I don’t think Pittsburgh can pull off a World Series run for a second, but their early success alone is a reason for fans to celebrate.

The team is doing many little things right to keep their name in the win column. One example of this is their league-leading 34 stolen bases. That is a lot in this day and age, and the Pirates had a staggering six swipes last Wednesday against the Colorado Rockies.

If you must make an MLB pick on the Pirates to win it all, do it today. Because if they continue to win games at this clip, the odds won’t get better than +12500.

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