MLB betting: How the first month has changed the World Series futures market
We're just over a month into the MLB season. You'll often hear people say that baseball is a "crockpot sport, not a microwave sport." Basically, there's plenty of streaks along the way but the hope is that over the 162-game season, everything finds it's level and ends up being representative. You'll often hear people say things like, "I don't even check the standings until Memorial Day." However, that hasn't stopped BetMGM from making some significant changes to the World Series future market.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to futures betting. Some people like to just place one bet before the season and let that bet ride all season long. Others treat the futures market as if it were the stock market. They scour it weekly and attempt to buy undervalued assets, hoping that their collection of good buys leads to a profit at the end of the season. So which stocks are up and which stocks are down through the first month?
Is a hot start a good thing? Of course. However, there are still almost five months of regular season baseball remaining before the postseason begins, so nothing has been won yet. The oddsmakers have adjusted positively to these six teams since Opening Day.
New York Mets: The Mets were the first team in baseball to reach 20 wins. They have yet to lose a series this season. Their six-game lead in the NL East is twice as big as the second-largest division lead in the league. As a result, the Mets have gone from +200 to -200 to win the division. They've also gone from 11-to-1 to +800 to win the World Series.
New York Yankees: Entering the season, there were concerns over whether the Yankees had done enough to keep pace with the teams around them. They lost a series to Baltimore early in the season. However, they've won 16 of their last 18 games and currently have the best winning percentage in baseball. The Yankees have gone from +230 to -105 to win the AL East. They've gone from 11-to-1 to +800 to win it all.
Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers entered with high hopes, and they're off to a solid start, playing at a 103-win pace. The teams in their division might be even worse than expected. Milwaukee opened 16-to-1 to win the World Series, but that's down to 12-to-1. Milwaukee was -175 to win the NL Central and that line is now a prohibitive -300.
San Francisco Giants: Last season, many didn't buy the Giants despite them finishing with the best record in baseball. They've started off this season with a 17-12 record. San Francisco opened at 35-to-1 to win the World Series. On Opening Day, they were 25-to-1. Today, the Giants are 20-to-1 to win it all.
Los Angeles Angels: Powered by the two current AL MVP favorites in Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, the Angels are off to a 20-11 start, giving them the fourth-best winning percentage in baseball. The Angels opened at +400 to win the AL West, but that's down to just +210. Their World Series odds have dipped from 25-to-1 to 20-to-1.
Minnesota Twins: The biggest mover in the first month of the season has actually been the Minnesota Twins. They currently lead the AL Central with a record of 18-11. They opened +500 to win the division, now they're down to just +115 to do so. Their World Series odds have been shaved significantly as well, currently sitting at 30-to-1 after being 50-to-1 on Opening Day.
A slow start isn't ideal, but it isn't a death knell. Thankfully for these teams, there are 130-plus games left on the schedule to turn things around. Some of these teams represent a good potential value to buy low. Other teams might have been rated too high by the public to begin the year. These are the teams oddsmakers have been unimpressed with to begin the season.
Chicago White Sox: At the start of the season, the White Sox had the third-best odds to win the World Series behind the Dodgers and Astros. They've won six of their last seven after an 8-13 start, but a .500 record is not where Chicago expected to be. Injuries to Lance Lynn, Eloy Jimenez, Andrew Vaughn, Garrett Crochet and Aaron Bummer have not helped. The White Sox opened -200 to win the AL Central, but that's down to just -115. Their World Series odds have gone from 11-to-1 to 18-to-1 as well. Are the White Sox beginning to figure it out?
Atlanta Braves: The reigning World Series champions are two games under .500 through 30 games, but they have recently got Ronald Acuna Jr. back from injury. Nevertheless, the Mets have opened up a sizable division lead already. The Braves have gone from +120 to +260 to win the NL East, and their World Series odds have gone from 12-to-1 to 14-to-1. Atlanta overcame a sizable Mets lead last season, can it do it again?
Tampa Bay Rays: Despite an 18-12 start and having a top-10 record in baseball, oddsmakers have downgraded the Tampa Bay Rays. Is this a Yankees and Toronto bias? Perhaps. The Rays have gone from 14-to-1 to 20-to-1 to win the World Series. Tampa Bay opened at +240 to win the AL East, but that's up to +500. They're just three games behind the Yankees, a team they have a 22-12 head-to-head record against over the last two seasons.
St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals are 16-12 and just two games back of the Brewers in the NL Central. Despite that, their World Series odds have gone from 20-to-1 on Opening Day to 35-to-1 today. Nolan Arenado is the current NL MVP co-favorite with Manny Machado.
Boston Red Sox: It was a nice, but unexpected season for Boston in 2021. The Red Sox haven't built on that to begin 2022, currently sitting in the basement of the AL East with a 10-19 record, two games back of the fourth-place Baltimore Orioles. As a result, Boston has gone from 6-to-1 to win the division on Opening Day, to 30-to-1 today. The World Series odds have shot up from 18-to-1 to 40-to-1.
Detroit Tigers: Believe it or not, there was significant Detroit Tigers hype entering the season. They were 35-to-1 to win the World Series, odds similar to those of the Giants and Angels and better odds than the Twins. Detroit has answered that hype by posting the second-worst record in baseball to begin the year. Detroit is now 100-to-1 to win the World Series.