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Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Baseball’s annual All-Star Break is a great time to come up for air and think about Futures prices for both the National League and American League pennants, as well as the World Series. We have a very interesting dynamic in play this season because there are now FOUR teams in the NL who are seen as more likely to win the World Championship than any team in the AL.

Either St. Louis or Pittsburgh will have to be a Wildcard the way the brackets are designed. Yet, both currently have lower Futures prices than AL-best Kansas City.

Let’s go one step at a time. First, here are current offshore prices to win the National League. A few losing teams are such distant longshots now that I’ll just list them separately. Here are the favorites (in some cases I’ve rounded up or down a few cents to clean things up)…

 

Odds to Win the National League

LA Dodgers +210

Washington +300

St. Louis +320

Pittsburgh +400

NY Mets +980

San Francisco +1220

Chicago Cubs +1300

Very tough to see betting value amongst the NL superpowers because those guys have to beat each other! If you assume that the best Wildcard is going to survive its play-in game vs. either the Mets, Giants, or Cubs, then the “Final Four” are already priced in a way that discourages investing. Those four teams are all so good that they’ll be virtual coin flips vs. each other in October (barring injuries). You might as well wait until October so you have an up-to-the-minute read on the playoff rosters.

Everyone Else in the NL: Arizona +6000, San Diego +7500, Atlanta +10500, Cincinnati, Colorado, and Miami are all +20000, Milwaukee +110000, Philadelphia +300000.

Any of those teams would need a miraculous second half just to have a chance for a miraculous run through the playoffs. The market has just priced various versions of “virtually impossible.”

Let’s move over to the American League…where there are more contenders but nobody has a starting rotation that’s particularly scary in postseason terms…

 

Odds to Win the American League

Kansas City +350

LA Angels +410

NY Yankees +450

Houston +900

Baltimore +970

Toronto +990

I’m going to stop right there for a second just below the +1000 cut-off. Kansas City is seen as a lock to make the playoffs because they’re off to such a good start as defending champions. The Angels have made a nice run of late…finally measuring up to preseason expectations as they snuck past Houston this past weekend. I can tell you that a lot of sharps have their eye on the Yankees because there are some respected names in that rotation. In the past, you used to have to pay a premium to take the Yankees on the Futures market. But, media hype about that franchise has died down in recent years.

This next list of teams could all get hot and make a run. You have teams who some oddsmakers, or pundits expected to be contenders before the 2015 campaign began. Any of the first four could ultimately live up to those projections after inconsistent starts.

 

AL Sleepers

Tampa Bay +1350

Cleveland +1450

Boston +1700

Detroit +1730

Minnesota +1800

It’s funny, the Minnesota Twins (49-40) would lead both the AL East and the AL West right now because the Yankees and Angels are both 48-40. The market just doesn’t buy them as a team that can stay in the playoff hunt for six full months. The whole AL East is still technically up for grabs because only 6.5 games separate first place from last place.

 

Lagging the Pack: Seattle +2650, Chicago White Sox +2750, Oakland +3850, Texas +8500

Some of you may be surprised that Texas is so far off the pace. They were over the .500 mark less than 10 games ago! The market just doesn’t see that roster holding strong. They’ve been winning too many games with mirrors in the eyes of the market.

 

Odds to Win the World Series

LA Dodgers +450

Washington +615

St. Louis +640

Pittsburgh +770

Kansas City +800

LA Angels +880

NY Yankees +1000

NY Mets +1810

Toronto +1975

Houston +2020

Baltimore +2275

Chicago Cubs +2500

You can see what I mean about the top four teams in the NL currently having better payoffs than anyone in the AL. And, that’s with the knowledge that either St. Louis or Pittsburgh will definitely have a play-in game just to guarantee a stay. The reason for that is frontline pitching. The market has always respected teams with the most dominant starting pitchers when October rolls around. Based on current stats, WHOEVER represents the NL is going to have a more impressive 1-2 punch than whoever represents the AL. The Dodgers are frontrunners overall because a Kershaw-Greinke tandem is about as scary as it gets for opponents.

My daily baseball program will resume on Friday when everyone gets back into action. You can purchase my BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about longterm packages, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155 any weekday during regular business hours. This is a great time to look in for football. The NFL Preseason will be here in just a few weeks.

I’ll pop in periodically between now and the start of NFLX with occasional market notes of interest. Once pro football begins, I’ll have regular “sharps” reports through the month of August so you know how the most important market influences are reacting to oddsmaker openers. Enjoy your quiet time now because things will soon be getting very busy! Thanks for reading. See you again soon.

 

Be sure to follow:

Richie B. on twitter @vsm_baccellieri

Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters

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