2023 World Series Odds: Bookmakers Are Still Not Sold on the Rays

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Nobody has had a better first two months of the MLB season than the Rays. After starting the season 13-0, they continue to own the league’s best record and have several players on the short list of favorites to win the AL MVP and Cy Young awards.

Despite their incredible start, bookmakers have shown they still don’t see them as the favorite to win the World Series. While they are in the top three, it seems bookmakers believe the champion will be coming from the NL in 2023.

Below we will break down the top four World Series betting favorites to win the World Series, breaking down each team.

Atlanta Braves (+400 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

The Braves currently own the best record in the NL thanks to their incredible balance of offense and pitching. They are top five in the league in home runs, RBIs, ERA, wins, and strikeouts. They have been led by NL MVP favorite Ronald Acuna Jr, who has been an absolute nightmare for opposing pitchers. He leads one of the best lineups in baseball, and they have been doing a ton of damage. However, the Braves have had a rough run in the second half of May. That includes getting swept by Toronto, dropping a key series against the Dodgers, and splitting a series against the struggling Phillies. While it’s far from time to pull the panic alarm, it does have us hesitating to bet on them to win the World Series.

Los Angeles Dodgers (+550 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

No surprise to see the Dodgers towards the top of this list, as they feature one of the most talented (and expensive) rosters in all of baseball. Unlike the Rays and Braves, the Dodgers struggled to open the season. That all changed after they lost a series to Pittsburgh to close out April, dropping their record to 13-13. Since then, they have gone 19-9 and retaken the lead in the NL West. One area that will need to improve is their pitching, as they are twenty-second in team ERA (4.50) and rank in the bottom half of the league in many other categories. The NL isn’t deep this season, with several contenders struggling to get above the .500 mark, which makes the Dodgers a fairly safe World Series bet.

Tampa Bay Rays (+600 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

The Rays have been far and away the best team in baseball all season. As of the time of this writing, they lead all of baseball in batting average, home runs, RBIs, hits, and stolen bases.  Their pitching has also been dominant, led by Cy Young favorite Shane McClanahan. The Rays’ Ace is 8-0 with a 1.97 ERA in 2023, the best mark by any pitcher. Combine that with a lineup that has Yandy Diaz, Randy Arozarena, and Wander Franco, and you have a recipe for a World Series Title. However, the Rays have the disadvantage of playing in the MLB’s toughest division. Every team in the AL East is currently above .500 and can be considered a serious contender to win the division. That level of competition could wear down the Rays, especially if they do make it to the World Series.

Houston Astros (+700 at DraftKings Sportsbook)

The Astros had an awful start to the season, but they have now won 14 of their last 17 games to shoot up the AL West standings. While they have had some key players struggle, they also have dealt with some major injuries. They lost two starting pitchers and were without Jose Altuve for most of the season. The pitching losses is concerning, especially since Lance McCullers Jr has faced a setback in his return to the rotation. However, Altuve being back in the lineup has brought this offense some badly needed life. Taking the Astros at these odds is worth considering, but we’d advise waiting a bit longer. That is because their recent run of success has come against some bad teams, including the A’s (twice), Cubs, and White Sox. We recommend waiting until we see them against some of the league’s top teams.

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid. As an adult, Michael started picking games for a small sports betting site and has built it into a career. His experience allows him to provide tips and information to help other bettors improve their game. Michael cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams, the Arizona State Sun Devils (his alma mater), and the Ottawa Senators. He specializes in baseball betting but has extensive experience in football, basketball, and hockey. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children or hiking and enjoying the outdoors.