Nationals World Series odds improving as Spring Training begins

Ryan Wormeli
NBC Sports Washington

Nationals World Series odds improving as Spring Training begins originally appeared on nbcsportswashington.com

Immediately after the 2018 World Series concluded, online betting sites released their early odds for the 2019 champions. VegasInsider.com had the Nationals at 18/1 odds, but the more important number is where they ranked compared to other teams, which was 10th.

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Despite a dearth of major free agent signings, the odds have been updating all winter, and BetOnline has now set their new lines with Spring Training upon us.

Despite an offseason full of impactful additions, including Brian Dozier, Kurt Suzuki, Yan Gomes, Kyle Barraclough, Trevor Rosenthal, and of course, Patrick Corbin, the Nationals' chances haven't shifted to much in the eyes of the oddsmakers.

The Nats now sit at 16/1, good for a four-way tie for ninth-best in baseball. There's a bit of a gap before you get to the next team, the Rockies at 25/1, and then again as the next teams show up at 33/1. That tell us the general consensus is there's a clear top 12-13 in Major League Baseball as we enter the 2019 season.

Of course, not all of the top dozen teams are created equal. The Yankees are in the top spot at 6/1, with the past two World Series winners, the Red Sox and Astros, directly behind them at 7/1. The National League team with the best odds is the Dodgers at 9/1.

At the other end of the spectrum, there's a wide gap between the bottom five teams and the rest of the league. The top 25 teams each have odds of 66/1 or better, and the remaining five are each at 100/1 or worse.

Even within the bottom five, there's a gap at the end. The Rangers sit at 100/1, and the Tigers, Royals and Marlins are at 150/1. Rounding out Major League Baseball is the Orioles, all the way down at 250/1. It's a wide margin between what's perceived to be the worst team in baseball compared to the rest of baseball.

It's also important to note these numbers would certainly change based on where Bryce Harper and Manny Machado end up signing. Harper's latest odds show the Giants and Padres both as favorites, and either would presumably jump up these rankings from their current tie at 66/1. 

The Phillies, the other projected favorite for Harper's services, are already held in high esteem with 10/1 odds, so they'd have less room to move up should they make a big splash.

For the Nationals, at the very least, the return of Harper would certainly break the tie and give them the ninth-best odds in baseball on their own, if not better.

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