After a dizzying few days, the dust from the 2023 trade deadline has finally started to settle. The landscape of the league has shifted dramatically just over the last 48 hours or so: Justin Verlander is an Astro; Max Scherzer (and Jordan Montgomery) is a Ranger; the Dodgers, Rays and Orioles all found themselves a starting pitcher, while the Reds didn’t. The Angels (and Cubs) are all the way in, the Mets are all the way out, and the Twins and Yankees ... apparently did not have cell reception on Tuesday afternoon. That’s a whole lot of change, and unsurprisingly, the World Series futures market has responded accordingly.
So, just like we did out of the All-Star break, let’s celebrate the start of baseball’s stretch run with a look at how the past few weeks and the trade deadline have impacted each team’s odds to win it all over at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Updated World Series odds as of August 2
Atlanta Braves +330 Los Angeles Dodgers +500 Houston Astros +700
Tampa Bay Rays +800 Texas Rangers +1100 Baltimore Orioles +1200
Toronto Blue Jays +1600 Philadelphia Phillies +1600 Minnesota Twins +2200
San Francisco Giants +2500 Milwaukee Brewers +2500 San Diego Padres +4500
Given the chaos of the last few days, the hierarchy here has remained remarkably stable. The Dodgers missed out on a trade for Eduardo Rodriguez, but they’re still the clear second choice behind the Braves, who largely just tinkered with their bullpen depth (not that Atlanta had too many holes to fill). The additions of Verlander in Houston, Scherzer/Montgomery in Texas and Civale in Tampa all nudged those teams’ championship odds a bit — although not as much as you might think.
If there’s a big riser here, it’s the Orioles, who added Jack Flaherty at the deadline and have been rinsing the Blue Jays in Toronto this week. The Yankees, meanwhile, are the big losers, going from +1800 on July 13 to clear out of the picture now; going 20-28 over your last 48 games and adding only a middle reliever at the deadline will do that to a team’s chances.
World Series odds: Takeaways and best bets
Houston Astros +700
Sure, +700 doesn’t offer us a ton of juice, but the reigning World Series champs are looking awfully dangerous right now. Houston is 16-9 in their last 25 games, the Verlander trade (and Jose Urquidy’s pending return from a shoulder injury) will shore up the team’s biggest weakness and the return of Yordan Alvarez and Jose Altuve lengthens the lineup. Granted, this Astros offense isn’t quite as terrifying as past years, but Chas McCormick and Yainer Diaz’s emergence make it deeper than you think, and they have the star power to hang with anybody. All up, all in, they probably deserve to be considered AL favorites right now — they’re certainly trending in a better direction than the division-rival Rangers — it’s tough to bet against a team with Verlander, Framber Valdez, Alvarez, Altuve and Kyle Tucker in a postseason series.
Baltimore Orioles +1200
I’m as disappointed as anyone at GM Mike Elias’ reticence to go big at the trade deadline for the second year in a row; the starting pitching market ran very hot this week, but the O’s have as much young talent to pull from as anyone, and I’m not sure Flaherty really answers the team’s most important questions about how its rotation will hold up in October. And yet: Why is the team with the best record in the AL all the way down here? I realize that Kyle Bradish and Tyler Wells aren’t the most inspiring names to build a pitching staff around, and that the run differential points to a more pedestrian team than their actual wins and losses suggest. But once Cedric Mullins is back healthy, Baltimore’s lineup is just about as deep as anyone’s — with the farm system ready to fire the rocket boosters at a moment’s notice — and Yennier Cano and Felix Bautista look like hellacious postseason trump cards.