Dodgers dominate all MLB odds in the futures markets as the season begins

By | March 27, 2024

Any discussion of the Major League Baseball season, especially in the gambling world, has to start with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers are keeping an eye on everything after their offseason spending. When you place a World Series bet, make sure you believe that team can beat the Dodgers. At least you get good chances, because the Dodgers are major favorites.

Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts is one of the favorites for NL MVP this season.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts is one of the favorites for NL MVP this season.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Los Angeles Dodgers’ Mookie Betts is one of the favorites for NL MVP this season. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Let’s take a look at the top markets for the MLB season, with odds from BetMGM:

Dodgers are World Series favorites

Here are the top World Series contenders, with their odds to win it all:

Dodgers +350

Braves +450

Astros +800

Yankees +900

Orioles +1300

Rangers +1400

Phillies +1500

Sailors +2000

Blue Jays +2000

All other teams have odds of at least 25 to 1.

It’s no surprise that the Dodgers are the favorites, but their chances aren’t exceptionally slim. That’s partly because the Atlanta Braves are also really good, and everyone remembers how random the MLB playoffs were last year, with the best teams losing early. The Dodgers have the best team on paper and +350 isn’t the worst value you can find (implied odds of 22.2%, while PECOTA has Los Angeles with a 20.2% chance to win it all), but it is difficult to hold your money for so long in such a volatile market at short odds.

Dodgers, Braves have huge win totals

The Dodgers have a win total of 103.5, which seems outrageously high. But what prevents them from passing that on? They could get injured, in the unlikely event that MLB’s investigation into Shohei Ohtani takes him off the field, complacency could set in sometime late in the regular season, and the Dodgers know the only thing that matters is the postseason so they can rest players (especially pitchers) during the season. Still, they clearly have the talent to reach 104 wins.

The Braves also have a win total over 100, at 101.5. The next closest team to the top two is the Houston Astros at 92.5.

There have been three teams that have seen their win total increase by three since lines opened. The Baltimore Orioles moved from 87.5 to 90.5, the Cleveland Guardians went from 76.5 to 79.5 and the Pittsburgh Pirates moved from 72.5 to 75.5. The Orioles are getting a lot of respect after their huge 2023 season. The Detroit Tigers total of 81.5 is the most we’re betting on, but we can ignore that because Michigan fans like to bet on their teams. The second most bet is the Orioles.

A new AL MVP

The rest of the American League can finally dream of winning an MVP award. Shohei Ohtani is in the National League, which makes the AL MVP market a lot more interesting.

A pair of Yankees, Aaron Judge (+550) and Juan Soto (+600) lead the AL MVP odds. Corey Seager and Julio Rodriguez are next at +1000. Among the other interesting candidates: Adley Rutschman and Bobby Witt Jr. at +1600 and Kyle Tucker at +1800. With Ohtani out of the mix, there is good value for some great AL players. Rodriguez is the most-betted player for AL MVP at BetMGM, with 26.3% of the money wagered on the prize going on the Mariners star.

However, Ohtani isn’t dominating the NL MVP odds. He won’t pitch this season due to elbow surgery, but he’s still third in the odds at +900. Ronald Acuna Jr. is the favorite at +525, Mookie Betts is +600 and the two players after Ohtani are Fernando Tatis Jr. (+1000) and Freddie Freeman (+1100). That’s three Dodgers in the top five NL MVP favorites. Betts is interesting because he made a run last season and will become the Dodgers’ shortstop, a position change that will impress voters.

Ohtani has taken the most money on the NL MVP market at 15.1%. Bryce Harper is BetMGM’s biggest liability at 12-to-1.

The other awards

Like NL MVP, a Braves player is the favorite for NL Cy Young. Spencer Strider is the favorite at +425, he is also the most heavily bet player and BetMGM’s biggest risk. Zach Wheeler is +900 and Logan Webb is +1000.

With last year’s AL Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole suffering an elbow injury, his chances of winning that award have increased. Kevin Gausman and Corbin Burnes (who came over from NL to AL when the Milwaukee Brewers traded him to the Orioles) are the favorites at +800. The player with the most bets and the biggest liability is Tarik Skubal of the Detroit Tigers, who is 10 to 1.

The AL Rookie of the Year race is interesting because Baltimore Orioles top prospect Jackson Holliday (+450) is the highest stakes player, but he will start the season in the minors. Texas Rangers outfielder Wyatt Langford is the favorite at +225.

Surprise: A Dodgers player is playing a big role in the NL Rookie of the Year race. Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who dominated in Japan, is the favorite at +250 despite being shelled in his first MLB start in South Korea last week. He is by far the player with the most bets, with 44.5% of the prize bet coming in on Yamamoto.

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