The Major League Baseball regular season has just opened its 162-game schedule and what better time than now to update the futures on Bovada, sportsbook.com, topbet and betonline for the World Series and to take an look at one of the National League’s perennial top teams that is currently a long shot to win the title.
The Atlanta Braves have not been one of the World Series favorites on futures boards this season, as have the Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals. The injuries the club has had with their starting pitchers will likely make it difficult for them to reach the Fall Classic.
Prior to the start of the season, most books had the Braves in the mid-teens, while in the latest round of futures for the World Series they are now 20 to 1.
The win totals for Atlanta have fallen from a previous 87.5 to just 86 at Opening Day.
Injuries to Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen have created lower expectations of success this season. While to two are strong pitchers, it is not like they were losing a Clayton Kershaw or Stephen Strasburg, the kind of players who can dominant in every game they play.
Once they find a set rotation for the season, it should include the likes of Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Alex Wood, Aaron Harang and Ervin Santana.
Craig Kimbrel, who is thought by most to be the most dominant closer in the league, still lurks in the pen, turning most close games into just an eight-inning night.
So, is it worth taking the Braves at 20 to 1 to win the World Series? Some bettors must think so as sportsbooks such as topbet and betonline have been had bettors take a chance on Atlanta.
With everyone so worried about the Braves starting rotation, little has been discussed about how strong the offense in Atlanta is. That is not even taking into consideration that Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton should bounce back from poor seasons.
Jason Heyward was strong in the second half of last season and should carry his success of the second half to a breakout season this year. Of course, he will have plenty of supporting cast with Justin Upton, Freddie Freeman, Evan Gattis and Andrelton Simmons.
The season however, is very long and even with a strong offense, the starting rotation could fall apart in Atlanta if any other injuries creep up on the staff.
The odds for the top five for the 2014 World Series are as follows:
Los Angeles Dodgers 6-1
Detroit Tigers 7-1
Washington Nationals 7-1
St. Louis Cardinals 7-1 (6-1 last time odds were released)
Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays 12-1