Bet This, Not That: Dodgers Are World Series Favorites, Astros Present Value

The Astros present value at eighteen to one odds to win the World Series for the third time in eight seasons.  The Phillies also look appealing at +900.
May 19, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker (30) hits a three-run HR
May 19, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker (30) hits a three-run HR / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Entering the preseason, three teams had better than +1000 odds to win the World Series:  the Los Angeles Dodgers (+350), the Atlanta Braves (+650), and the Houston Astros (+900).

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Dodgers remain the favorites more than six weeks into the season at +300.   

Los Angeles spent more than one billion—yes, that’s a billion with a “B”—in free agency signings in the off-season, and so far, those additions are paying off. Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinibu Yamamoto, and Tyler Glasnow are living up to and possibly even exceeding expectations, and the Dodgers sit comfortably atop the NL West with a 32-17 record and a 7.5-game lead over the San Diego Padres. Their +85 run differential is the best in MLB. 

The Dodgers are used to being the favorites. Los Angeles has been the favorite to win the World Series in 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024. The last time they won the World Series was 2020. 

Los Angeles last appeared in the NLCS in 2021, losing to the eventual World Series Champion Atlanta Braves. 

The Braves remain next in line with four-to-one odds to win it all, despite the fact that the Phillies (+900) have a five-game lead in the NL East and boast a +80 run differential. Atlanta is playing well, but for just a four-to-one payout, it is not well enough to tie up a lot of bankroll through October. The Braves last won the World Series in 2021, and since then, they have not advanced past the NLDS. Both of those NLDS series were lost to the Phillies. The Phillies went on to win the World Series in 2022, defeating the Houston Astros after making the postseason via a wild card berth. 

The Houston Astros had an abysmal start to the 2024 season, bottoming out 13 games below .500.    Their odds to win it all have fallen from +900 to +1800.   

At that payout,  I am all in. 

Houston has won nine of its last eleven games, and they are starting to look like themselves again, moving within four games of the Mariners who lead the AL West.   The Houston pitching rotation is still short-handed, with Jose Urquidy, Lance McCullers, and Luis Garcia expected to be ready in the coming weeks/months, yet Kyle Tucker leads MLB with 15 home runs, and the team’s .265 batting average is the best in the league. They’re in the top five in OBP, OPS, and SLG, and once their pitching staff is healthy enough to move Hunter Brown and Spencer Arrighetti into relief,  we should see this Astros team back on top in a weak division.   

The Astros have plenty of postseason success. Houston has appeared in five World Series since 2017, winning two. They have also won the AL West in six of the last seven seasons and the AL Pennant in four of the previous seven seasons.

Yes, the Dodgers and the Braves are excellent baseball teams, but I’ll hold out for the bigger payday. 

Bet This: Astros (+1800) or Phillies (+900) to win 2024 World Series

Not that: Dodgers (+300) or Braves (+400)

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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Jennifer Piacenti

JENNIFER PIACENTI

In addition to being a fantasy sports and betting analyst at Sports Illustrated, Jennifer is a radio host for Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, and she hosts her own podcast, “Waiver Wired” on the Extra Points podcast network. Jennifer has been nominated for multiple FSWA awards for her NFL DFS video series. She’s a Scott Fish Bowl Finalist, and she finished third overall in the 2021 NFFC post-season mini. Jennifer is also a featured expert on MLB Network’s “Bettor’s Eye,” and a member of the esteemed Tout Wars, the fantasy baseball battle of the experts.