Opening Day is right around the corner, which means it’s time for baseball bettors to put the finishing touches on their preseason portfolios before the 162-game marathon begins on Thursday.
Today, we’ll take a look at the World Series market to decipher some market movement and talk about a post-hype sleeper that is worth a play at a solid price. But first, the big boys:
MLB World Series odds and predictions
Houston Astros (+600, PointsBet)
The Astros will go off as the consensus World Series favorite in 2023, and for good reason.
Not only do the Astros have one of the best rosters in baseball, but their division isn’t as tough as some of the other favorites.
If Houston has a hangover or there is some pressure on the Astros from behind, this number could drift a bit, but it would be surprising to see it lengthen between now and the business end of the season.
Yankees (+850, FanDuel) and Mets (+900, BetMGM)
The Yankees (+800) and Mets (+900) are not too far behind Houston, but bettors can afford to be patient with both local teams.
The prices on the two local teams are already short, so you can probably wait to see if either team starts slow and try to buy in at a better time during the season.
These numbers likely won’t get slashed all that much, barring something dominant from either New York team in the regular season.
One team that has attracted some sharp money in the preseason betting window is the Braves.
Atlanta was hanging around 10/1 or a little longer for most of the offseason, but that price is now gone, and the Braves are +750 to win the World Series and are essentially co-favorites to win the National League with the Dodgers.
Los Angeles Angels +5000 (BetRivers)
There are a few things you can set your watch to in sports betting.
Tiger Woods will always take money any time he plays in a golf tournament.
The Over/Under for Service Academy games will drop precipitously before kickoff.
And there will always be folks out there that think “this is the year” for the Angels.
But this offseason feels a little different.
The Angels have missed the postseason eight seasons on the spin and have burned plenty of baseball bettors along the way.
This winter, the perennially over-hyped Angels have quietly navigated the offseason and do not seem to be attracting the same kind of betting support that they normally do at this juncture.
Sounds like the perfect time to buy back in.
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What’s incredible about the Angels’ postseason drought is that they’ve had three MVP winners in that span and were damn near close to a fourth in 2022, but Aaron Judge had to get all historic on everyone.
The upside with Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani is the stuff teams would dream about, but the rest of the team has lacked the necessary oomph to make Trout and Ohtani’s other-worldly performances matter in the big picture.
But (and famous last words here), it does seem as if the Angels finally have the depth to give their generational duo some meaningful support, especially if Anthony Rendon can bounce back.
Sean Zerillo, who powers the Action Network’s baseball projections, gives the Angels a 2.6 percent chance of winning the World Series in 2023. When you convert that number to odds, you’d get roughly +3760, meaning there’s some value on the Angels to lift the trophy at 50/1 at BetRivers.