Baseball must be right around then corner because Vegas odds makers just released the 2014 MLB season prop bet. While these numbers should be used purely for recreational purposes, unless you’re in Nevada, it’s a good judge of how the general public views certain teams and what their expectations are for the 2014 season.
Both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels have lofty expectations this year and a season that doesn’t include a substantial amount of games in October would be a flat out failure. But we’re not talking about what they expect of themselves, we’re trying to figure out what Vegas’ odds say about that is expected of these teams this season.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Total Wins: 92.5 Wins (highest in MLB)
World Series Odds: 13/2 (lowest odds in MLB)
NL West Divisional Odds: 1/3
Las Vegas usually has a special place in its heart for the Los Angeles area and the teams are slightly overvalued because of it. What that really means is that the book in Vegas get more action from Los Angeles, because of the vicinity, so they build that into the price.
That being said, there is no doubt there are high expectations for the Dodgers this season and the Vegas odds back it up. The Dodgers have the highest over/under number, are favored to win the World Series, and have the best divisional odds in MLB along with the Detroit Tigers.
While these odds suggest that the public and Vegas think highly of the Dodgers, they are not out of line. The Dodgers should be one of the best teams in baseball and won 92 games last year. LA should be heavily favored to win the NL West and is probably one of the two or three best teams in the National League along with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves and, perhaps, the Washington Nationals. The expectations for the Dodgers are very high but it’s possible that the 2014 Dodgers can exceed these lofty beliefs.
Los Angeles Angels
Total Wins: 84.5 Wins
World Series Odds: 20/1
AL West Divisional Odds: 9/5 (tied for 2nd w/ Rangers)
Los Angeles’ other team, The Angels, are significantly undervalued by the Vegas odds makers. Or are they?
Fans of the team and some baseball pundits believe that the Angels are title contenders this season and should be thought of as one. While I don’t hold that same belief, I do understand where these people are coming from.
The Angels have the best position player in all of baseball, two former MVP’s, and one of the best lineups in baseball. If the Angels lineup plays to it’s capabilities and stays healthy for an entire season, which is a huge question, they might have the finest offense in all of baseball. However, what’s concerning for the Angels is the pitching staff, which is shaky at best after Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson.
84.5 total wins is a bit low but the odds usually favor teams with strong pitching staffs. The 20/1 World Series odds are fair based on the Angels expected win total and is about the average odds league wide. The real question is whether the Angels can win the AL West. If you believe they have a chance then they would likely exceed the 84.5 wins. They are currently tied as the second favorite behind the Oakland Athletics along with the Texas Rangers. Can they take down Oakland and Texas? It all depends on the pitching staff. If the Angels pitchers can step up all season then who knows how far they can go.