- MLB owners have proposed an 82-game season that would begin on July 4 and wrap up by early November
- The Dodgers (+375) are slight favorites over the Yankees (+450) to win the World Series under the new format
- NL East clubs have seen their title odds plummet thanks to a regionalized schedule that would put a greater emphasis on divisional games
—a brisk 82-game regular-season schedule, a universal DH and an expanded 14-team postseason that would give us even more October baseball—but alas, it was too good to be true.
With players worried about their health and their pocketbooks, and owners fretting their bottomline with no fans in the stands, there’s no telling yet if baseball will be back by the 4th of July.
However, with all that money at stake, it’s likely only a matter of time before the MLB and players’ union come to some kind of an agreement. And according to oddsmakers, that would be very good news for Dodgers and Yankees fans.
2020 WORLD SERIES ODDS
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+375|
|New York Yankees||+450|
|New York Mets||+2500|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+2500|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+2500|
|Chicago White Sox||+3000|
|Los Angeles Angels||+3000|
|Boston Red Sox||+5000|
|San Diego Padres||+5000|
|San Francisco Giants||+15000|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+15000|
|Kansas City Royals||+30000|
DODGERS AND YANKEES FAVORED
The Yankees were chalk to win the World Series before COVID-19 threw a giant wrench into the wheels of society, but the Dodgers (+375) are now slight betting favorites ahead of New York (+450).
What changed? Well, in an effort to limit travel and isolate teams geographically, the proposed 82-game season has the two East divisions playing each other, the two Central divisions playing each other and the two West divisions playing each other, in addition to a slate of divisional games.
Mad Dog Russo tells the MLB players association to go to hell. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/I5omGHMSuz
— Funhouse (@BackAftaThis) May 20, 2020
This means the Yankees would get a heaping helping of the Braves, Mets, Phillies and the defending champion Nationals.
In addition to their tougher regular-season schedule, oddsmakers believe the Yankees will face more competition for the No. 1 seed in the American League than Los Angeles will in the National League. This is a huge factor under the expanded 14-team postseason, where only the clubs with the best record in each league will claim a Wild Card round bye.
TEAMS TO TAKE A SWING ON
The Astros (+1200), the only other team with championship odds shorter than 20-1, have clearly been one of the biggest beneficiaries of COVID-19 as no one’s heard a peep about their cheating ways since the pandemic started. And much like the Dodgers, they stand to benefit from the lack of quality teams in both West divisions.
Their AL West rivals in Oakland (+2200) have also seen their odds shorten in recent days due to the same reason, while the Minnesota Twins continue to hold steady in the AL Central at +2000 to win the World Series.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) May 20, 2020
The odds of all the NL East clubs have more than doubled since we last checked in—Braves from +1000 to +2000, Mets from +1400 to +2500, Nationals from +1400 to +3000, and the Phillies from +1400 to +4000—largely thanks to the fact that the new proposal would create a divisional bloodbath.
Bettors should no doubt be wary of the new regionalized schedules, but don’t forget that an additional four teams will make the postseason under the new format. Also keep in mind that sports are nothing but unpredictable – that’s why we like them.
So, take a swing on any team but the Dodgers and Yankees while the odds are still long and potentially lucrative.