Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo and Mike Rizzo.
- World Series odds are on the move and will continue to adjust as this week's MLB Winter Meetings will fire up the offseason hot stove.
- If you plan on taking teams like the Phillies or Yankees, you should do so now given their chances of landing a superstar such as Manny Machado or Bryce Harper.
- Teams that aren't expected to make any big acquisitions, like the Red Sox and Indians, may provide better payouts later in the offseason.
Sunday marks the start of the 2019 MLB Winter Meetings, which take place in Las Vegas. Ivy League students will be passing around resumes like hors d’oeuvres at a snooty party.
Agents, like Scott Boras, will be lighting up cigars thinking about all of the money they’re about to make, and the burners on the stove will be turned up to high, as hot-stove season will come to its peak.
We’ve had a few big moves this past week, with Patrick Corbin signing with Washington, Paul Goldschmidt traded to St. Louis and Nathan Eovaldi re-signing with Boston.
The star free agents are still on the board, but we’re sure to learn more about which teams are pushing hard for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado over the next week.
I don’t know if Harper or Machado get signed right away, in fact, I would probably bet that they won’t. I do expect them to sign before the end of 2018, though, making this an important window of the World Series futures betting market.
There are a handful of other availalbe players capable of moving odds, too, especially if multiple players sign with the same team.
With that said, I’ve prepared some literature for you readers regarding what you should do with a few teams’ World Series futures.
I’m not telling you which teams have value, here. Instead, I’m telling you when you should bet on these teams if you planned on doing so at some point during the offseason.
Teams to bet now
Phillies: The Phils were in the running for Corbin, but the Nats beat them to the punch. Now, they’ll be looking to add not just one, but multiple impact players to their roster in the coming weeks.
Rumor has it that they prefer Machado to Harper, but they’ve been heavily linked to both.
That’s not all, though.
They also want an outfielder, such as A.J. Pollock or Michael Brantley, a left-handed starter, such as Dallas Keuchel or J.A. Happ, and bullpen arms, of which there are a handful of names carrying clout. What a Christmas list.
Even if they don’t get Machado or Harper, they’re going to get somebody. If things go right, their odds could be in the 10-1 range or even better come spring training. The longer you wait, the more value you could miss.
Yankees: BREAKING: Yankees expected to be big players in the offseason. Never thought I’d see the day …
Like Philly, New York will be busy, busy, busy. Both superstars have been linked to the Bronx, but New York also has the ability, and seemingly the desire, to make a trade or two.
Despite already adding James Paxton, they could use the most work in their starting rotation. If they can’t land one of the few top-of-the-rotation arms in free agency, they may trade for another stud.
Names like Madison Bumgarner and Trevor Bauer have been swirling about, and both could make the Yankees the lone favorites in front of the Red Sox.
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Teams to bet later
Red Sox: The World Series champs are currently co-favorites with the rival Yankees at +750. The Sox — my beloved Sox, I may add — probably just made their final “big” move of the offseason, though, by bringing back Nathan Eovaldi.
I expect them to add a reliever or two, but that’s really it.
Unlike most offseasons, Boston doesn’t appear to be in on any of the marquee free agents. They hit a home run (baseball pun) with their J.D. Martinez signing last year and, barring a blockbuster trade, appear to be out on all the star players this year.
With other contenders bidding for superstars, Boston’s odds can likely only get worse — which means a better payout if you wait.
Indians: The Indians should find themselves in a cushy spot in the AL Central once again, but may roll out a roster that’s a bit worse than last year’s. They already lost Josh Donaldson, with Brantley, Cody Allen and Andrew Miller also on the market.
There’s even been trade rumors surounding a couple of their stud starters, Bauer and Corey Kluber, as well as the slugging veteran Edwin Encarnacion.
It seems like an odd time to trade any of those guys given their easy path to the playoffs, but it sounds like the Indians will, if anything, be getting worse rather than better.