With four weeks left in the Major League Baseball season, World Series oddsboards have had day-to-day volatility in recent weeks as front-running teams hit the skids or are rocked with a key injury, and teams somewhat off the radar make a sudden jump with a resounding victory or small winning streak.
Take for instance the Minnesota Twins, who entered play Aug. 26 four games off Cleveland’s pace in the AL Central and managed to tie the Guardians for first on Sunday. On that morning, standing one game out, the Twins were at +10000 at DraftKings. In 24 hours their number nose-dived to +6500 upon beating the Chicago White Sox and the Guardians falling to Seattle for the third straight game. But after Minnesota’s Labor Day loss to the Yankees and Cleveland’s win at KC, the number is up to +9000 again.
It goes on and on elsewhere, too.
2022 World Series Odds
|Sportsbook||DraftKings||FanDuel||BetMGM (Code TODAY)||PointsBet (Code BONUSDAY)|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+350||+290||+325||+320|
|New York Mets||+500||+500||+500||+500|
|New York Yankees||+500||+500||+550||+550|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+1400||+1500||+1500||+1500|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+2000||+1700||+1800||+1800|
|San Diego Padres||+2800||+4000||+3000||+2500|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+2800||+3000||+2800||+3000|
|Chicago White Sox||+16000||+15000||+8000||+15000|
|Boston Red Sox||+200000||+500000||+400000||+200000|
|San Francisco Giants||+200000||+500000||+400000||+200000|
|Los Angeles Angels||N/A||+500000||N/A||N/A|
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Here’s a look at what’s taking place in the six division races and what can be expected down the stretch run.
The New York Yankees (+550 DraftKings), front-runners in a division that’s a cumulative league-best 65 games over .500, have seen their lead over second-place Tampa Bay drop from 15.5 on July 8 to the current five-game gap. Toronto, which was 16.5 back on that date, is 5.5 behind.
But the Yankees’ edge would have been tinier had they not rebounded to salvage the finale of a three-game series at Tampa Bay on Sunday with a 2-1 victory, which prevented the Rays from closing to three back. And then on Monday, the hitting-starved New Yorkers, trying to avoid squandering the biggest division/league lead in MLB history, exploded for five runs in a defeat of Minnesota at Yankee Stadium. It’s a good thing Aaron Judge, 54 homers, is still producing. Ace RHP Gerrit Cole gets to keep the ball rolling in tonight’s start vs. Minnesota.
The Rays (+3300 PointsBet), who stand five games clear of Baltimore for the final American League wild-card berth, will have to make their final charge with two key players currently out with injuries: LHP Shane McClanahan, third in the majors with a 2.20 ERA, learned last week he had a left shoulder impingement and wouldn’t be available till Sept. 15 at the earliest. And star shortstop Wander Franco, who hasn’t played since July 9 (wrist), suffered a setback in a rehab assignment Monday. On top of that, they have the second most difficult remaining strength of schedule, according to Tankathon.com. No wonder their odds are so long.
Toronto (+2000 FanDuel), meanwhile, had an eye-opening doubleheader sweep of the Orioles in Baltimore on Monday with Bo Bichette having a headline-grabbing three HRs in one game. The Jays, who are in the third wild-card slot, are 4.5 in front of the Orioles for the last berth.
Baltimore (+13000 FanDuel), meanwhile, has had a bad past 48 hours, first being shut out at home by lowly Oakland and then the two losses to Toronto. Those results come on the heels of two shutout wins at Cleveland at midweek. The O’s haven’t been this far off the wild-card pace in two months.
Does anyone want to win this division?
It’s a logjam at the top again with Cleveland (+6000 DraftKings, FanDuel) up by one over Minnesota (+12000 FanDuel) and two over the White Sox (+8500 FanDuel).
The Guardians are coming off a miserable homestand that saw them get shut out twice by the O’s and then swept three games by Seattle, scoring a total of four runs in that five-game run. If Cleveland does begin hitting (it won 6-5 at KC on Monday) it can thrive behind one of the league’s top bullpens.
Making matters worse, though, is that two starting pitchers, Zach Plesac (fractured right pinkie finger) and Aaron Civale (forearm inflammation), went in the IL before Friday’s game, causing to Guardians to summon an emergency starting replacement, Cody Morris, who made his MLB debut that night and lasted two innings.
With eight games remaining between the Guardians and Twins the next two weekends, this division could well come down to how those series play out.
And about those White Sox: A week ago manager Tony La Russa stepped away from the team for medical reasons and is out indefinitely. Since Wednesday, the Sox have won five of six under bench coach Miguel Cairo and closed their deficit in the division from six games to two. Included was a 3-2 win at Seattle on Monday.
The odds seem extra high for the defending division champs who have four games against the host A’s beginning Thursday and then two at home vs. Colorado.
Two of the strongest teams in baseball are running first and second, with Houston (+400 DraftKings) holding a 11-game lead over Seattle (+2700 FanDuel) for division honors and also having a six-game edge over the Yankees for the top seed in the AL.
The Mariners, who just got done manhandling the Central-leading Guardians over the past two weekends by taking six of seven games and holding Cleveland to 11 runs total, certainly impressed Cleveland manager Terry Francona. He said during a weekend radio interview that the Mariners may just be the best team in baseball.
The M’s have gone 42-18 since June 27, when they were 6.5 games behind the third wild card and incredibly trailing Texas and the LA Angels in the standings. Now they are in a virtual tie with Tampa Bay for the first WC. And they have the second-easiest remaining schedule.
For the second time this year, a large division lead for the New York Mets (+500 DraftKings, PointsBet) has been whittled to next to nothing over Atlanta (+1000 FanDuel, PointsBet).
Earlier this season, the Mets had the best record in the NL and held a 10.5-game advantage. But the Braves cut that to half a game thanks in large part to a 14-game winning streak. From there the Mets built it up to seven games and appeared to be pulling away again with a seven-game edge on Aug. 10. Now it’s down to one. What a roller coaster.
But what’s in the Mets’ favor in a ginormous way is their remaining schedule. Of New York’s remaining 27 games, a league-high 21 are against teams that are at least 22 games under .500, including six against Washington (39-under).
By contrast, the Braves have only 11 games against such weak competition. But the teams do have three more meetings schedule in Atlanta.
As for Philadelphia (+4400 FanDuel), what an awful week out West. In a series opener in Arizona, the Phillies blew a 7-0 lead in a 13-7 defeat and the next night were pounded 12-3. Although they did win the finale, they went on to get swept three games in San Francisco, including by 13-1 on Friday, by a Giants team that came off a seven-game losing streak.
In addition, ace right-hander Zack Wheeler went on the 15-day IL with a forearm issue.
But in the good-news department, they dropped into a virtual tie with San Diego for the second spot in the wild-card standings. If the Phils would finish third in that race, and not second, it would enable them to avoid playing the runner-up in the NL East race in the best-of-three wild-card playoff round. The third-place team would likely get St. Louis.
And speaking of St. Louis (+2200 DraftKings, FanDuel), the Cardinals and Triple Crown threat Paul Goldschmidt have gone 17-5 since Aug. 13, including Monday night’s bizarre 6-0 home loss to Washington, and have expanded their division lead from half a game to 7.5 over Milwaukee.
And that run of success should carry through the end of the week with three more home games against Washington and then three in Pittsburgh. Those foes have the two worst records in the NL.
The Brewers, who are only two games behind Philly and San Diego for the final wild card, have +5000 odds at most sites but Milwaukee fans will want to hit up FanDuel, which has posted number of +8500.
The LA Dodgers’ odds (+360 DraftKings) keep shrinking, which shouldn’t be a shocker since they have a plus-291 run differential (102 better than anyone else) and have a 7.5-game edge over the Mets for the top seed in the NL playoffs.
Helping to enhance their status as World Series favorites is that LHP Clayton Kershaw is back after missing almost a month with a back injury. He returned to pitch five innings of one-hit ball vs. the Mets last Thursday. He’s scheduled to work again Wednesday against the Giants.
Although the Padres (+3000 DraftKings, FanDuel) have moved into a virtual tie for the second WC slot, the bad news is they still have six games remaining against the Dodgers. Since last August. LA has gone 19-3 vs. the Padres.
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A futures bet is long-term wager, typically on the season-long performance of a team. Examples of MLB futures bets include wagering on a team to win the World Series, AL or NL Pennant, and/or its division. Season win totals, where you can bet that a team will win over or under a certain number of games, may also be considered futures bets.
If sports betting is legal in your state, regulated sportsbooks like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, and BetRivers, offer futures betting on MLB. Shop around your state’s approved sportsbooks for the most advantageous sign-up bonuses, as well as for the best odds offered for your bet. If you’d like to bet the Braves to win the World Series, for example, find the sportsbook that offers the longest odds (largest payout) on that outcome. For example, if one sportsbook offers +1000 (10-to-1 odds) on the Braves winning the World Series and another offers +1200 (12-to-1 odds), make your bet with the latter, since +1200 pays off a larger sum than +1000.
Yes. Most sportsbooks offer futures wagering throughout the season and will adjust the odds based on how each team is performing, their chances of making the playoffs, injuries, and other factors. You can even wait until the postseason starts to make a futures wager.