Betting on where top free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will ultimately land is literally a gamble right now, but guessing correctly could make you a lot of money if they sign with teams not considered favorites to go on to win the World Series.
The question is, what under-the-radar teams still have a shot at Harper and Machado, and do they have enough talent to make a postseason run without those stars?
The Chicago White Sox are listed at +3300 (bet $100 to win $3300) on the 2019 World Series odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com and have already made some nice offseason moves. The White Sox signed Machado's friend Jon Jay and traded for his brother-in-law Yonder Alonso in hopes that he would follow them to the South Side. They also added starting pitcher Ivan Nova to a rotation featuring one of the most underrated young aces in southpaw Carlos Rodon.
With the Cleveland Indians possibly on the decline in the American League Central, Chicago may be a good pick.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants are even longer shots at +10000 at sports betting sites, but that has not stopped them from taking a shot at Harper on a short-term deal. The Giants believe they can still contend with the likes of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West after winning the World Series three times over the past decade. San Francisco has veteran carryovers from those teams in Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner.
Another team in the middle at +6600 that might be worth a wager is the Toronto Blue Jays, although they have at least two proven contenders to battle in the American League East. The Blue Jays are hoping a stellar first season from AL Rookie of the Year favorite Vladimir Guerrero Jr. plus rebounds from starting pitchers Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez might be enough to push them into contention alongside a pair of World Series favorites in the New York Yankees (+700) and defending champion Boston Red Sox (+750).
Honorable mention here goes to the Tampa Bay Rays at +3300, as they too could end up being a surprise as a potential Wild Card team.