The All-Star Break is behind us and the second half of the season has arrived. By this point in the season, we not only have a good idea of the top World Series contenders, but also the playoff teams. It looks like we aren’t going to have many dramatic races for postseason spots as August and September roll along.
That being said, you never know what might happen and how injuries will dictate the pennant races. As the focus shifts to football for a lot of bettors, don’t lose sight of baseball and the betting opportunities that are present on the diamond. That includes the World Series futures market.
As teams move closer to guaranteeing their spots in the playoffs, the odds are going to move and shift. It is in your best interest as a bettor to keep an eye out on the odds and see if you can find the right time to lock in a World Series price.
Some teams are obviously nowhere near contention. Others are on the fringes of contention and their odds will reflect that. Others have odds that are suggestive of their chances based on playoff probabilities, early-season exposure for sportsbooks, and the other factors that influence price.
The updated 2021 World Series odds certainly show a preference towards teams that are leading their divisions, as the one-game crapshoot in the Wild Card Round can knock out a really good team before it even has a chance to really get going.
2021 MLB World Series Odds
Based on the odds that you see listed here, the Los Angeles Dodgers remain the favorite, even though they did hit the All-Star Break trailing the San Francisco Giants in the NL West standings. The Giants have been a case study in disrespect all season long, not only from the futures market, but from a day-by-day, game-by-game standpoint as well.
The Houston Astros have the shortest price in the American League, as their dogfight with the Oakland A’s looks to be a little bit one-sided based on head-to-head records. Even though the Chicago White Sox are unlikely to be caught in the AL Central Division, their woes against good teams may be weighing on their World Series odds. The White Sox have beaten up on a lot of bad teams.
Conversely, the Astros have played their best baseball against the league’s best. They also have the best offense in the league and what we’ve seen since the foreign substance crackdown suggests that offense could very well rule the day come October.
The San Diego Padres are still being given a lot of love in the futures market, even though they’ll be locked into a tough NL West battle throughout the season and appear likely to be in that one-game playoff round against the other team that falls short in its quest to win the division.
Are there any teams worthy of a bet right now?
San Francisco Giants – The Giants are a team that doesn’t seem to be going away like most people expected. With one of the top starting rotations in baseball and a top-five offense, the Giants have as good a chance as any of the three teams in the NL West race. San Francisco just has a much larger price and one that seems to create a fair amount of equity at this point in time.
Tampa Bay Rays – With ongoing issue in the Bronx and not enough pitching for Toronto, the Rays look to be the team with the best chance to overcome the Red Sox for the AL East Division title. If nothing else, Tampa Bay is positioned well to be the AL Wild Card team if the division doesn’t work out as planned.
Cincinnati Reds – We’ve got a big price here on the Reds, who are the only legitimate threat in the NL Central to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Reds could very well win that division and head into the postseason. They’d be an underdog when they got there, but with a ticket in the 55/1 range, hedging will be an immediate possibility to lock in some profit on a good investment.
- The Dodgers have now appeared in 21 World Series. They have won only 7 of them.
- The New York Yankees have made 40 World Series appearances. They have won it 27 times.
- The St. Louis Cardinals own the second-most World Series titles with 11 including seven championships since 1996.
- San Diego, Tampa Bay, Texas, Milwaukee, and Colorado have never won a World Series despite getting there at least once.
- Seattle is the only current MLB team to never make a World Series appearance.
How To Bet World Series Futures
You have to think of World Series futures as an investment. The best-case scenario is that you pick the team that takes down the title. The more likely scenario is that you do not because there are 10 teams that make the playoffs and you have to pick the one team that will record the final out and celebrate on the pitcher’s mound.
With any long-term futures bet, the goal is to turn a profit. That is why you want to consider several different factors before you bet on the World Series. The first and most important is that you need to pick a team that has a great shot at making the playoffs. Consider the strength of the division, as teams will play 76 of the 162 games against division opponents. Try to pick a division winner because the runner-up will have to play in the Wild Card Game and anything can happen in a one-game playoff.
You can look at the World Series futures and see prices like 4/1 or 5/1 on the top teams and think that it is a good value, but you have to remember something very important. The bigger the price, the more flexibility you have from a hedging standpoint. With a 4/1 or 5/1 team, you basically have to have that team make it to the Finals before you can hedge against that price.
Depending on when you bet World Series futures, you could be having your money held for upwards of six or seven months. You want something to show for that time. Betting on the favorites could be your preferred course of action, but you really need that favorite to make a deep playoff run. If you bet on a longer shot team, you just need them to get into the playoffs and then you can determine the best way to secure a profit.
The odds matter. Be sure to shop around for the best prices on every team that you are interested in. Don’t take +1000 when +1200 is out there. Don’t take +2000 when +2500 is out there. Every odds increase matters, both in terms of your payout and your flexibility for hedging.