The MLB spring training season starts on Friday, February 24, and all 30 teams are still hoping to make it to the Fall Classic. However, there are some teams that have a better chance than others to do so. In terms of the World Series, the Houston Astros are among the favorites to take the pennant once again. Still, there are many teams in the background who are in the hunt. According to the futures market, the Astros and the New York Yankees are in a tight race.
Astros Have Stiff Competition
Among the favored teams is the Houston Astros, who have odds of around +500 at most sportsbooks. However, right behind them are the New York Yankees at +750. Chasing them are the New York Mets and the LA Dodgers at +800 and the San Diego Padres at +1000.
It was less than a year ago when the Astros faced the Yankees in the ALCS and swept the series. For the Yankees, it was a frustratingly low performance after Aaron Judge made history. The Yankees were riding high on him to carry the team.
In spite of the rumors of free agency surrounding him, Judge ultimately decided to stay with the Yankees. This will give him an opportunity to avenge his performance in the postseason closer.
Although the Padres beat the Dodgers in the playoffs last season, the Dodgers remain the favorites in the National League. San Diego advanced to the NLCS, but ultimately lost to the Philadelphia Phillies.
As a result of making several moves in the offseason to improve their organization, the Dodgers are now moving past both of those. On a roster that was already heavy with talent, they have added veteran pitcher Noah Syndergaard, J. D. Martinez and outfielder Jason Heyward in hopes of finding glory.
There is a lot of speculation that the Padres will win the World Series if they can take full advantage of Fernando Tatis Jr. He was seen as a ringer heading into last season, but missed most of the games because of injuries and a suspension over his ill-fated use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Mets Might Make It
The New York Mets are considered the best team in the National League, with odds of +800 to take the championship. After spending nearly $500 million in free agency in the offseason, the Mets and owner Steve Cohen proved that they’re serious about the title. They signed Edwin Diaz and Brandon Nimmo to multi-year deals while also bringing in Justin Verlander and Jose Quintana.
In the bottom five positions of the table, the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners and St. Louis Cardinals are on the outside looking in. The Phillies are counting on last year’s roster to carry them through to the end.
Last year showed that the opening odds don’t always provide a good gauge of what’s to come. Those teams left on the board also have a good shot of making it to the postseason. If they do, the entire dynamic will change.