After a long winter without baseball, the start of Spring Training has arrived and Opening Day is here. The Houston Astros are the betting favorites to win the World Series in consecutive seasons at +600 odds, a feat that has not been accomplished in 23 years.
The Astros sit atop DraftKings’ MLB futures board, along with five other teams who possess a strong claim to the World Series title, such as the New York Yankees (+750), Atlanta Braves (+750), Los Angeles Dodgers (+850), New York Mets (+950), and San Diego Padres (+950).
Despite the loss of starting second baseman Jose Altuve, who suffered a hand fracture during the World Baseball Classic, the Astros remain the favorites to win the American League pennant for a third consecutive year at +310 odds, with the Yankees close behind at +370.
Houston’s projected win total for this season sits at 95.5, the highest in the AL and tied with the Dodgers for best in baseball, despite winning 106 games last year.
In the era of advanced analytics and free agency, it is a rare feat for a team to successfully defend their championship title. In the seven years between 2014 and 2021, eight different teams have taken the World Series crown and none have repeated.
The Astros and Dodgers have been the two most dominant teams in baseball since 2017, yet they only have three championships combined. Houston has made four World Series appearances in the last six seasons, securing two championships, while the Dodgers have made three appearances but only won one.
The Dodgers will have plenty of competition in the National League this season, with the Atlanta Braves favored to win the NL pennant at +370 odds, and the Dodgers at +425. The New York Mets and San Diego Padres follow close behind at +475 odds.
The last repeat World Series champion was the New York Yankees, who won three in a row from 1998 to 2000. Since the inception of free agency in 1972, only five teams have won consecutive titles: the Oakland A’s (1972-1974), Cincinnati Reds (1975-1976), Yankees (1977-1978), Toronto Blue Jays (1993-1994), and Yankees (1998-2000).
If you look even further back in the history books to the period before the free agency era (1923-1971), the Yankees and Philadelphia Athletics were the only teams to win back-to-back championships.
The Houston Astros are now attempting to join a select few as the fifteenth team to repeat as World Series champions.