Posted on November 1, 2019, by Bryan Zarpentine
The MLB offseason is barely a day old. In fact, the 2019 champion Washington Nationals haven’t even had their parade yet. However, there’s no better time than the present to take an early look at next season. Obviously, a lot will change over the winter, but here are the early betting odds for the 2020 World Series, giving us a chance to check out the teams favored to win it all next season.
Houston came up one win short this year, but the Astros are still the top favorites to win it all next year. The core of the team is still in place, most notably the team’s potent lineup. Also, Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke will be around to lead the rotation. Plus, you know the Astros will make moves to improve their roster.
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The Dodgers were disappointed to lose in the NLDS, but on paper, they’re still the best team in the National League. Few teams have as much depth on their roster as Los Angeles, and that includes both position players and the starting rotation. The Dodgers are also going to be aggressive in making moves this winter in hopes of finally breaking a championship drought that’s over three decades old.
Having lost in the ALCS twice in the last three years, few teams are as frustrated right now as the Yankees and their fan base. Despite all of their injuries this past season, they were one of the best teams in baseball during the regular season. Surely, they know they need to upgrade their rotation this winter. But with a little better luck in the health department, the Bronx Bombers will be a bonafide championship contender in 2020.
It’ll be hard for the Braves to erase the memory of their Game 5 NLDS loss to the Cardinals. But Atlanta’s young pitching came on strong this season and they still have a nice collection of young players. After winning back-to-back division titles, they’re the team to beat in the NL East and a team that has the pieces to challenge the Dodgers in the National League.
Red Sox, 12-1
It’s still a little puzzling that the Red Sox were so bad this year with almost the same roster that won the 2018 World Series. Obviously, they need to work on their bullpen, which was Boston’s biggest problem in 2019. But with something to prove, look for the Red Sox to come back strong in 2020 and put themselves on the same level as the Astros and Yankees.
Unless Stephen Strasburg opts out of his deal and lands somewhere else, the Nationals will have the same rotation that carried them in the 2019 postseason. Anthony Rendon could leave as well, but the Nationals will still have Juan Soto to build around. They may even improve their bullpen this winter, making them a threat to repeat as champs.
Despite all of the injuries to their pitching staff this year, the Indians found a way to hang in the playoff race until the last weekend of the season. If Corey Kluber and others can stay healthy, Cleveland’s pitching staff will be one of the best in baseball. However, the Indians are a sucker bet right now because they could make some bold moves this winter, including the possibility of trading Francisco Lindor.
It was a surprise to see St. Louis reach the NLCS this year, but surely, they have the young pitchers who can continue to make the Cardinals contenders in 2020. Of course, the Cardinals have plenty of work to do this winter to improve their offense if they expect to return to the NLCS next year.
Brewers, Cubs, Mets, Phillies, Rays, Twins, 20-1
Any of these teams would make a great sleeper pick at this stage. All six teams either made the postseason this year or were within striking distance. More importantly, all of them will believe that they’re only one or two moves away from being a bonafide contender. Keep in mind the Nationals were in this category a year ago, so anything is possible.