As the 2019 season ends, the World Series and league pennant odds for 2020 have already been posted.
At the Westgate SuperBook the top three teams are not surprising with Houston at 5-1 and the Dodgers and Yankees each at 6-1 to win the Series. All other teams are at 10-1 and higher.
It’s always easy to make a case for the favored teams but the values can be found going deeper down the list. In general, the opening odds will be the most attractive odds on a team by team basis prior to major offseason moves such as trades or the signing of free agents or the start of the following season.
Books often loathe to raise odds on middle to lower tier teams when they adjust downward odds on the more highly regarded teams.
Yet several teams are worth considering for futures bets, either to win the World Series or their league pennant.
Philadelphia was strengthened by last week’s signing of new manager Joe Girardi. The Phillies are 20-1 to win the Series and 10-1 to win the NL Pennant.
San Diego has a roster with some fine young talent, both at the plate and on the mound. Perhaps more seasoning is needed but at odds of 50-1 and 25-1 the Padres generate some long shot interest.
In the American League, Toronto has a number of second generation major leaguers all developing at roughly the same time – Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio and Vladimir Guerrero Jr – each of whom had very strong debut seasons in 2019 with 212, 430 and 514 plate appearances respectively.
At odds of 80-1 and 40-1 perhaps the Blue Jays can make that leap from also ran to World Series or League Champions that is rare but not unprecedented.
There’s a recent development to consider when making Futures wagers and it really applies to all sports. Over the past few years enterprises have appeared in the marketplace that act as brokers for the buying and selling of existing tickets that have yet to be decided. An example is PropSwap, which brings potential buyers and sellers together.
If you have a ticket on a team at 25-1 and that team is performing well during the season you can sell that ticket to a willing buyer at a price between what you paid and what you stand to collect if you ride it out and cash at full odds. This is attractive in baseball if the team you are backing gets off to a strong early start, playing better than expected into the middle of May or even later.
Those 25-1 preseason odds may drop enough to draw offers of 18-1 or 20-1 at which point you might decide to sell off part of your position.
For that reason, you should consider dividing up your wagers into several parts. For example, if you might normally wager $100 on a Futures play, consider making four separate $25 wagers which would allow you to sell off one ticket at a price that would recover your entire investments and earn a small overall profit while still maintaining 75 percent of your original position.
Enjoy the offseason and note that pitchers and catchers report in just over 90 days.