Dodgers overtake Braves as slight World Series favorites

MLB: JUN 20 Braves at Phillies

At the conclusion of the 2023 World Series, the Braves opened as the World Series favorites for 2024, just ahead of teams like the Dodgers and Astros. However, now that Ohtani is officially heading to the other team in Los Angeles, the Dodgers have overtaken the Braves as the World Series favorites in December at 11/2, with the Braves checking in right behind them at 7/1.

Following such a substantial addition like Shohei Ohtani, it’s no shock that a lot of people immediately ran to their betting outlets to place a future on the Dodgers winning the World Series.

However, as currently constructed, the Dodgers still have a lot of work to do if they want to become champions again. Their rotation remains a glaring weakness, and while Ohtani might be able to help out in that aspect in 2025 and beyond, he will not pitch in 2024 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. That’s not to say the Dodgers can’t make some moves to fix their rotation.

There are still a ton of options available in free agency and via trade, and as we learned last night, almost all of the money the Dodgers are giving Ohtani is deferred until 2034 and beyond. That gives Los Angeles a lot more flexibility with their payroll to make several significant additions. They are all in, and I expect them to make a few more substantial moves before the start of next season. If you’re a betting man, it might be wise to place a future on them now rather than wait, because the Dodgers could have the look of a super team before long.

Regardless, the Braves are already a super team. They return essentially their entire offense from 2023, which was arguably the best lineup in MLB history. Their bullpen has also been bolstered, and most expect the Braves to add at least one more starting pitcher. There’s a reason FanGraphs projects Atlanta to win 98 games next season as currently constructed, the most of any team. It doesn’t matter much who the Dodgers add between now and the start of the season; the Braves will be as well constructed as any team to take them down come October.

Photo: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

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