Diving into World Series odds with latest Rankings

June 27th, 2022

This article was contributed by DraftKings. For more sports betting insights, check out DraftKings Playbook.

Another week has passed and we’re inching closer to the halfway point of the season. We’ve had a major shakeup in the Power Rankings, especially in the top five. Let’s take a look at how the MLB Power Rankings align with their odds to win the World Series on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Houston Astros
Power Ranking: 2nd (last week: 5th)
World Series odds: +550

If I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t really buying into the Astros hype thus far. What would cause me to feel this way for a team that’s completely dominating the American League West? Well, before this stretch where they played both New York teams, the Astros had played only 15 games against teams above .500 ... 15. I would EXPECT them to be dominating the rest of the competition when most of the teams they were facing were losing. Then, they play two against the Mets and four against the Yankees and come out with a 4-2 record, which included a no-hitter against the best offense in baseball. That certainly grabbed my attention. It also gave us a glimpse of what October could look like, and if it’s anything like we just saw, it’s going to be one heck of a playoff season.

After an upcoming series against the Mets, the Astros will be back on cruise control when it comes to their schedule. Up until the All-Star break, the Astros will play six against the Angels, four against the Royals and three against the Athletics. They’ve seen all these teams for a combined 13 games and have a 9-4 record to show for it. The Astros' odds could start shifting soon, and before the All-Star break happens. Will it be a big shift? It’s unlikely, but I think locking in at +550 is a worthy number to consider. This team has clearly shown that they can match up with the tough teams, and not just the under .500 club.

New York Mets
Power Ranking: 3rd (last week 2nd)
World Series odds: +700

What’s amazing to me about the Mets is that they’re 47-27 (.635) on the season and have done it without two of their best starters (mostly). They were able to fend off a massive winning streak from the Braves and still sit atop the National League East by five games. The Phillies were also becoming a threat but the loss of Bryce Harper, likely for two months, is a massive blow to a team that’s just above .500. Now, with the calendar about to turn to July, no one is looking forward to it more than the Mets. Barring any setbacks, they could have both Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer back in the rotation by the time teams return from the All-Star break. It would be a boost unlike any other team can give themselves.

Like the Astros, the Mets have a very friendly schedule before the break. Of the 17 games they’ll play, only three of them are coming against a team currently over .500, as they travel to Atlanta for a series. Aside from that, they’ll face the Rangers, Reds, Marlins, and Cubs for the remaining 14. That’s a great schedule to see for a team that has 7-1 odds to win the World Series, currently. Between the schedule and the impending returns of their 1A and 1B starters, 7-1 feels like a value. It’s scary to think that this team is about to improve their pitching when they already are a top-five offense. As of Monday, the Mets rank in the top five in runs, batting average, on-base percentage, and WAR.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Power Ranking: 4th (last week 4th)
World Series odds: +450

The Dodgers remain tied with the Yankees for the best odds to win the World Series. I simply cannot get behind that at this point. Injuries continue to mount for this team, and having the best odds on the board simply doesn’t have value. Over the weekend, more bad news came for the Dodgers, as they lost both Andrew Heaney and Daniel Hudson to the injured list. While Heaney will likely return in a couple of weeks, Hudson is out for the season after tearing his ACL. It’s a huge blow to the back of the Dodgers' bullpen, which has been raising plenty of eyebrows to begin with. With setup man Blake Treinen still weeks away from even throwing off a mound, Hudson had been stellar as the setup man. Of the 24 1/3 innings Hudson pitched, 18 2/3 of them came either in the eighth or ninth inning. In those scenarios, Hudson sported a 2.41 ERA, allowing just five earned runs on 13 hits while striking out 25. With his absence and the continued shaky work from closer Craig Kimbrel, this team has a major need in the back end.

I’m not denying that this Dodgers team is uber-talented and has the roster to win it all. I simply cannot take them at the current +450 odds. If the World Series were to happen today and it was against the current favorites of the Yankees and Dodgers, which would you choose? I would imagine, fan bias aside, the Yankees would be the big favorites. So, if you were to choose a team to bet on, why would you be taking the Dodgers? The most ideal situation is the Dodgers stumble a bit before the All-Star break, the odds shift to the Yankees as the favorites and now you get the Dodgers at a more favorable number.

Boston Red Sox
Power Ranking: 8th (last week 13th)
World Series odds: +2800

One of the longest odds in the Top 10 of the Power Rankings is the Red Sox. Only two other teams in the top 10 have longer odds: the Giants (30-1) and the Guardians (65-1), who continue to defy expectations. The Red Sox, after being left for dead at the end of April, have gone on to win 33 of their last 51 games to give them a 42-31 record. This run has also vaulted them up to second place in the American League East, albeit still 11 games behind the Yankees. With the Wild Card though, they’re the leaders and up 1 1/2 games over the Rays and Blue Jays.

These are the type of long shots that, in my opinion, deserve a small play. The path to profitability is small, but the potential return on investment is massive.

The Red Sox's upcoming schedule won’t be an easy one. They’ll no doubt be tested in the month of July. Of the 27 games played next month, 17 of them will be within the division. This could really shake up how the AL East looks. The Red Sox have not performed well against their division thus far, going 7-14, but most of the losses came during their early-season struggles. So, will that be a positive or a negative for the Red Sox? Time will certainly tell. But, if they continue to play the way they have, 28-1 could be some odds that you were longing to have.

Cleveland Guardians
Power Ranking: 10th (last week 14th)
World Series odds: +6500

When I first started writing this piece every week, I never expected to include the Guardians. Before the season began, the White Sox were the second-biggest favorites in all of baseball to win their division. The Dodgers had the best overall odds and even they aren’t locked into winning the NL West. The Guardians, however, are an amazing story to this point. Despite being in the top 10 of the Power Rankings, they have the 16th-best odds to win it all. Do I think the Guardians shock the world and drop a 2022 World Series Winner banner on Opening Day in '23? Unlikely. However, I also never expected them to be two games back in the ALCentral almost at the halfway point.

I do think it’s worth taking a hard look at the Guardians to win the AL Central. They currently rank third in the divisional odds and are +240. I expected this team to regress numerous times, but as the Giants of 2021, they continue to hang around. In a division that was expected to not be overly competitive, the Guardians have taken full advantage. Aside from the Yankees to begin July, the Guardians will be playing the Tigers eight times, the Royals three times and the White Sox four times. If they go on a run, we could see them leading the division at the All-Star break.

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