World Series betting trends are taking shape, with the MLB regular season now into June. Granted, there are miles to go before the 2023 campaign finishes sometime in early November. But that’s not stopping some bettors from jumping in on World Series odds.
The Atlanta Braves are favored in odds to win the World Series, just ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers. And the Tampa Bay Rays, with MLB’s best record, are right in the mix.
BetMGM sports trader Hal Egeland provides the latest insights on 2023 World Series betting odds, trends and action.
2022 World Series Betting
Rays of Light
The Tampa Bay Rays blasted out of the gate by winning their first 13 games. Even into late May, Tampa was winning at a greater than .700 clip. The Rays have since cooled off, but at 42-19 (.689) through June 4, they still have the best record in the majors.
BetMGM opened the Rays +2500 in November, and Tampa Bay went into Opening Day at +2000 to win the World Series. Then came the scorching start and a lot more movement. But most bettors didn’t get on Tampa’s bus early enough, and they aren’t intrigued now, with the Rays all the way into the +600 third choice in BetMGM’s World Series betting trends.
“The Rays are still a very good result for us, considering how great they’ve been so far this season,” Egeland said. “Since we don’t operate in Florida and the Rays don’t have a big national fanbase, they haven’t been getting the amount of interest they probably deserve. I would expect them to remain one of our best results for the remainder of the season, now that they’re down to +600.
“Bettors missed their opportunity to grab the Rays at +2500 early on.”
Egeland pointed to two teams that were longer shots when World Series betting odds first hit the board in November. Both are playing well and getting bettors’ attention, though one remains at semi-long odds, while the other is surging up the board.
“The Rangers and Diamondbacks are the two teams that have been getting the most interest recently, for good reason,” Egeland said. “I personally believe the Diamondbacks are overperforming a bit, and I expect them to come back to earth eventually. But the Rangers are the real deal.”
BetMGM’s prices reflect Egeland’s opinion. Arizona opened +6600 and was out to +8000 in late May. Now, a week into June, the Diamondbacks (35-25) are tied atop the NL West with the Los Angeles Dodgers. But Arizona can still be had at +5000, while L.A. is the +500 second choice.
Meanwhile, Texas (38-20) is atop the AL West, 3.5 games ahead of the defending World Series champion Houston Astros. Texas opened +5000 and is now the +1400 sixth choice at BetMGM.
“The Rangers have the No. 1 offense in baseball, with the best run differential. That offensive production is no fluke, either,” Egeland said. “The household names of Marcus Semien and Corey Seager may not come as a surprise. But it’s the performances of Jonah Heim, Adolis Garcia, Josh Jung and Nathaniel Lowe that really put the Rangers’ lineup over the top.
However, the Rangers got a dose of unexpected bad news June 6: deGrom will have surgery on his troubled elbow. That ends the season for the Rangers ace, who’s been out since April 29. For the moment, BetMGM is holding firm on Texas at +1400 in World Series odds.
DeGrom’s status notwithstanding, if you got on Texas’ win total – which toggled between 81.5 and 82.5 – you probably feel pretty good at this point. Just 58 games into a 162-game season, the Rangers are nearly halfway to that win total.
Ticket Takers and Money Makers
Perhaps surprisingly, the top team in BetMGM’s World Series betting trends is five games below .500 through June 4. But bettors seem to think the San Diego Padres (27-32) are due to get moving.
The Padres are No. 1 in tickets and money at BetMGM. In ticket count, the New York Yankees follow at No. 2, then the Atlanta Braves. In money, the Astros are No. 2, followed by the Yankees.
Despite a sluggish first two months-plus, the Padres are still the co-ninth choice at BetMGM, sitting at +2000. The Braves are the +475 favorite, the Astros are the +650 fourth choice, and the Yankees follow at +1100.
“We’ll be cheering against the Orioles, Rangers and Padres, with the Orioles being our worst result by a relatively significant margin,” Egeland said.
Baltimore (37-22 through June 4) continues to play surprisingly well, leading the AL East. A month ago, the O’s could still be had at +6600 in World Series odds. Now, they’re +3000.
BetMGM has three teams in its root-for category.
“The Rays, Dodgers and Braves would be our best results, for teams with a legitimate chance,” Egeland said.
Los Angeles is at +500, just behind favored Atlanta.
As for the defending champion Astros, while they are No. 2 in money, BetMGM hasn’t seen any cash yet from Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale. Last season, McIngvale cleaned up to the tune of $70 million-plus – a chunk of which came from BetMGM – on the Astros’ title.
While Mattress Mack hasn’t made an Astros wager at BetMGM this season, he did place a $1.9 million bet with Caesars Sports on Astros +600 to win the 2023 World Series. That’s potentially $11.4 million in liability for Caesars.
Flying Under the Radar
The Milwaukee Brewers continue to be a team Egeland thinks is worth a look in World Series betting trends. Milwaukee opened +2200 and is currently +2500.
“The Brewers’ starting pitching at their best is one of the best rotations in baseball,” Egeland said. “Once Brandon Woodruff returns, I think the Brewers will prove themselves to be the best team in that division and will show that they deserve to be considered legitimate contenders.”
Woodruff (shoulder) could return in the next three weeks. Even without the right-hander in the rotation, the Brew Crew (32-27) is atop the NL Central.
Also on Egeland’s under-the-radar short list: the Toronto Blue Jays (33-27). Toronto opened at +900 and fell back over the first two months of the season, stretching to +1800. The Blue Jays are now +1600 at BetMGM.
“The Blue Jays have one of the best lineups in baseball,” Egeland said. “They’ll need Alek Manoah to pitch more like last year for them to have a chance, but that offense can put up runs against anyone.”
Last year, Manoah was 16-7 with a 2.24 ERA. But he’s struggling so far this season, going 1-7 with a 6.36 ERA. In fact, on June 6, Toronto optioned Manoah all the way down to the rookie level Florida Complex League, hoping that helps him clear his head and get back on track.