Do you feel better about the Orioles than you did a month ago? If you do, you’re not alone - being tied for first place makes everything about the team seem better, though there is, of course, a lot of baseball still to be played and a lot that could still go wrong.
The world of gamblers is another place where the Orioles are looking better than they did a month ago. The gambling behemoth Bovada is now listing the O’s at 20/1 to win the World Series, better than their price of 33/1 a month ago. The people who were confident in March are going to win more money than those who jump on board later. You know, if the Orioles actually win the World Series.
If you don’t do much sports gambling, that’s better for you. To explain the numbers, when odds are expressed like this, it’s fairly simple. For every $1 you wager, you would win $20 if the Orioles in the World Series. Back in March, that was $33 for every $1.
In a rough way, it’s like saying the Las Vegas world thinks the Orioles have a 5% chance of winning it all. Those aren’t great odds, but they’re not too bad when you consider them against a field of 29 other teams.
The Orioles are certainly in much better shape than a number of other teams. A couple of pre-season middle-of-the-pack teams have plummeted. The Giants were at 11/1 on March 31 and have fallen to 40/1 after a brutal 10-18 start.
People thought the Blue Jays might be good again, too, which is why they started out at 22/1 to win the championship. The Jays have one of the worst records in baseball and are now sitting at 50/1 odds. But nobody has fallen farther than the Royals, who have stumbled to MLB’s worst record. They opened with the same 33/1 odds as the Orioles and are now down near the bottom at 100/1.
Perhaps not surprisingly, it’s the two World Series teams from last year who currently have the best odds. The defending champion Cubs opened at 9/2 and are now 4/1, though their 14-12 start isn’t overwhelming like they did last year. The AL defending champion Indians started at 9/1 and have improved to 6/1. They, too, are 14-12 to start the season.
How are you feeling about the Orioles right now? If you were the gambling type, would you be buying at 20/1? Or are you, like me, more worried about the assorted things that could still go massively wrong?