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World Series Futures 2024: Betting prediction & preview for this year

Publish Date: 05/19/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe

The 2024 baseball season has kicked into full gear, and with that we've begun to see some teams separate from the pack when it comes to their World Series aspirations. Sample sizes are increasing in size, and with that hot and cold starts are beginning to turn into trends we can pay attention to.

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

Many of the teams which oddsmakers expected to make a run at the World Series remain among the favorites to take home this year's top prize, but might there be a way in for some longshots after what we've seen in the first couple months of the season?

Let's get into some intriguing MLB World Series Futures below.

Philadelphia Phillies to Win World Series (+1000)

The Phillies are the first team I'd have to say aren't getting enough respect here. They hold a two-game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the NL East entering play on May 12, and while it's still incredibly early Atlanta is not only nowhere near where it was a season ago offensively but is down its ace in Spencer Strider.

In a lot of ways, this resembles the Phillies' 2023 campaign. The energy left this team once Rhys Hoskins was injured just before the season, and while they did well to find their form towards the end of the season the team was very clearly different without one of its cornerstones on the field.

I don't think the division is out of the question here, but the teams in the hunt for the wild-card like the Mets, Nationals, Diamondbacks and Giants are all flawed and none of them can compare to Philly at the plate, who is currently second in wRC+ and posting splendid strikeout and walk numbers to some solid power.

Philadelphia has the best hitting coach in baseball in Kevin Long and hasn't had to deal with adversity early on like it did in 2023. On the other side of the ball, too, the Phillies have unlocked the good in Spencer Turnbull once again and have a very fearsome rotation -- particularly if Taijuan Walker can settle into his career-long numbers to provide stability in the back end behind the promising Cristopher Sanchez and a man who's having a career year in Ranger Suarez.

Chicago Cubs to Win World Series (+2200)

I'm skipping down the list a bit because I was in love with the Cubs prior to the season, and not much has changed. Questions abound regarding every team in the NL Central, and while the Cubs aren't absolved in that sense with their questionable bullpen they're the best positioned of anyone to snatch a division full of middling competition.

The Cardinals look horrific, and that should make the Cubs the clear favorites to not only take the division but be the surprise playoff team in the NL this season.

Their offense has done well to remain inside the top 10 in wRC+ through the first month and a half of play, and the best news here is that they've got a bevy of helpful bats in the minor leagues who should be able to fill the few holes they may have on the diamond.

Their starting rotation is so competitive that rookie Ben Brown has been relegated to a long relief role, and when they eventually decide to swap him in for the aging Kyle Hendricks it may quietly be one of the five best in the NL.

The bullpen is an obvious concern here, but I think you want to bet on this team's ridiculous system in more ways than one. Not only should Chicago be able to call on some exciting reinforcements if the need arises, but it should also be able to flip some of these prospects for help in the bullpen in the coming months.

The Cubs are ready to win now, and with the assets to make a couple of big splashes they should put a winning club on the field around their incredible core.

Tampa Bay Rays to Win World Series (+5000)

We have to include a longshot, right?

Well, while the Rays may not look like the most exciting option on the board -- sitting seven games out of first place in the AL East -- they offer more promise than anyone that's anywhere longer than +1000 to win the World Series.

If you haven't been following Tampa Bay, something I wouldn't blame you for, it currently has so many players coming off of the IL that it's in a roster crunch.

Yes, the big names like Randy Arozarena and Yandy Diaz may be struggling, but a crop of under-appreciated infielders like Amed Rosario, Richie Palacios and Jose Caballero have lit a spark in this team that returning bats should be able to capitalize on and create a full-fledged fire.

Brandon Lowe is days away from a return, as is Jonathan Aranda, and this team's already returned two very talented outfielders in Josh Lowe and Jonny DeLuca over the past couple of weeks. Combine that with the exciting Shane Baz who is currently on a rehab assignment, and there's much to be excited about here.

Tampa Bay has done what it's always done, which is accumulating talent and getting the most out of its players, and more reliable bats and arms will soon be entering the fray to create what's a very scary team for anyone vying for a playoff spot in the American League.

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