2014 World Series Odds for Every Team at the Start of Spring Training

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2014

2014 World Series Odds for Every Team at the Start of Spring Training

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    Spring training games are set to kick off around the league this week, which means we will soon get our first chance to see all 30 MLB teams compete in 2014.

    There's reason for optimism for every fanbase at this point, even if it does not look like every team has a legitimate shot at winning it all in 2014.

    The 2012 season featured the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics make surprise runs to the postseason, while it was the Cleveland Indians who exceeded expectations to reach the playoffs last year.

    That just goes to show that you never quite know how the season will play out. That said, here is a look at all 30 MLB teams' current odds of winning it all in 2014. Alongside the odds I've given for each team is a look at its current Vegas odds for the sake of comparison.


    Note: Vegas odds courtesy of Vegas Insider and last updated on Feb. 17.

Houston Astros

1 of 30

    Last Pennant: 2005

    Last World Series Title: Never


    Team Overview

    The Houston Astros have undergone a rebuild the likes of which the league has not seen in years, as they completely dismantled their roster and traded off every veteran piece they could. Their payroll was slashed from $103.0 million in 2009 to just $26.1 million this past season, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts.

    The result has been five straight losing seasons, including three seasons with 100-plus losses, but things finally look to be on the upswing. With one of the best farm systems around, some good young players at the big league level and a ton of payroll room, the future looks bright. As for the present, avoiding another 100-loss season is a realistic goal for 2014.


    My Odds: 200-1

    Vegas Odds: 250-1

Minnesota Twins

2 of 30

    Last Pennant: 1991

    Last World Series Title: 1991


    Team Overview

    After making the playoffs six times in a nine-year stretch, the Minnesota Twins have fallen off the map, enduring three consecutive 90-plus-loss seasons heading into 2014. Starting pitching has been the biggest issue, as their rotation had an MLB-worst 5.26 ERA last year, but the offense is not exactly potent either.

    Signing Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes should make the rotation marginally better, but there is a good chance it will still be among the worst in the league. This is clearly a team looking to the future, as it has arguably the best farm system in baseball, led by Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano.


    My Odds: 150-1

    Vegas Odds: 125-1

Chicago Cubs

3 of 30

    Last Pennant: 1945

    Last World Series Title: 1908


    Team Overview

    Entering year three of Theo Epstein and company being at the helm of the team, the Chicago Cubs remain in rebuilding mode. They made a serious run at Masahiro Tanaka but eventually lost out to the New York Yankees, and as a result, it was a quiet offseason on the north side of Chicago.

    The 2015 season has been pointed to as a turning point for the franchise, a time when it should start seeing the fruits of its rebuilding efforts. The Cubs have some of the best position player talent in all of minor league baseball on the cusp of contributing, but they will need some front-line pitching to legitimately contend. Avoiding another 90-loss season in 2014 would be a nice step forward.


    My Odds: 120-1

    Vegas Odds: 65-1

Miami Marlins

4 of 30

    Last Pennant: 2003

    Last World Series Title: 2003


    Team Overview

    After spending big leading up to the 2012 season in an effort to put a winning team on the field when they opened their new stadium, the Miami Marlins backpedaled last offseason and blew up the roster with a handful of blockbuster trades.

    Their offense was the lowest-scoring group in the MLB by a decent margin, but their young rotation wound up pitching surprisingly well. That staff will be the cornerstone of their rebuilding efforts and should only get better moving forward, but the offense is still a work in progress. A handful of stopgap veterans were added to fill out the lineup, but it won't be enough to make the Marlins contenders.


    My Odds: 100-1

    Vegas Odds: 100-1

New York Mets

5 of 30

    Last Pennant: 2000

    Last World Series Title: 1986


    Team Overview

    The New York Mets made some significant additions this offseason with the signings of Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon, but they still have some holes in the lineup, a shaky bullpen and a rotation that will be without ace Matt Harvey.

    As soon as next season, the trio of Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard could put the Mets in a position to take a big step forward. As for the upcoming season, they should at least be competitive, but they are not yet ready to make a run at the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves in the NL East, let alone contend for a title.


    My Odds: 80-1

    Vegas Odds: 65-1

Chicago White Sox

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    Last Pennant: 2005

    Last World Series Title: 2005


    Team Overview

    The Chicago White Sox finally committed to rebuilding last August when they dealt high-priced veterans Jake Peavy and Alex Rios. They continued looking for young, big league-ready talent this offseason with the additions of Jose Abreu, Adam Eaton and Matt Davidson.

    Those three, along with Avisail Garcia, form a good, young offensive core to build around, and the White Sox will once again have one of the best pitchers in all of baseball in Chris Sale fronting their staff. The lineup is still a work in progress, though, and the rotation behind Sale is far from a sure thing.

    The 40-1 Vegas odds put them ahead of the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals (both 50-to-1), and I just don't see the White Sox finishing ahead of either of those teams.


    My Odds: 75-1

    Vegas Odds: 40-1

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Last Pennant: 2009

    Last World Series Title: 2008


    Team Overview

    With an aging, expensive core of former superstars, the Philadelphia Phillies find themselves in that awkward place between contention and rebuilding entering the 2014 season. The additions of A.J. Burnett and Marlon Byrd could add a few wins to their total, but they did nothing to help the team get younger.

    At this point, it looks like the best the Phillies can hope for is a run at a winning record and a third-place finish in the NL East. At some point, they are going to need to stop signing/re-signing players who are past their prime and blow up the roster.

    At 50-1 Vegas odds, they are on par with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals, and I see all three of those teams as having a far better chance.


    My Odds: 75-1

    Vegas Odds: 50-1

Colorado Rockies

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    Last Pennant: 2007

    Last World Series Title: Never


    Team Overview

    As always, pitching remains the X-factor for the Colorado Rockies, and it will determine if and when they make a return to the postseason. Last year, they improved their starting rotation ERA from an MLB-worst 5.81 in 2012 to a more respectable 4.57 mark.

    The offense will once again be among the best in the NL, especially if Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez can stay on the field. However, the rotation will need newcomer Brett Anderson to stay healthy in the No. 3 spot and someone to step up as the No. 5 starter if the Rockies are going to have any shot at contention. 

    Their ability to score runs is enough for me to give them better than 100-1 odds, and they do have a solid one-two punch atop the rotation in Jhoulys Chacin and Jorge De La Rosa. But they are not legitimate contenders just yet.


    My Odds: 70-1

    Vegas Odds: 100-1

San Diego Padres

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    Last Pennant: 1998

    Last World Series Title: Never


    Team Overview

    They may not have a legitimate superstar-caliber talent, but the San Diego Padres have quietly put together a solid roster from top to bottom, and they have a chance to be a dark-horse contender in 2014 if some things break their way.

    The continued development of Jedd Gyorko and Yonder Alonso, a return to form for Chase Headley and a healthy season from Carlos Quentin could make their offense potent. On the pitching side of things, Josh Johnson and Ian Kennedy will look to return to their elite form of the past, while Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross will try to show the second half of 2013 was no fluke.

    That's an awful lot that needs to break in their favor, but stranger things have happened, and at 100-1 Vegas odds, worse bets are out there.


    My Odds: 60-1

    Vegas Odds: 100-1

Seattle Mariners

10 of 30

    Last Pennant: Never

    Last World Series Title: Never


    Team Overview

    The Seattle Mariners have made the playoffs just four times in their 37 seasons of existence and have managed to post a winning record in just 10 of those seasons. With a wealth of homegrown talent in a position to take the next step, the team opened up its payroll this offseason in an effort to put itself in a position to contend now and in the future.

    Adding Robinson Cano, Corey Hart and Logan Morrison should help what's been a stagnant offense, and slotting Fernando Rodney at the back of the bullpen will help alleviate the M's struggles in one-run games.

    The busy offseason has left them as a trendy pick to contend, but with two rookie starters set to be counted on in the rotation and a lineup that is still far from elite, they may have to settle for a run at third place in the AL West.


    My Odds: 50-1

    Vegas Odds: 30-1

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Last Pennant: 1982

    Last World Series Title: Never


    Team Overview

    It looks like the Milwaukee Brewers' best chance to contend for a title came in 2011, when they won 96 games and the NL Central title behind a well-balanced rotation led by Zack Greinke and one of the top offenses in the NL. They were knocked out in the National League Championship Series, though, and things have gone downhill since.

    A healthy season from Aramis Ramirez and the return of Ryan Braun should help get the offense back on track this season, though there are some questions as to whether the latter will be the same dynamic player. Adding Matt Garza to the rotation puts the Brewers staff in a position to surprise, and if they can stay healthy, a winning record is well within reach.


    My Odds: 50-1

    Vegas Odds: 70-1

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Last Pennant: 1993

    Last World Series Title: 1993


    Team Overview

    A trendy pick to win it all after their wheelings and dealings last offseason, the Toronto Blue Jays increased their payroll from $83.7 million in 2012 to $119.3 million in 2013, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. Expected to contend for the division title, they wound up increasing their win total by just one to finish 74-88.

    Health was the biggest issue, especially in the rotation, where R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle were the only two guys to make more than 20 starts. The Jays opted against spending more this offseason to add another proven starter, and they will instead rely on a return to health from guys like Brandon Morrow and J.A. Happ.

    They still have a talented roster from top to bottom, and if they can get some lucky breaks similar to the myriad unlucky ones they had to deal with last year, they could be right in the thick of things for an AL wild-card spot.


    My Odds: 45-1

    Vegas Odds: 60-1

Los Angeles Angels

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    Last Pennant: 2002

    Last World Series Title: 2002


    Team Overview

    Last offseason, the Los Angeles Angels made their second consecutive splash signing, adding Josh Hamilton to an offense that had signed Albert Pujols the previous season, and many were quick to call them the best offensive team in baseball. Budding superstar Mike Trout was phenomenal once again, but Pujols dealt with injuries and Hamilton proved to be a huge flop.

    The biggest issue, though, was the rotation behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson, and that was the team's focus this offseason, as the Halos dealt slugger Mark Trumbo to fill out the staff with Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs.

    Their 20-1 Vegas odds are awfully optimistic that Pujols and Hamilton have big seasons and that the rotation improves drastically with a pair of mid-level additions. There is undeniable talent on the roster, but 40-to-1 seems far more realistic.


    My Odds: 40-1

    Vegas Odds: 20-1

Baltimore Orioles

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    Last Pennant: 1983

    Last World Series Title: 1983


    Team Overview

    After a surprise run to the playoffs in 2012, the Baltimore Orioles were unable to return this past season, due in large part to a subpar starting rotation. The recent additions of Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz improve their roster, but they still look to be a step behind in the AL East.

    The X-factor will be if they can get some sort of production out of Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy in the rotation before the year is over. However, unless the O's staff is substantially improved and they avoid having an offensive black hole at second base and in left field, they won't be serious contenders.


    My Odds: 40-1

    Vegas Odds: 40-1

Kansas City Royals

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    Last Pennant: 1985

    Last World Series Title: 1985


    Team Overview

    The Kansas City Royals' last World Series title in 1985 was also the last time the team reached the postseason. In fact, their 86-76 record last year marked the first time since 2003 that the team posted a winning record.

    The Royals lost Ervin Santana this winter, but they replaced him with Jason Vargas and upgraded at second base and in right field with the additions of Omar Infante and Norichika Aoki, respectively. If they can avoid the offensive struggles that plagued them in the first half last year and someone steps forward at the back of the rotation, they have an outside chance to snap that playoff drought in 2014.


    My Odds: 35-1

    Vegas Odds: 50-1

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Last Pennant: 2001

    Last World Series Title: 2001


    Team Overview

    Behind a trio of significant additions in Mark Trumbo, Bronson Arroyo and Addison Reed, the Arizona Diamondbacks look like an improved team from the club that has gone 81-81 each of the past two seasons. The question is, have they improved enough to make a serious run at the playoffs?

    The starting rotation is solid, top to bottom, but is essentially a collection of No. 3 starter types unless Patrick Corbin can return to his first-half form. The offense will benefit from adding Trumbo's bat to the middle of the lineup and could be even better if Miguel Montero can return to form and Aaron Hill can stay healthy.

    I don't think the D-backs can catch the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, but they have a serious shot at a a wild-card spot.


    My Odds: 35-1

    Vegas Odds: 50-1

Cleveland Indians

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    Last Pennant: 1997

    Last World Series Title: 1948


    Team Overview

    The surprise playoff team of 2013, the Cleveland Indians will have their work cut out for them if they hope to be playing baseball in October once again. Losing Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir from last year's rotation is a blow, but another step forward from Corey Kluber and a breakout season from Danny Salazar could go a long way in offsetting those losses.

    Offensively, the team returns essentially the same lineup, with David Murphy added as an upgrade over Drew Stubbs in right field. The Indians were 30-17 in one-run games and 10-2 in extra innings last season, and they will need some similar close-game magic if they are going to have a legitimate shot at contending.


    My Odds: 30-1

    Vegas Odds: 50-1

San Francisco Giants

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    Last Pennant: 2012

    Last World Series Title: 2012


    Team Overview

    After wining it all in 2012 and returning essentially the same roster in 2013, the San Francisco Giants looked to be in a good position to defend their title, or at the very least make a return trip to the playoffs. Instead, they saw their win total drop by 16, and they wound up narrowly avoiding a last-place finish in the NL West.

    The starting rotation that had carried the team in years past faltered, and the offense was not good enough to pick up the slack. The good news is that Matt Cain looked like an ace once again in the second half, and Tim Hudson was signed to replace Barry Zito. The bad news is the offense is still average at best and will be counting on the rotation to shoulder the load once again.

    That said, a big contract year from Pablo Sandoval, another step forward from Brandon Belt and a bounce-back season from newcomer Michael Morse could be enough to make the offense a legitimate weapon. There are a lot of questions, but if nothing else, it's an even-numbered year, and the Giants have done pretty well in those of late.


    My Odds: 25-1

    Vegas Odds: 20-1

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Last Pennant: 1979

    Last World Series Title: 1979


    Team Overview

    A playoff team this past season for the first time since 1992, the Pittsburgh Pirates have the look of a legitimate contender moving forward as opposed to just a flash in the pan. Losing A.J. Burnett hurts the rotation, but when you take into account the fact that Gerrit Cole, Charlie Morton and Wandy Rodriguez combined to make just 51 starts last year, full seasons from those three should be enough to offset that loss.

    Offensively, Andrew McCutchen will lead the way once again, and the team proved to have enough other weapons last season with breakout years from Pedro Alvarez and Starling Marte. The impending arrival of outfielder Gregory Polanco and right-hander Jameson Taillon will only make the Bucs' young core better, and another run at an NL wild-card spot in 2014 seems probable.


    My Odds: 22-1

    Vegas Odds: 35-1

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Last Pennant: 2008

    Last World Series Title: Never


    Team Overview

    The offseason came and went, and ace David Price is still in a Tampa Bay Rays jersey. That certainly helps the team's playoff chances for the upcoming season. He will again front one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball, as the team looks to make the playoffs for the fifth time in the past seven seasons, in spite of the payroll limitations.

    The offense is good enough to back the pitching staff, but it is dangerously thin. The Rays struggled mightily when Evan Longoria was sidelined in 2012 and will need to avoid any injuries to key bats if they hope to keep pace in the AL East. As long as they can do that, though, they should be able to make a run at the division title.


    My Odds: 20-1

    Vegas Odds: 16-1

Cincinnati Reds

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    Last Pennant: 1990

    Last World Series Title: 1990


    Team Overview

    Despite making the playoffs three times in the past four years, the Cincinnati Reds fired manager Dusty Baker after bowing out in the Wild Card Round last season. He failed to get the team past the NLDS in his six seasons with the team, despite winning a pair of division titles and ranking second in the MLB with 97 wins in 2012.

    Losing Shin-Soo Choo and Bronson Arroyo this offseason hurts, and I wrote an article earlier this offseason on how it looks like their World Series window may have already closed. That may well be the case, but with a lineup led by Jay Bruce and Joey Votto and one of the best rotations from top to bottom in all of baseball, the Bryan Price-led Reds remain one of the better teams in the National League.


    My Odds: 20-1

    Vegas Odds: 20-1

Oakland Athletics

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    Last Pennant: 1990

    Last World Series Title: 1989


    Team Overview

    A surprise playoff team in 2012, the Oakland Athletics have now won back-to-back AL West titles, and they are not going to take anyone by surprise in 2014. They lack a true superstar talent on their roster, but they get everything they can out of Nos. 1-25 on the active roster and have proven that team play can trump big-name talent.

    The team swapped out last year's ace, Bartolo Colon, for Scott Kazmir, but big seasons from Jarrod Parker and Sonny Gray could again make the rotation a strength. The bullpen is among the best around, and if guys like Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss can avoid taking a step back, the offense should be able to score plenty of runs once again as well.


    My Odds: 18-1

    Vegas Odds: 20-1

Texas Rangers

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    Last Pennant: 2011

    Last World Series Title: Never


    Team Overview

    After losing Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Michael Young last offseason, the Texas Rangers have reloaded offensively. They first acquired Alex Rios in August before signing Shin-Soo Choo in free agency and dealing for Prince Fielder this offseason.

    The question is the starting rotation, and they are already being tested there. Derek Holland is out until midseason with a knee injury, and Matt Harrison has dealt with neck and back stiffness this spring. As long as the Rangers can stay in contention in the first half and avoid further injuries, they should make a nice second-half run once Holland returns. If healthy, they'll be dangerous in October.


    My Odds: 16-1

    Vegas Odds: 20-1

New York Yankees

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    Last Pennant: 2009

    Last World Series Title: 2009


    Team Overview

    The New York Yankees missed the playoffs for just the second time since 1994 this past season. Given the myriad key injuries they had to deal with, the fact that they were able to win 85 games and stay in contention into September was impressive. But management still opted for a major offseason overhaul.

    The additions of Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann, as well as a full season of Alfonso Soriano, should more than offset the loss of Robinson Cano. The starting rotation is counting on a bounce-back season from CC Sabathia and a big debut from Masahiro Tanaka, while the bullpen is thin after the retirement of Mariano Rivera. 

    The Vegas odds are always going to be generous to the Yankees based on the sheer quantity of people willing to bet on them. Their current 12-1 odds are good for fifth best, and something like 16-to-1 is more realistic given their questions.


    My Odds: 16-1

    Vegas Odds: 12-1

Atlanta Braves

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    Last Pennant: 1999

    Last World Series Title: 1995


    Team Overview

    The Atlanta Braves ran away with the NL East title last year thanks to a disappointing first half by the Washington Nationals, and while they remain one of the best teams in the National League, things may not be quite so easy this time around.

    They spent the offseason locking up a handful of core pieces, which bodes well for their long-term contention but leaves them as essentially the same team as 2013, minus Brian McCann. That said, continued progression from some of the young guys and bounce-back seasons from Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton could certainly make them a better team in 2014.


    My Odds: 15-1

    Vegas Odds: 18-1

Washington Nationals

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    Last Pennant: Never

    Last World Series Title: Never


    Team Overview

    After putting up the best record in baseball in 2012, the Washington Nationals entered the 2013 season with legitimate World Series aspirations. Instead, they stumbled out of the gates and were unable to right the ship soon enough to reach the postseason.

    Even after disappointing last season, though, it's hard not to like the team the Nationals have assembled, as the roster is without a glaring hole, top to bottom. Swapping Dan Haren for Doug Fister in the No. 4 spot gives them arguably the best rotation in baseball, and if they can get their bats going from the onset, they could make a serious run at the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals in the NL.


    My Odds: 12-1

    Vegas Odds: 11-1

Boston Red Sox

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    Last Pennant: 2013

    Last World Series Title: 2013


    Team Overview

    The Red Sox enjoyed one of the biggest turnarounds in baseball history last year, as they went from a 69-93, last-place team in 2012 to World Series champions in 2013. They still look like the team to beat in the AL East, but they are not without some significant question marks entering the season.

    Rookies Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley will be counted on in everyday roles to replace Stephen Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury, while Will Middlebrooks will need to avoid another disappointing season at third base. Jake Peavy and John Lackey could wear down this year, and Boston's pool of arms got smaller when Ryan Dempster shut it down for the season.

    Repeating as World Series winners is never easy, and the Red Sox certainly have their work cut out for them. But there are far worse bets to make than the reigning champs at 12-to-1.


    My Odds: 12-1

    Vegas Odds: 12-1

Detroit Tigers

28 of 30

    Last Pennant: 2012

    Last World Series Title: 1984


    Team Overview

    The Detroit Tigers had an unusually busy offseason for a team that has won three straight division titles and reached the American League Championship Series during each of those postseason trips. Slugger Prince Fielder and right-hander Doug Fister were both traded this offseason, as the team turned its attention to freeing up money to extend Max Scherzer and Miguel Cabrera down the road.

    Despite those losses, they still look awfully tough. Ian Kinsler was acquired in the Fielder trade, and he gives the team a true leadoff hitter. Joe Nathan was signed to bolster the bullpen, Drew Smyly should be more than capable of stepping into the rotation for Fister, and top prospect Nick Castellanos appears ready to make a big league impact. 


    My Odds: 10-1

    Vegas Odds: 8-1

Los Angeles Dodgers

29 of 30

    Last Pennant: 1988

    Last World Series Title: 1988


    Team Overview

    The Los Angeles Dodgers open spring training play as the favorites, according to their Vegas odds, but they check in at No. 2 on this list, as the St. Louis Cardinals are still standing in their way. The Cardinals ousted them in the NLCS last season in six games, and they look to be the better team on paper once again entering the season.

    With an unknown in Alex Guerrero at second base, an inconsistent veteran in Juan Uribe at third base and virtually no infield depth, the Dodgers could run into some problems there. Counting on Dan Haren and Paul Maholm to fill out the rotation may also be risky, though Josh Beckett and eventually Chad Billingsley will be in the mix as well.

    Full seasons from Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig, as well as a potential return to health for Matt Kemp, could make the Dodgers' offensive attack substantially more dangerous. The top half of their rotation is arguably still the best in baseball, and their bullpen should be even better with the re-signing of Brian Wilson and additions of Chris Perez and Jamey Wright.


    My Odds: 8-1

    Vegas Odds: 7-1

St. Louis Cardinals

30 of 30

    Last Pennant: 2013

    Last World Series Title: 2011


    Team Overview

    Though they came up short in the World Series, losing in six games to the Boston Red Sox, the St. Louis Cardinals look like the best team in baseball entering the 2014 season.

    Jhonny Peralta was signed to shore up the shortstop position, Peter Bourjos should be an upgrade in center field, and top prospect Oscar Taveras could be knocking on the door by midseason or sooner. The rotation will have a full season of Michael Wacha, and the team enters camp with seven legitimate starting options vying for five spots.

    The bullpen lost Edward Mujica and John Axford but should get Jason Motte back at some point and has Trevor Rosenthal slotted at closer after an impressive postseason. Should injury strike, the Cards have impressive depth across the board. Top to bottom, there is no team better than the Cardinals entering the season, and at 11-1 Vegas odds, they are the best bet out there.


    My Odds: 7-1

    Vegas Odds: 11-1