Last season, we continued our great run with our futures wagers, as we hit the Washington Nationals (at 18-1 odds) to win the World Series. And that followed closely on the heels of our 2019 College Basketball futures wager on Virginia (at 22-1 odds) to win the NCAA Basketball Championship. And, of course, we also cashed the Houston Astros (at 10-1 odds) to win the 2017 World Series. So, which team is our pick for 2020? We're going to go with my hometown club, the Los Angeles Dodgers (currently at +400).
Nothing has gone according to plan for the Dodgers over the last few seasons. Indeed, last year, they entered the Playoffs as the prohibitive National League favorite, but succumbed in seven games to the Nationals in the NLCS. Los Angeles hasn't won Baseball's top prize since 1988 but the shortened (60 game) season could be just what the doctor ordered for the Boys in Blue. The Dodgers usually look like world beaters through most of the 162 games of a normal regular season, only to fade in the Autumn months. They've won the NL West division the last seven seasons and made the World Series in two of the last three only to come home empty-handed.
So, why do I believe this year will be different? First, the Dodgers pulled off the biggest trade of the off-season when they acquired OF Mookie Betts and LHP David Price from the Red Sox in exchange for some prospects. It's true that Price has opted out of the season due to the risk from COVID. But that will do very little to hurt the Dodgers' chances. That's because this pitching squad is deep -- with uber-prospect Dustin May ready to step in for Price, and others (like Josiah Gray and Tony Gonsolin) waiting in the wings if needed. And if the pitching staff is deep, then the offense is the Grand Canyon. No team is loaded with more young hitting and fielding talent than the Dodgers, which is why they could afford to part ways with Jeter Downs and Alex Verdugo in the swap with Boston.
The experienced players on this club -- guys like Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, AJ Pollock, and Corey Seager -- will appreciate the short season. Sixty games won't take its toll on this talented -- but often brittle -- cast of veterans which should should set them up for a deep run in the post-season and a third trip to the World Series in the last four years. Look for the Dodgers to seal the deal this time. Take L.A. at +400 to win the World Series. As always, good luck...Al McMordie.