Sun, 10 Dec 2023

Books favoring Astros, public backing Mets as season opens

Field Level Media
31 Mar 2023, 09:05 GMT+10

The Houston Astros begin another season as the hunted.

Almost five months after claiming their second World Series title, the Astros opened the 2023 season on Thursday as the consensus favorite to make it three in seven years.

That includes at BetMGM, where the Astros are the 600 favorites ahead of the Atlanta Braves (750), while the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees both opened the season at 800. That represents a shift from just after last year's World Series, when the Dodgers were installed as the 500 favorite ahead of the Astros at 700.

That was before a busy offseason that saw numerous marquee names switch jerseys.

The Astros lost ace Justin Verlander, but acquired former American League MVP Jose Abreu while locking up multiple young stars with multi-year deals.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers lost shortstop Trea Turner to the Phillies and then his replacement, Gavin Lux, to a knee injury. They did add several veteran pieces including designated hitter J.D. Martinez and infielder Miguel Rojas, who is now thrust into the primary shortstop role.

The Dodgers are being offered at 700 along with the Yankees at BetRivers, where the Astros opened the season as the 625 World Series favorites. DraftKings has the Astros at 600 ahead of the Yankees and Braves at 750, with the Dodgers fourth at 850.

A polarizing team among oddsmakers is the New York Mets, who added Verlander in the offseason but lost closer Edwin Diaz to a freak knee injury during the World Baseball Classic.

They are being offered at 900 at BetRivers, with the sportsbook reporting the Mets drawing the highest among of total World Series winning bets (13.0 percent) and money (14.6 percent).

The story is similar at DraftKings, where the Mets have been backed by the most money with 15 percent of the handle at 950, while the Yankees lead with 15 percent of the total bets at 750. Interestingly, the Mets are only the second-most popular choice to win the National League pennant, drawing 20 percent of the money at 475 behind 21 percent for the Phillies at 900.

The Astros are the popular choice at DraftKings to win the American League, having been backed by 31 percent of the total bets and 30 percent of the money at 310. The Yankees are next at 370, having drawn 29 and 20 percent of the action, respectively.

Houston has also been backed by 36.1 percent of the money to win the A.L. at BetRivers, where it's the Atlanta Braves who have been the popular choice to win the N.L. pennant with 23.3 percent at 350.

MLB Futures (BetRivers)

Top 5 teams to win the World Series by % of money (% of tickets)

1. New York Mets (900) -- 14.6% (13.0%)

2. Houston Astros (625) -- 12.1% (9.3%)

3. New York Yankees (700) -- 9.7% (10.7%)

4. San Diego Padres (900) -- 8.7% (12.1%)

5. Atlanta Braves (800) -- 8.5% (5.8%)

Top 5 teams to win the American League by % of money (% of tickets)

1. Houston Astros (300) -- 36.1% (25.8%)

2. New York Yankees (315) -- 15.2% (27.9%)

3. Toronto Blue Jays (600) -- 13.1% (12.3%)

4. Chicago White Sox (1600) -- 12.4% (10.5%)

5. Seattle Mariners (850) -- 6.0% (5.9%)

Top 5 teams to win the National League by % of money (% of tickets)

1. Atlanta Braves (350) -- 23.3% (16.4%)

2. New York Mets (425) -- 22.8% (16.1%)

3. San Diego Padres (450) -- 16.2% (14.5%)

4. Philadelphia Phillies (800) -- 14.1% (18.5%)

5. St. Louis Cardinals (1000) -- 8.6% (7.4%)

Top 5 players to win AL MVP by % of money (% of tickets)

1. Shohei Ohtani (175) -- 24.3% (13.9%)

2. Corey Seager (3500) -- 16.5% (12.5%)

3. Julio Rodriguez (900) -- 9.7% (5.9%)

4. Yordan Alvarez (1000) -- 8.4% (4.3%)

5. Vlad Guerrero Jr. (1400) -- 6.8% (7.5%)

Top 5 players to win NL MVP by % of money (% of tickets)

1. Trea Turner (600) -- 34.4% (13.7%)

2. Juan Soto (650) -- 9.3% (21.9%)

3. Francisco Lindor (2300) -- 9.1% (1.7%)

4. Ronald Acuna Jr. (850) -- 8.9% (7.3%)

5. Fernando Tatis Jr. (2200) -- 5.7% (6.8%)

Top 5 pitchers to win AL Cy Young by % of money (% of tickets)

1. Jacob de Grom (600) -- 22.7% (6.2%)

2. Kevin Gausman (1500) -- 18.6% (13.5%)

3. Triston McKenzie (3000) -- 11.8% (12.9%)

4. Cristian Javier (2000) -- 9.6% (13.1%)

5. Dylan Cease (700) -- 7.3% (9.6%)

Top 5 pitchers to win NL Cy Young by % of money (% of tickets)

1. Zac Gallen (1200) -- 26.5% (14.2%)

2. Spencer Strider (1000) -- 19.6% (26.1%)

3. Brandon Woodruff (2200) -- 9.9% (8.4%)

4. Zack Wheeler (1500) -- 5.3% (12.1%)

5. Julio Urias (1800) -- 3.6% (2.7%)

--Field Level Media

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