Earlier this summer, we polled sportsbooks in Las Vegas and online about which baseball teams had the potential to do the most damage if they won the World Series.
Of the six teams featured, the St. Louis Cardinals are the only ones remaining in the postseason mix, tied 1-1 with the San Francisco Giants in the National League Championship Series.
As all MLB bettors know, it was the Cardinals who cashed in big for backers last October, handing books a big loss with World Series odds as high as 500-1 en route to an improbable championship.
Oddsmakers played it careful with St. Louis this summer, keeping its World Series futures between 12-1 and 20-1 for most of the season. However, the Cardinals were as high as 35-1 after posting a 13-16 record in May.
“They’re a quality team and have kind of underachieved as well,” Jay Kornegay, executive director of the LVH Superbook, told Covers back in July. “They have a loyal following no matter where you go and have a history of support in the futures book.”
But it’s St. Louis’ NLCS opponent that has some Nevada books sweating out the cold October nights. The Giants were as big as 50-1 to win the World Series this season and brought in a lot of futures bets when they got hot at the end of the summer, going 37-19 through August and September.
“With the Giants, we’re a small loser,” Jimmy Vaccaro, veteran oddsmaker for William Hill in Las Vegas, told Covers. “We got most of the bad ones out of the way. The Giants would be a small nick.”
It’s a different story online, where UK-based sportsbook bet365.com took very little action on San Francisco’s futures.
“No one has really touched them,” Aron Black, of bet365.com, told Covers. “We taken a few plays at bigger prices, but they are the best runner we have by a wide margin.”
According to Black, he’s cheering just a touch louder for the New York Yankees to comeback from a 0-2 hole against the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS. Detroit winning the World Series would be their worst result, offering odds on the Tigers as high as 18-1.
The Yankees would be the second worst outcome due to their public following that has taken New York’s World Series odds all season. St. Louis would be the third least-profitable finish, even though they offered the Cardinals as high as +2,500 to win the World Series.
“Of all the teams, no one is a real bad result,” says Black. “Detroit and New York are both losing positions, but not for any great deal. It’s been a great season for trading the MLB outright book. We have had money on numerous runners who did not make the playoffs or went out early.”
bet365.com currently has Detroit priced as a +110 favorite to win the World Series, followed by St. Louis (+225), San Francisco (+350), and New York (+1,100).