While it may seem like the World Series just ended yesterday it is never too early to begin looking at futures bets for next season. Since Free Agency has just begun there will still be massive changes to these odds and these outlooks but there is still value in some of these numbers and let’s take a look at the bets I like best.
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Los Angeles Dodgers (+550) and Houston Astros (+600)
I combined these two teams because they are the betting favorites as of right now and for a good reason. The Dodgers have been the best team in baseball for the last five or so seasons and while their postseason success has not followed, they are still one of the best bets out there. They may be losing Trea Turner to go along with losing Tyler Anderson already but they have proven to be one of the best player development shops in baseball. They have consistently been able to backfill for players they lose and have been able to make the most out of their starting pitchers. The Turner loss might be one of the bigger ones yet, but they still have two MVP candidates anchoring their offense. The Astros are the AL-equivalent of the Dodgers with elite player development to go along with one of the best cores in all of baseball. If they do not re-sign Justin Verlander that is a pretty big blow to their pitching staff but they still have several elite arms that were excellent in this recent World Series run. The Astros will not be losing much from their offensive core which, again, is still one of the best in baseball. These two teams are elite and as of right now and are clearly a step above the rest of baseball as it stands right now.
Seattle Mariners (+1800)
Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has already been active, making a big trade for Teoscar Hernandez to add another power bat to this Mariners’ lineup. The rest of the offense is still a bit of a question mark but I have confidence that the Mariners will continue to add to their lineup and further improve their offense. Any lineup centered around an all-world talent like Julio Rodriguez can get hot at the right time and make a run. The key to this team is the pitching staff. Robbie Ray, Luis Castillo, George Kirby, and Logan Gilbert form one of the best rotations in all of baseball. They also boast a deep and talented bullpen that features enough swing-and-miss stuff to impact playoff series.
Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Guardians (+3500)
Moving down to a lower tier, two teams that stand out are Milwaukee and Cleveland and they follow similar molds to get there. Both teams feature deep and talented rotations anchored by two Cy Young candidates. Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes can win games on their own for the Brewers and Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie can do the same for the Guardians. Cleveland has one of the youngest rosters in all of baseball and their offense, while flawed, showed some signs of life late in the season. Oscar Gonzalez looks like he could become a true power threat where one is desperately needed in the offense. For the Brewers, they have a few young prospects who could be utilized for trades or who could be called up late in the season to help push the team overboard. Cleveland, much like the Mariners, has an elite bullpen with arguably the best closer in the game right now, Emmanuel Clase. The Brewers have a bit more of a flawed bullpen but there is talent there and they have developed pitching well enough that I am confident they can make some improvement there.
There are a few other teams that stand out for lesser reasons such as the Yankees and Mets who seemed to each be close this season. In terms of super dart throws, there are the Marlins at +7500 who have a strong pitching development pipeline and prospects who could all break the right way and lead to a magical season.
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