Dodgers' World Series odds get a big boost after acquiring Betts
Los Angeles lost a major star on Jan. 26 with the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant. Ten days later they've gained a new one with the arrival of Mookie Betts.
The Dodgers acquired the former AL MVP from the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday evening in a blockbuster three-team trade. Betts will be joined in the City of Angels by former AL Cy Young winner David Price. In return, Boston will receive outfielder Alex Verdugo and 21-year-old pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol. The Minnesota Twins will receive Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda.
Dodgers bet on Betts
Despite the many players involved, this trade is really all about Betts. The 27-year-old outfielder is a five tool player who has finished in the top 10 in MVP voting in each of the last four years. Betts got off to a slow start last season, but still hit .295 with 29 home runs and 80 RBIs and led the American League in runs. He should provide an almost unfair advantage to a Dodgers team that ranked in the top five last season in runs, total bases, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS.
Betts was a casualty of Boston's belt tightening
You would think Boston would want to keep such a valuable player around, but the Red Sox were highly motivated to get the club's payroll under the luxury tax threshold. Betts will make $27 million this season and is expected to command a $400 million contract when he becomes an unrestricted free agent following the World Series.
Mookie Betts is one of the most talented Red Sox players ever. The team just traded him away in-part to get under the luxury tax. Let that one sink in— Steve Perrault (@Steve_Perrault) February 5, 2020
Oddsmakers at BetAmerica have taken stock of the deal and clearly approve of LA's aggressive wheeling and dealing. The Dodgers' odds of winning the 2020 World Series have gone from +550 to +400 since the trade. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have stayed steady at +2000.
Odds to win the 2020 World Series
|Team||2020 World Series Odds|
New York Yankees
Los Angeles Dodgers
With Betts onboard, the Dodgers' days of being bridesmaids may be over. L.A. has won seven straight NL West titles since 2013 and appeared in two consecutive World Series in 2017 and 2018. In both cases, they lost to teams that have since been embroiled in cheating scandals.
New York is loaded
Unfortunately for L.A., the one team they trail in World Series odds has also been active this offseason. The New York Yankees made a major splash on Dec. 11 by signing free agent hurler Gerrit Cole to a nine-year, $324 million deal. The Cy Young runner-up should enjoy plenty of run support from a fearsome lineup featuring Aaron Judge, Ginacarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, and Gleyber Torres. New York set a Major League record last year by having 14 players with 10 or more home runs.
It's unclear which big market club will come out on top in October, but if the offseason has been any indication the Yankees and Dodgers will do everything in their power to be Major League Baseball's last team standing.