Which Pennant and World Series Futures are Offering Value?

Which Pennant and World Series Futures are Offering Value?

With the postseason field set, it’s time to take a look at updated futures to try and find spots where value can be had.

Of course, many of these teams had more value before or during the regular season. The favorites from both leagues were both available at about 9/1 before the season began.

For this exercise, I’ve looked at World Series and Pennant odds from the Westgate Superbook in Vegas and the offshore book BetOnline and compared them to Fangraphs’ playoff odds. For those of you who don’t know, Fangraphs is a website for baseball dorks such as myself that provides a number of advanced statistics and metrics on both an individual and team-wide basis.

To compare the odds to Fangraphs’ percentages, we need to convert betting odds into implied probability (IP). You may notice that the implied probabilities add up to over 100%. This is due to theoretical hold percentages. A normal spread bet has juice of around -110—this is essentially the same concept, but for futures.

World Series

TeamFangraphs OddsWestgate OddsWestgate IPBetOnline OddsBetOnline IP
Indians 23.9%+22530.77%+35022.22%
Cubs 11.0%+10009.09%+70012.50%
Red Sox9.9%+90010%+80011.11%

At the Vegas book, neither of the two favorites have any value whatsoever. The Indians are hot as hell and there has likely been a big spike in bets on them on the strip, forcing books to move their odds and limit liability.

The Dodgers have cooled off substantially and have seen their odds fall from what was around a 2/1 payout in early August. With that being said, Fangraphs’ percentages suggest that their payout should be close to 5/1 rather than 5/2.

With both favorites being overvalued by Westgate, the following three teams are actually undervalued, with the Nats offering perhaps the most value. Fangraphs believes that the Nats payout should be closer to +650, not 10/1.

At BetOnline, the Indians actually have some value at 7/2. I’m kind of surprised that a team that has been so hot down the stretch has any value anywhere at this point, but that appears to be the case at BetOnline. Like Westgate, BetOnline is also offering value on the Nats, who seem to be overlooked around the market. Their lineup is fully healthy now and possibly the most dangerous one in the playoffs. They also have the 1-2 punch in Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg along with Sean Doolittle, who has quietly been great as the closer since being acquired at the deadline from the A’s.

None of the wild card teams have any value at either book. They would certainly be a heart attack of a futures bet considering they have a one-and-done coming up just to get into the division series. Given their payouts, the risk is not worth the reward.

AL Pennant

TeamFangraphs OddsWestgate OddsWestgate IPBetOnline OddsBetOnline IP
Indians 39.9%+10050.0%+15040.0%
Red Sox19.6%+45018.18%+35022.22%

NL Pennant

TeamFangraphs OddsWestgate OddsWestgate IPBetOnline OddsBetOnline IP

There is even less value to be had if you plan on betting on a pennant team. The trends kind of line up with what we saw for the World Series, but there aren’t any better opportunities to be had. At this point, if you want to make a futures bet, you’re better off doing so on the World Series.

Follow us on Twitter @SportsInsights for updated trends and information on the playoffs. October baseball baby!

Mark Gallant

I'm the guy who does his job. You must be the other guy.

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