With pitcher and catcher less than a week before spring training, two of the upcoming questions before the baseball season started late Tuesday night were answered: Where will Mookie Betts land and will the Dodgers essentially pet?
The Dodgers acquired Betts and David Price in a three-team blockbuster deal with the Red Sox and Twins. Minnesota got Kenta Maeda on the right and Boston took outfield player Alex Verdugo and Brusdar Graterol on the right.
The Dodgers opened the offseason with 6/1 and won the World Series in the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, but had improved to 5/1 before the deal. The additions of Betts and Price are now 7/2 in the National League and second in the MLB behind the Yankees, who still lead the market with 3/1. The story is the same at William Hill Sportsbook, where the Yankees are 3/1 favorites and Dodgers 4/1.
"The Dodgers are now becoming an unaffordable National League favorite," said Ed Salmons, vice president of risk management for Westgate SuperBook.
Betts is expected to be a free agent next winter and is said to have declined a 10-year $ 300 million contract extension with the Red Sox in the off-season. The Red Sox and Betts avoided arbitration with a $ 27 million deal this season. He definitely gives the Dodgers a big right-hander at the head of a very left-handed, heavy cast.
However, to acquire Betts, the Dodgers had to accept David Price's massive contract, which lasted three years and left $ 96 million. Price only made 22 starts with 107¹ / ₃ innings that were thrown last season when he struggled with wrist and elbow injuries. It also had its highest WHIP since its rookie season in 2009, with career highs in terms of hits per 9 innings and allowable HR per 9 innings.
That's not to say that the 34-year-old former AL Cy Young winner (2012) has nothing left, but he's another left-hander added to an already left-handed rotation. However, Salmons believes this is a good move for Price.
"An AL pitcher moving to a pitcher-friendly park in the NL late in his career should rejuvenate him," said Salmons in VSiN's "The Edge" program.
The Dodgers still have some questions in the bullpen. Nevertheless, their lineup with six of their planned starters should still be powerful in their 20s.
Los Angeles was not over yet as full-backs Joc Pederson and Ross went down the freeway to Angels for central defender Luis Rengifo and another prospect. The angels are 20/1 in William Hill and 30/1 in Westgate.
The Red Sox are now clearly in recovery mode, and their World Series odds have been adjusted to reflect that. Boston opened the off-season at 12/1 at Westgate, but had already been lowered to 30/1 with reports of a likely bet trading.
Even with the takeover of Maeda, the twins remain 20/1.
“A launcher that moves from the NL to an AL park like in Minnesota can have the opposite effect. These fly balls … become home runs [in Minnesota]"Said Salmons.
While the Yankees and Dodgers set a record eleven times in the World Series, the last time was in 1981. If the chalk stays on the futures board this season, we could get the long-awaited rematch this October.