Two years ago, the Texas Rangers lost 102 games. Even in 2022, the Rangers were 68-94, their fifth straight losing season. Today, they are World Series champions for the first time in the 63-year history of the franchise after eliminating the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 5 on Wednesday in the desert. No team has repeated as World Series champion since the Yankees in 2000, and DraftKings oddsmakers have opened the Rangers as +900 third-favorites for next season behind the Braves (+700) and Dodgers (+750) with the free agency of Shohei Ohtani now the biggest question looming over the sport.
Texas finished an unprecedented 11-0 on the road to become only the third team in history to win the World Series within two seasons of losing 100-plus games, joining the 1969 New York Mets and 1914 Boston Braves. One of the big steps forward for the franchise after that 102-loss season was spending nearly $500 million to lure Corey Seager and Marcus Semien in free agency.
Seager won his second career World Series MVP Award on Wednesday, while Semien didn't miss a single game all year and set an MLB record for plate appearances while playing at an MVP level like Seager. Bruce Bochy became the sixth manager with four or more World Series titles, joining Joe McCarthy (7), Casey Stengel (7), Connie Mack (5), Joe Torre (4) and Walter Alston (4).
It's even more stunning that Texas won it all this year with two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom limited to just six early-season starts before underdoing a second Tommy John surgery. He likely won't pitch in 2024 before August.
Trade acquisition pitcher Jordan Montgomery is among the team's top free agents, and he was spectacular. But the Rangers will have breakout rookie outfielder Evan Carter for a full season, so the offense will be absolutely loaded. Texas won the final two games of the World Series without ALCS MVP Adolis Garcia due to injury but he'll be fine by spring. The Rangers can also look forward to adding outfielder Wyatt Langford, the No. 4 pick in this year's draft, to the lineup early next summer. The former Florida Gators star is remarkably polished and shouldn't be in the minor leagues for long.
Atlanta had the best record in the majors this season, tied the MLB record for homers and became the first team to slug .500. But pitching generally wins in the playoffs, and the lineup was shut down in the NLDS loss to the Philadelphia (+1100 to win the 2024 World Series), which has eliminated the Braves from back-to-back postseasons. Atlanta must address the rotation this offseason behind Spencer Strider and Max Fried.
The Dodgers might be overvalued after getting swept in the NLDS by Arizona. The offense will be fine with MVPs Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, but who still start on the mound? Clayton Kershaw is a free agent who might decide to sign with his hometown Rangers. Julio Urias will not be back, and Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May will miss 2024 after undergoing Tommy John surgeries.
Los Angeles has been linked to Ohtani, but remember that he will not pitch in 2024 and frankly will not make as much of a futures odds impact if he leaves the Angels than he would have as a pitcher and DH. Offshore book BetOnline favors Ohtani to land with the Dodgers if he leaves the Angels.
Houston, which lost in seven to Texas in the ALCS, is +900 with the Rangers. The non-playoff team with the shortest odds is the Yankees at +1300. The Orioles seem like great early value at +1600 after leading the AL in wins. They have to add starting pitching, though. Arizona is +2500 after coming up short in its second trip to the World Series.
Seattle (+2000), Tampa Bay (+2000), Milwaukee (+4000), San Diego (+1600) and Colorado (+15000) are now the only franchises yet to win the World Series. Seattle has never even reached the Fall Classic.
The 2024 regular season will begin March 20 with a two-game series between the Dodgers and the Padres held in Seoul, South Korea before the regular season starts in full in in the USA on March 28.
DraftKings favorites to win 2024 World Series
- Braves +700
- Dodgers +750
- Rangers +900
- Astros +900
- Phillies +1100
- Yankees +1300
- Orioles +1600
- Padres +1600
- Blue Jays +1700
Get more out of your SportsLine subscription!
- Picks: NFL | NBA | CFB | CBB
- DFS: Lineup Optimizer | Picks
- Early Edge: YouTube | Apple Podcasts
- Newsletters: SportsLine Daily | Fantasy
Qualifying SportsLine members receive a 30-day free trial of Paramount+ premium. Sync your account right here.
Share This Story