Zerillo’s Updated 2020 MLB Win Totals, Division, World Series Odds After Dodgers Acquire Betts, Price
Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Mookie Betts
After the Dodgers acquired Mookie Betts and David Price from the Red Sox on Tuesday, oddsmakers had to adjust MLB win totals and odds quickly.
The Dodgers immediately moved from around +500 (implied 16.7%) to as low as +350 (implied 22.2%) to win the 2020 World Series, while their win total climbed from 98.5 to 100.5.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox saw their win total plummet from as high as 90.5 to as low as 85.5 — as substantial an adjustment from a single transaction as I can ever remember.
The Dodgers also made side deals to facilitate this trade, sending Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling across town to the Angels, and shipping Kenta Maeda to Minnesota, where he will join the recently-signed Josh Donaldson.
Much has changed in the MLB landscape in recent weeks, so let’s take a look at how some key moves have impacted my projections:
I had the Red Sox projected for 85 wins before the blockbuster trade, and have spent the offseason building a case to fade them.
For 2020, the Betts/Price trade cost them about four wins in my projections — and the betting market moved by about the same number on average.
I have also made the case that the Red Sox are ready to blow this whole thing up in the post-Cora/Dombrowski era. They have no farm system, less pitching depth and already traded two of their best players; this won’t be the last deal that they make.
Even before other transactions (i.e. Jackie Bradley Jr.) or potential injuries to players they will handle with kid gloves (they owe Chris Sale as much as $165 mil through 2025), I see this as a .500 club — and would continue to hit the under on their win total at 85 if you haven’t already gotten a better number.
With the Red Sox as less of a threat in the division, the Yankees benefit slightly from the deal, seeing their World Series odds increase by 1.6%. They also picked up a couple of extra wins, along with the Blue Jays, who have a legitimate shot at unseating the Red Sox for third place.
I’ll be looking to bet that exact result once divisional props are released.
Minnesota has seen the biggest projection bump since my last update, improving by five wins after acquiring Donaldson and Maeda — who projects for a combined 7 WAR in 2020 at the Twins’ biggest areas of need.
I have a one-unit share on Minnesota’s under (90.5) and would look to buy out of that if possible.
This improvement is most harmful to my White Sox futures, which remain slightly undervalued, but not as much as they would have been had Donaldson stayed in Atlanta.
That said, I like what the White Sox built this offseason and think they are in a similar place to where the Braves were before 2018 — when they won 90 games and captured the NL East.
I would still play the South Siders to win the division at 4-1 or better.
The Angels got a two-win bump after addressing some weaknesses over the past month, and I now see some value in playing them to win the AL West.
I’m already solidly invested in Oakland, however, and remain skeptical of the Angels rotation — but their position player group is elite and they’re going to play excellent defense.
Houston’s World Series odds also took a 1.9% hit as a result of the Angels improvement, and their likely having to play an improved Dodgers team if they make the World Series.
The Astros listed win total has also dipped down by about four wins since the A.J. Hinch and Jeff Luhnow firings, amid speculation of player suspensions.
Regardless of what happens, there’s value in betting the Angels or Athletics to upset this division — but I wouldn’t touch Houston’s win total.
Not much has changed in the NL East, though the Nationals have strengthened their bench and bullpen.
At the same time, the Braves essentially replaced Josh Donaldson with Marcell Ozuna, allowing them to slide Austin Riley back to his natural position of third base.
There’s a slight amount of value on the Nationals to win the NL East crown, but I would need to see 3-1 or higher to pull the trigger.
I had already bet Reds divisional and World Series futures, and now I find them atop my NL Central projections after they added Shogo Akiyama (projected 1.9 WAR) and Nick Castellanos (expected 2.3 WAR) to shore up their outfield.
Unless the Cardinals swing a trade for Nolan Arenado, they have only gotten worse this offseason.
Meanwhile, the Cubs haven’t been active at all and have seen their win total come down from 88.5 to as low as 83.5 in the betting markets. They could still trade Kris Bryant and others, but there’s no longer betting value in their under.
The Pirates are already in full-scale rebuild mode after trading Starling Marte, and I would expect them to flip other pieces including Chris Archer.
Pittsburgh would make for a sound under-investment, but I wouldn’t fade St. Louis since it remains firmly within its contention window.
As the third choice, the Reds offer divisional betting value, and I would play them at 3-1 or better.
The Dodgers improved by four wins in my projections after the flurry of late-night trades, and their World Series odds increased by three percent, making them the projected favorite to finally win next October.
That’s not to say that they are a better team than the Yankees — these two clubs are about 0.1 wins apart in terms of true talent in my projections — they merely have a less-resistant path to winning a division crown and avoiding a Wild Card Game.
However, the Diamondbacks are the main threat after re-solidifying their identity as one of the best defensive teams in baseball, adding Kole Calhoun (free agency) and Starling Marte (trade) to complete their outfield.
They have a deep team with above-average defenders at virtually every position and lots of capable starters.
Arizona could stand to use a few back-end relievers, but otherwise, look like a top contender to secure a wild card spot. I have a couple of over bets at 80.5 and 82 on the snakes, and I might play over 82.5, but I already added a 66-1 future on Arizona after the Marte deal.
I’ll also be firing on Arizona at plus-money, when the time comes, to make the playoffs as a Wild Card.
With the top two projected teams in this division both improving, I’m further skeptical about San Francisco’s chances to be competitive, and I would consider betting more on their under.
But with the Dodgers total moving back up, and their potential to be a juggernaut, I might look to buy out of my under wager (100 wins) on a team with two generational outfielders.
2020 World Series Odds
Below, you will find my fair odds projections, compared to the listed odds at FanDuel, for each team to win the 2020 World Series.
As of writing, I show slight value on the Diamondbacks and Reds — two of the three World Series longshots I have already bet.
Follow me in The Action Network App for all of my 2020 MLB future wagers.