- Sportsbooks have updated their 2018 World Series odds ahead of the MLB non-waiver trade deadline (July 31).
- Our experts calculated which teams are being overvalued and undervalued based on factors like run differential and likely trades.
- Would bettors be smart to wager on one of the AL’s “big three”: the Astros, Red Sox, or Yankees?
It’s no secret that there’s considerable juice on World Series futures at every sportsbook. Some are worse than others, but when you add up the implied probability of all the teams’ odds, it will always go well beyond 100%. That can make it tough for bettors to find value as most teams’ chances are overestimated.
The biggest overestimations are usually with so-called “public” teams, i.e. the teams that are popular picks among the general public. These tend to be big-market teams with nationwide fan-bases. Think Yankees, Red Sox, and Cubs.
Every so often, sportsbooks will undervalue a team or two, setting their odds shorter than they should in comparison to that team’s actual chances of winning the World Series.
Ahead of the MLB’s non-waiver trade deadline (July 31), our MLB experts have juxtaposed the current World Series futures from BetOnline with our own World Series title probabilities. (See chart below.)
2018 World Series Futures Comparison
|TEAM||BETONLINE‘S ODDS (& PROBABILITY)||MTS’ ODDS (& PROBABILITY)||DIFFERENCE|
|ASTROS||+450 (18.2%)||+525 (16.0%)||-2.2%|
|YANKEES||+450 (18.2%)||+700 (12.5%)||-5.7%|
|RED SOX||+500 (16.7%)||+650 (13.3%)||-3.4%|
|CUBS||+700 (12.5%)||+850 (10.5%)||-2.0%|
|DODGERS||+800 (11.1%)||+750 (11.8%)||+0.7%|
|INDIANS||+800 (11.1%)||+1100 (8.3%)||-2.8%|
|PHILLIES||+1600 (5.9%)||+2200 (4.3%)||-1.6%|
|BRAVES||+2000 (4.8%)||+1900 (5.0%)||+0.2%|
|BREWERS||+2000 (4.8%)||+4000 (2.4%)||-2.4%|
|DIAMONDBACKS||+2000 (4.8%)||+3500 (2.8%)||-2.0%|
|MARINERS||+2000 (4.8%)||+3800 (2.6%)||-2.2%|
|NATIONALS||+2000 (4.8%)||+3500 (2.8%)||-2.0%|
|GIANTS||+3300 (2.9%)||+7500 (1.3%)||-1.6%|
|ROCKIES||+4000 (2.4%)||+4500 (2.2%)||-0.2%|
|ATHLETICS||+5000 (2.0%)||+3500 (2.8%)||+0.8%|
|CARDINALS||+5000 (2.0%)||+7500 (1.3%)||-0.7%|
|ANGELS||+10000 (1.0%)||+40000 (0.2%)||-0.8%|
|PIRATES||+15000 (0.7%)||+40000 (0.2%)||-0.5%|
|TWINS||+25000 (0.4%)||+40000 (0.2%)||-0.2%|
|RAYS||+50000 (0.2%)||+15000 (0.7%)||+0.5%|
|BLUE JAYS||+100000 (0.1%)||NIL||-0.1%|
As expected, we rate most teams’ chances lower than the sportsbook. But not all! Based on a number of factors (listed below), we found four teams currently being undervalued: the Dodgers, Braves, Athletics, and Rays.
The Dodgers benefit from being the most likely landing spot for Manny Machado. They also played significantly better over the second part of the season (to date) than the first thanks, in part, to being healthier. The team that you’ve seen over the last two weeks is much closer to the team you will see down the stretch than the jalopy that sputtered out of the gate. They also have the second-best run differential in the NL (+82).
Breaking; The Dodgers appear to be the leading contender for superstar Manny Machado as talks head toward the finish line. The situation is fluid and brewers and phillies may still have an outside chance. Barring turnabout, deal should be done this week. Story comin on @Fancred
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 17, 2018
The Braves are third in run differential (+68) and have a plentiful number of prospects that they can use to acquire assets before the deadline. The Atlanta brass isn’t going to empty the cupboards, but with the Nationals struggling so mightily in the NL East, the division is as wide open as it’s been in years. Thanks to solid years from unassuming pitchers like Anibal Sanchez and Julio Teheran, the rotation (led by Sean Newcomb and Mike Foltynewicz) is good enough to compete.
The Athletics and Rays get a bump almost entirely because the Mariners are falling back to earth faster than a SpaceX rocket. Seattle’s stranglehold on the second AL Wild Card is loosening by the day, now just three games clear of Oakland. Figuring out who’s going to get into the tournament is the biggest factor in calculating World Series futures, and at this point, we favor the A’s (+24 run differential; 21-9 in the last 30 games) to overtake the M’s (-2 run differential; 15-15 in the last 30 games).
We give Tampa (+20 run differential; 18-12 in the last 30 games) an outside shot to claim the second Wild Card, but given that they are still 8.5 games back and may deal Chris Archer before the deadline, can’t back them too hard.