Predicting a World Series winner in September is hard enough, but it is even more complicated when factoring in the intricacies that come with the unique 2020 season. Generally, at this time, we have a sample of more than 130 games from each team to dissect and formulate our reasoning. At this point, we have less than 40 games to determine who will not only win it all but will navigate the most resonant playoff field ever.
While futures wagers this year are complicated on bettors, oddsmakers too have the difficulty of making fair odds and not leaving themselves exposed to a team that has the formula to go all the way but may not be playing their best baseball just yet. Nevertheless, we scour the odds from FanDuel Sportsbook and make our case for the best bet to win the 2020 World Series.
Odds to Win the 2020 World Series (via FanDuel Sportsbook)
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The Dodgers are a Fair Price
In our National League pennant preview, we determined that while the Los Angeles Dodgers were the best of the NL teams, it was their +150 price tag that was too steep to back for them to win the pennant. However, their odds of +380 to win the World Series seems more than fair for a team that, to this point, has looked head and shoulders better than every other team in baseball.
The Dodgers have a +93 run differential, which is double the differential of the next best team. While they have been limited to playing teams from the two West divisions, their competition seems better than most other contenders given the depth of their division. Their division rival San Diego Padres, own baseball’s second-best record. In addition, the fourth-place Colorado Rockies are just two games under .500, while the fourth-best team in other divisions are as many as six games worse than that mark.
The Dodgers, along with every other playoff team, will have an extra opponent and series to get through. However, they have everything you want in a playoff contender. They have two studs in Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler at the top of the rotation and a bunch of reliable depth behind them. And about Buehler, he has not even scratched the surface of his potential yet this season as he has pitched to a 4.32 ERA through five starts. Also, in past years it was the Dodgers bullpen that people pointed to as a significant question mark. However, this year’s cast of relievers is second-best in baseball with a 2.11 ERA, which is more than a full run better than the fourth-best ERA.
There will be people who will nitpick Los Angeles’s lack of pitching depth after the Ross Stripling trade. Yet, Julio Urias is quietly having a solid season for a No. 3 starter with an ERA of 3.27 and three quality starts to his name. And while people still doubt rookie Dustin May’s ability, all he does is produce.
Dustin May leads all MLB rookies in IP (35) and starts (7, t-1st). He's 3rd in the NL in ERA (2.83), WHIP (1.17), and SO (23).
If you're picking a National League Rookie of the Year, this should be your guy. #Dodgers
— Clint Pasillas (FRG) (@realFRG) September 1, 2020
While their pitching depth is one of the best among contenders, it is the versatility and relentlessness of their lineup that sets them apart the most. Manager Dave Roberts can insert as many as six quality right-handed bats against left-handed starters and five left-handed bats against righties. No team in baseball can say they have that much flexibility with their lineup. When players like Chris Taylor, Austin Barnes, and Enrique Hernandez do not play every day, you know your team is deep. And in case you missed it, this is what the Dodgers offense did in August.
The homers that made history.
Relive all 57 homers that set the NL record for the most home runs in a month! pic.twitter.com/Fg1aMpRjF1
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 1, 2020
The Dodgers were quiet at the trade deadline, which suggests their front office is happy to go to war with the roster they have now. Who could blame them, as their current .730 winning percentage would have them on pace to win 118 games throughout a 162-game season.
BREAKING: After failing to make a move at the trade deadline, the #Dodgers are still the best team in baseball
— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) August 31, 2020
Best Bet: Los Angeles Dodgers to Win the 2020 World Series (+380)
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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.