The Washington Nationals defied all odds to win the 2019 World Series. Washington are, naturally, in the running to win the 2020 Fall Classic, but there are plenty of other franchises ahead of the Nats when it comes to the latest MLB odds.
888sport offers an array of online betting options for baseball, and the Nationals are at 12/1 to retain their title at the start of the next decade.
Whether you’re getting into the sport and flicking through baseball for dummies, or a seasoned campaigner with a long-running MLB.TV pass, everyone wants to know who will be in contention for the 2020 World Series.
Here are a few of the main contenders…
The Big Three:
One game away from making it two titles in three years, the Houston Astros have been the American League’s main force in recent seasons.
A good bet to pass the 100-win mark once again, the Astros don’t represent great value to win the World Series with ace Gerrit Cole set to leave Minute Maid Park.
The line-up remains fearsome, and Zack Greinke and Justin Verlander are a monstrous one-two punch, but the loss of Cole is significant.
New York Yankees
Despite injuries, the Yankees cruised to supremacy in the American League East in 2019. There’s little to suggest they won’t do so again in 2020.
Brian Cashman will be one of the general managers chasing Cole and Stephen Strasburg, as New York look to build a pitching staff as domineering as their offence.
Their spending approach has altered in recent years, but another postseason disappointment suggests Cashman will be aggressive this winter. It could be a good time to back the Yankees – their price will drop if Cashman lands Cole or Strasburg.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The third team at 11/2, the Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to bounce back from a Division Series defeat to the Nationals. Los Angeles have owned the National League in the second half of the 2010s, but they still haven’t won a World Series since 1988.
They will comfortably be the best team in the National League West and have several prospects ready to make a serious impact at the Major League level.
Constructing a lockdown bullpen will be the Dodgers’ priority this offseason – they could make a move for former Giants closer Will Smith.
Dangerous Pair At 12s:
Atlanta were toppled by the Cardinals in the Division Series after another stellar regular season.
Prospects, such as Cristian Pache, should bolster an already deep roster at the start of the 2020 campaign, but the probable departure of Josh Donaldson leaves a major hole to fill in the line-up.
There’s been a reluctance to hand out long deals in recent winters, and understandably so. This is a big offseason for the Braves, though, and it will be interesting to see how Alex Anthopoulos approaches it.
With plenty of pitching in the farm, they are a team to watch in the trade market and one of the favourites to land 2014 World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner.
Uncertainty looms over the Washington Nationals. Mike Rizzo faces a challenging offseason with superstar third baseman Anthony Rendon and World Series MVP Strasburg heading for free agency.
Their success was all the more impressive because of their bullpen struggles – the relief group needs addressing. Evaluating Washington’s chances depends a lot on where you think Rendon and Strasburg will end up.
With the Phillies and Mets waiting to pounce, the reigning champions could easily end up finishing fourth if things don’t go their way.
Big Market Threats:
Boston Red Sox
After glory in 2018, the 2019 season was a write-off for the Red Sox. So many players enjoyed career years in ’18, and a combination of pitching injuries and regression saw them tumble into the midriff of the American League East.
An unwillingness to spend makes it hard to see Boston threatening the Yankees in 2020. Their farm is one of the worst in baseball, too.
They’ve got the talent and experience to be a contender if everyone plays to their best, but it seems unlikely.
Much like the Red Sox, the Cubs have enjoyed a parade recently and aren’t keen on spending much more than their current payroll.
They’ve got a much better shot at winning their division than the Red Sox do, however, and look a good bet at 20/1 to go all the way.
Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Rays
Two of the smallest markets in Major League Baseball, the Athletics and Rays have been punching well above their weight over the last two seasons and met in the wildcard in 2019.
Neither are going to be signing Cole or Rendon this winter, but they may well end up making the smartest moves of the offseason.
Tampa Bay are 20/1 to win the World Series in 2020, Oakland are priced at 25/1. Considering their performances in 2019, those prices represent great value in this market.
End Of Rebuilds:
San Diego Padres, Chicago White Sox
Both teams were in the running for Manny Machado last summer. Machado ended up in California alongside rookie sensation Fernando Tatis Jr. The excitement was centred on San Diego last season, but there were signs of positivity at Guaranteed Rate Field, too.
The Padres are 40/1, which is roughly where we’d expect them to be at this point. Don’t rule them out of another big free agent move this winter, though, which could change that price quickly.
The White Sox at 66/1 is tempting – they’ve got a clearer path to the postseason than San Diego.
*Credit for the main photo belongs to Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo*