It's that time of the year. The Super Bowl parade has run its course. Winter coats and boots are down to their last few weeks of use. The group chat with your friends is buzzing with summer destination ideas and the sun is staying out a little extra later than before the day. That can only mean one thing: baseball is back.
With all 30 teams reporting for Spring Training workouts this week, it's time to officially celebrate the return of America's pastime (can we please call it something else? This is why people don't like baseball).
Anyway, what better way to get in the mood for the only sport without a time limit/clock than to take a look at which teams the sportsbooks think have the best shot to be World Series champions—because Vegas knows best.
Here's a look at the odds for each team in the American League to win the 2023 World Series, ranked by their bet-ability.
Looking for the National League World Series odds? Find those here!
The defending World Series champs are the favorites to run it back and repeat and is anyone surprised? The Astros have quietly put together a dynasty, making the World Series 4 out of the last 6 seasons and winning two (with a smidge of scandal). This team has only gotten better since last year with the addition of José Abreu.
Unfortunately for the Astros the AL West, a division Houston has dominated, is getting better! The Mariners ended their playoff drought and even won a playoff series last year. The Angels have Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout which is fun! And the Rangers have the highest payroll in the division after signing 2-time Cy Young award winner Jacob deGrom. These teams could beat up on each other to the point where getting sweaty over betting the odds-on favorite isn’t worth it.
Aaron Judge is a fun guy to root for, but you’re delusional if you think he’s going to come close to what he did in 2022. Aside from Judge and Nestor Cortes for half of a season, the Yankees had no real standouts or things to get excited about last season. Gerrit Cole had a fine season, but they were a team that looked extremely beatable the second half of the season despite winning the AL East.
Okay, so they added Carlos Rodón (overpaid him, IMO), who is a good pitcher. They did nothing to help the lineup, which felt like it was being no-hit through 5 innings almost weekly last season. When you are forced to start Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Josh Donaldson who are putting up 2021-2022 Russell Westbrook +/- numbers… you ain’t winning a World Series. The injury to Frankie Montas surely doesn't help either.
This has been everyone’s favorite World Series bet for the past few seasons. The Blue Jays have a likable roster full of young talent, a front office that is clearly all-in and possibly the nicest fan base in sports. But this team is young. With young teams come growing pains. Sure they made the playoffs two out of the last three years, but they were first-round exits in both of those seasons.
This Blue Jays team knows their window is now. Their core players were getting postseason experience before they can even have an alcoholic beverage legally. That stuff matters. These odds aren’t bad for something that feels almost inevitable to happen in the next few years with the players Toronto has. Also, Vlad Guerrero Jr. does this to baseballs:
The Mariners could be the easiest team in baseball to root for. Young, fun and full of rizz. A rather quiet, but good offseason has the M’s ready for another run at a title.
You don’t even have to be a fan to take this bet. The 2023 Mariners will be like the 2020 Buffalo Bills with reigning AL rookie of the year Julio Rodríguez playing the part of Josh Allen. Jump on the bandwagon before it's not cool anymore.
The Rays have been such an underrated team for, I don’t know, like the last six years? They’ve made playoffs in their last four seasons straight, reaching the World Series in 2020 and winning the AL East in 2021. But in the past the Rays have fallen victim to rumors of moving to Montréal and early postseason exits. Maybe this season is different.
Still, the Rays are serial over-achievers and a FUN team to root for. With one of the best pitching rotations in baseball and one of the most exciting young players in Wander Franco, betting on the Rays is certainly just as smart as it is fun. Low payroll, low attendance, crap home stadium, and Ws.
The Guardians surprised everyone last season. A team projected to finish below .500 and go without a playoff appearance ended up knocking the Rays out of the playoffs and took the Yankees to five games in the ALDS. With the youngest team in baseball!
But let’s be honest. If there’s any team on this list that overachieved last year, it's Cleveland.
Most disappointing team in 2022? On paper, the White Sox looked like a team that could make a run, but after a couple of years with Tony La Russa at the helm, this team has become more of a laughing stock.
La Russa is a baseball legend. He's also a 78-year-old who was caught sleeping in the dugout, takes managerial advice from fans, gets angry with his own players for hitting home runs, and started so much beef with a player that he ended up retiring early (Yermín Mercedes has since re-entered the MLB with an organization far far away from La Russa). Please, watch these:
Fast forward to 2023. Tony La Russa is out. Because of that, the White Sox should be taken seriously. The lineup regresses from last year after the departure of their best offensive player José Abreu, but the remaining talent is undeniable, especially in the pitching rotation.
Minnesota let Carlos Correa walk. Watched two teams sign him and then change their minds due to concerns following a physical. And still gave him $200 million guaranteed. Carlos Correa is good and the Twins don’t seem to be too worried about his long-term health with the 6-year deal but that’s a lot of money tied up in one guy who had two teams change their mind after seeing the results of his physical.
The Twins have some exciting players in Byron Buxton and Max Kepler, but this won’t be a team that sniffs the World Series with their current roster.
Shohei Ohtani is the best thing to happen to the sport of baseball since… maybe ever? The dude is an alien and it’s a shame that his alien superpowers have to reside in Anaheim. An organization that has made the postseason just once in the past 10 years despite having Mike Trout! Let’s hope Ohtani’s prime isn’t spoiled by the Angels the same way Trout’s is/was. Wait… Is Mike Trout past his prime? We’ll save that for another day.
But Ohtani is undoubtedly coming off of one of the most historic seasons of all-time. I mean he's one of the best hitters AND pitchers in the game! The same guy!
Okay back to the odds. Taking the Angels is a FUN bet. Not only are you getting value in the odds, but for the same reasons I said before—LET’S GET OHTANI & TROUT IN THE PLAYOFFS. If the Angels can sneak a wild card spot and get hot at the right time, why not root for the team that has two of the top players in the game today.
The Rangers have become relevant again! Not because of winning, but because of spending. Heading into the 2022 season, Texas spent literally a half of a billion dollars on free agents, headlined by Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. This offseason, they give the 34-year-old, best pitcher in baseball (when healthy) Jacob deGrom a guaranteed $185 million on a five year deal.
Now, the signings didn’t really work out last year. The Rangers missed the playoffs and almost everyone on the team underperformed with the exception of All-Star Adolis García. If the Rangers can find a way to get as deep in their bag on the field as they are in the front office, look out for this team.
The Mookie Betts trade still haunts Boston.
The Red Sox are not good. There were more subtractions than additions this offseason. They could easily be the worst team in their division this year. I’m not sure how the odds aren’t better for the sickos who are betting on this.
Note: This was +5000 just days ago, sportsbooks are realizing that this team ain’t it.
The Orioles were a great story for baseball last year. Projected to be the worst team in the sports, Baltimore was competing for a playoff spot as late in the season as August! It was fun to watch a team full of twenty-something-year-olds who many thought would lose 100+ games be competitive last season. I’m hoping the O’s can do it again.
This team is young, cheap and well-managed by Brandon Hyde. Adley Rutschman is a stud. Gunnar Henderson is a 21-year-old phenom. Guys like Cedric Mullins and Ryan Mountcastle have proven they belong. And don’t get me started on the bullpen! Division champs might be a reach, but a wild card berth and postseason run certainly aren’t out of the question.
Seems like everyone has been waiting for the Tigers to call up the abundance of young prospects and talented phenoms before giving a take on Detroit’s baseball team. Most of those prospects have made their MLB debut, and whether it be because of injury or just simply underperforming, they haven’t made much noise.
But I'm all in on the Spencer Torkleson-Riley Greene-Casey Mize era in Detroit. It may be baseball legend Miguel Cabrera's last season before retirement, but this is a team that just needs experience playing with each other and in games that matter. This is a growing year for the Tigers and a farewell tour for Miggy, not a championship season.
They have Bobby Witt Jr.! That’s about it.
I can assure you the Super Bowl parade is the only championship parade Kansas City will be celebrating this year. (But the Kansas City Current just had one hell of an offseason after reaching the NWSL Championship last year! Bet on them, not the Royals).
Don’t even think about it.
There’s a reason this is literally bet $1 to win $1000.