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MLB Futures – Teams to Watch Down the Stretch
There are several contenders to win the World Series still in play as the season enters September, rendering the odds on the 2023 World Series champion relatively open.
Below, we’ll go over three contenders in particular that we believe merit watching down the stretch.
Houston Astros (+650)
At +650, Houston isn’t the outright favorite to win the World Series at this point but they’re not far off. Only two teams – the Atlanta Braves (+260) and Los Angeles Dodgers (+330) – find themselves with shorter odds than the Astros as of September 1, and there’s a dropoff after them to the next tier of contenders.
With a 77-58 record, the Astros have a comfortable lead on the pack in the playoff race and are neck-and-neck with the Mariners (76-57) for the lead in the AL West. They’ve enjoyed excellent performances from pitcher Framber Valdez and right fielder Kyle Tucker this season, and they emphatically swept a solid Red Sox team days ago.
Baltimore Orioles (+1200)
For a team with an 83-50 record – which has them sitting at the top of the AL standings, even if only slightly ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East – the Orioles find themselves curiously far down the board in terms of World Series odds.
The Orioles rank only fifth in the AL in runs scored (663) and run differential (+96), and they don’t have a hitter ranked in the top 30 in OPS (Anthony Santander currently comes in at 31 with .825), but the team hasn’t lost more than two consecutive games since the start of July. Kyle Bradish is among the best-performing pitchers in the AL this season, and Gunnar Henderson has put together a strong case for AL Rookie of the Year.
Philadelphia Phillies (+2100)
The Philadelphia Phillies currently find themselves with the eighth-shortest odds to win the World Series. With a 74-59 record that ties for the third-best in the NL and puts them at the top of the wildcard race, they may prove to be a value for bold bettors at a line like +2100.
Bryce Harper currently ranks seventh in the MLB with a .905 OPS after torching multiple opponents in August, and the team has seen promising returns from Jordan Wicks and Javier Assad in their first months as MLB pitchers. The Braves and Dodgers will be tough bastions for any other NL team to clear in the playoffs, but the Phillies have the best odds of any team to do so.