Dodgers loom over all MLB odds in the futures markets as season begins

Any discussion of the Major League Baseball season, especially in the betting world, has to start with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers loom over everything after their offseason spending spree. If you're making a World Series bet, you have to make sure you believe that team can beat the Dodgers. At least you're getting good odds because the Dodgers are significant favorites.

Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts is one of the favorites for NL MVP this season. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
The Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts is one of the favorites for NL MVP this season. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Let's look at the major markets for the MLB season, with odds from BetMGM:

Dodgers are World Series favorites

Here are the top World Series contenders, with their odds to win it all:

Dodgers +350

Braves +450

Astros +800

Yankees +900

Orioles +1300

Rangers +1400

Phillies +1500

Mariners +2000

Blue Jays +2000

All other teams have at least 25-to-1 odds.

It's no surprise the Dodgers are the favorites, but their odds aren't exceptionally short. That's partially because the Atlanta Braves are really good too, and that everyone remembers how random the MLB playoffs were last year with the best teams losing early. The Dodgers have the best team on paper and +350 isn't the worst value you'll find (implied odds of 22.2%, while PECOTA has Los Angeles with a 20.2% chance to win it all), but it's hard to tie up your money that long in such a volatile market at short odds.

Dodgers, Braves have huge win totals

The Dodgers have a win total of 103.5, which seems outrageously high. Yet, what's keeping them from passing that? Injuries could affect them, the unlikely event of MLB's investigation into Shohei Ohtani taking him off the field, complacency could set in at some point late in the regular season and the Dodgers do know all that matters is the postseason so they could rest players (especially pitchers) through the season. But still, they clearly have the talent to reach 104 wins.

The Braves also have a win total of over 100, at 101.5. The next closest team to the top two is the Houston Astros at 92.5.

There have been three teams that have seen their win totals increase by three since the lines opened. The Baltimore Orioles moved from 87.5 to 90.5, the Cleveland Guardians went from 76.5 to 79.5 and the Pittsburgh Pirates shifted from 72.5 to 75.5. The Orioles are getting a lot of respect after their huge 2023 season. The Detroit Tigers' total of 81.5 is the most bet over, but we can ignore that because Michigan fans love betting on their teams. The second-most bet over is the Orioles.

A new AL MVP

The rest of the American League can finally dream of winning an MVP award. Shohei Ohtani is in the National League, which makes the AL MVP market a lot more interesting.

A pair of Yankees, Aaron Judge (+550) and Juan Soto (+600), lead the AL MVP odds. Corey Seager and Julio Rodriguez are next at +1000. Among the other interesting candidates: Adley Rutschman and Bobby Witt Jr. at +1600 and Kyle Tucker at +1800. With Ohtani out of the mix, there's good value on some great AL players. Rodriguez is the most-bet player for AL MVP at BetMGM, with 26.3% of the money bet on the award being on the Mariners star.

Ohtani doesn't dominate the NL MVP odds, however. He won't be pitching this season due to elbow surgery, but he's still third in the odds at +900. Ronald Acuna Jr. is the favorite at +525, Mookie Betts is +600 and the two players after Ohtani are Fernando Tatis Jr. (+1000) and Freddie Freeman (+1100). That's three Dodgers among the top five NL MVP favorites. Betts is interesting because he made a run at it last season and is set to be the Dodgers' shortstop, a position change that will impress voters.

Ohtani has taken the most money in the NL MVP market, at 15.1%. Bryce Harper, at 12-to-1, is BetMGM's biggest liability.

The other awards

Like NL MVP, a Braves player is the favorite for NL Cy Young. Spencer Strider is the favorite at +425. He's also the most-bet player and BetMGM's biggest liability. Zach Wheeler is +900 and Logan Webb is +1000.

With Gerrit Cole, last year's AL Cy Young winner, dealing with an elbow injury, the odds have opened up for that award. Kevin Gausman and Corbin Burnes (who came over from the NL to the AL when the Milwaukee Brewers traded him to the Orioles) are the favorites at +800. The most-bet player and biggest liability is Tarik Skubal of the Detroit Tigers, who is 10-to-1.

The AL Rookie of the Year race is interesting, because Baltimore Orioles top prospect Jackson Holliday (+450) is the most-bet player but he's beginning the season in the minors. Texas Rangers outfielder Wyatt Langford is the favorite at +225.

Surprise, a Dodgers player is a big factor in the NL Rookie of the Year race. Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who dominated in Japan, is the favorite at +250 despite being shelled in his first MLB start in South Korea last week. He is by far the most-bet player, with 44.5% of the money bet on the award coming in on Yamamoto.