You’ve probably heard by now that a unique feature of the 2019 World Series was the fact that the road team won each of the seven games. You may not know how unique this was. Including the 2019 World Series, the three major American sports leagues that have seven-game postseason series (MLB, the NHL and the NBA) have had 1,420 best-of-seven series in their combined postseason histories. Until the 2019 World Series, none of them had had the road team win each of the first six games, let alone all seven. So the Washington Nationals’ World Series title is definitely an outlier. Now, with the 2020 regular season about five months away, the World Series odds for next year’s champion are already out. Take a look and find out where your favorite team, as well as our thoughts about some of the contenders to win the 2020 World Series.
Early 2020 World Series Odds & Predictions
Odds to Win the 2020 World Series
- Houston Astros: 5/1
- Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees: 6/1
- Atlanta Braves: 10/1
- Boston Red Sox: 12/1
- Washington Nationals: 14/1
- Cleveland Indians: 16/1
- St. Louis Cardinals: 18/1
- Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, Mikwauee Brewers, New York Mets, Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins: 20/1
- Oakland A’s: 30/1
- Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels: 50/1
- Chicago White Sox: 60/1
- Toronto Blue Jays: 80/1
- Colorado Rockies, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers: 100/1
- Pittsburgh Pirates: 200/1
- Seattle Mariners: 300/1
- Miami Marlins, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals: 1000/1
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been projected as a World Series favorite in each of the last three seasons. They lost to Houston in the Series in 2017, then lost to Boston last year and then fell to Washington in the NLDS this year, falling at home in Game 5. It may be time for the team to realize that Clayton Kershaw is not a dominant postseason option, as he has flamed out for them in each of those series losses. The rotation could lose Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill, but they still have plenty of options. But could Gerrit Cole end up in Chavez Ravine? He is from Southern California, and he had already shed his Astros cap for a Boras Agency hat for the postgame press conference after Game 7.
Houston (for reasons listed above) is probably going to lose their best starting pitcher in Gerrit Cole. Sure, Justin Verlander is back, but his World Series track record is not impressive at all. What about Zack Greinke? Yes, he pitched an epic game in Game 7, but he was overall a weak link in the Astros’ postseason rotation. The Astros should get Lance McCullers Jr back after a season lost to Tommy John surgery. Can the Astros add another ace-quality arm? Yes, but that’s never a guarantee.
The New York Yankees went a whole decade without a World Series appearance since the 1910s. They did win 103 games despite Luis Severino starting just three games and slugger Giancarlo Stanton playing in just 18 games. Are the Yankees going to add an ace-quality arm with the departure of C.C. Sabathia? Gerrit Cole could be on their list, but Southern California seems more likely at this time.
Atlanta still has a core that is talented and young, led by Ronald Acuna Jr, who pounded 41 home runs and led the senior circuit with 37 steals and 127 runs scored. Free agent Josh Donaldson will leave, but that’s not that big of a deal — despite his talent, his teams have gone nowhere. Shane Greene and Mark Melancon came in at the deadline to batten down the hatches in the bullpen. The rotation will have Mike Foltynewicz, Max Fried and Mike Soroka, so things look good in Georgia again.
Tampa Bay has won 68, 80, 90 and 96 games in the last four seasons, respectively. What will 2020 be like with a healthy Tyler Glasnow and Blake Snell in the rotation with Charlie Morton? Tampa Bay had MLB’s best bullpen last year. They could use some offensive upgrades, but their pitching is stout.