The MLB offseason is young, but DraftKings has issued futures odds for the American (AL) and National (NL) Leagues this week, and to no surprise, the New York Yankees and Mets are high on each respective list.

Following up on the early World Series futures from NY sportsbooks that see both teams in the top six of all MLB teams, the Yankees are just behind the Houston Astros as AL favorites, and the Mets are third behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves. The Mets are ahead of both National League Championship Series participants Philadelphia and San Diego. The latter, as Mets fans are sure to recall, eliminated New York from the postseason in the Wild Card round this year.

AL: Yankees Not as Far Behind Houston as ALCS Suggested

The gap between the Yankees and its chief AL rival–2022 World Champion Houston Astros–never appeared larger than during this year’s ALCS.

The Astros held the heavy-hitting Yankees to just four runs over the first three games of the series, then completed the sweep with a come-from-behind 6-5 victory in Game 4. Houston delivered key hits and got big outs when they needed them, whereas the Yankees had trouble managing both scenarios. Despite the analysis that Aaron Boone was out-managed by Dusty Baker, the Bronx Bombers announced that Boone will return in 2023–perplexing some fans and critics alike.

While New York got good regular-season production from several pitchers, such as Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, and Louis Severino, the bullpen remains a major question mark. Aroldis Chapman appears to be done, and after a blistering hot start, Clay Holmes dealt with injuries and wasn’t used in a key spot in the Yankees’ Game 3 loss to Cleveland in the ALDS.

And there’s the topic of Aaron Judge, which we will get to in a moment.

2023 AL Pennant Futures Odds for Yankees

Here are the odds for the 2023 American League pennant, courtesy of DraftKings.

Houston Astros+285Won World Series
New York Yankees+450Lost 0-4 to Houston in ALCS
Toronto Blue Jays+550Lost 0-2 to Seattle in Wild Card Round
Seattle Mariners+800Lost 0-3 to Houston in ALDS
Chicago White Sox+1100Did Not Reach Postseason
Tampa Bay Rays+1200Lost 0-2 to Cleveland in Wild Card Round

Regardless of how things looked on the field last year, the Yankees will always have less value than they would have if the same players were on a different team. More casual fans will bet on the Yankees, which reduces their value.

Toronto disappointed a bit, as did the White Sox. Seattle will be the team to watch, as they improved a bit more this year after making good offseason moves along with the emergence of eventual AL Rookie of the Year Julio Rodriguez. The Mariners, however, play in the same division as Houston. The Astros also have questions with Justin Verlander becoming a free agent and the surprise departure of General Manager James Click.

Trio of 100-Win Teams Lead NL Pennant Futures Odds Betting

For the last few months of the MLB season, there were two forward-looking statements in the National League.

  1. The Mets or Braves would be fighting to win the NL East so they didn’t have to play the Dodgers in the Division Series.
  2. What an NLCS it will be between the Dodgers and either the Mets or Braves.

Turns out, neither statement proved to be true.

After leading for virtually the entire season, the Mets were swept in Atlanta in the final week of the season and lost the division on a tiebreaker at 101-61. The Mets never faced the Dodgers, however, as they were eliminated in the third game of a best-of-three Wild Card Series against San Diego.

And the Braves and Dodgers did not meet in the NLCS in what would’ve been the third-straight postseason. Instead, the Padres upset LA and Philadelphia knocked Atlanta out, so the three best teams in the NL during the regular season were all out sooner than anticipated.

2023 NL Pennant Futures Odds for Mets

Looking at the NL pennant futures odds, the NY sportsbooks aren’t expecting history to repeat itself, again courtesy of DraftKings.

Los Angeles Dodgers+270Lost 1-3 to San Diego in NLDS
Atlanta Braves+400Lost 1-3 to Philadelphia in NLDS
New York Mets+600Lost 1-2 to San Diego in Wild Card Round
San Diego Padres+700Lost 1-4 to Philadelphia in NLCS
Philadelphia Phillies+750Lost 2-4 to Houston in World Series
St. Louis Cardinals+1100Lost 0-2 to Philadelphia in Wild Card Round

The Dodgers and Braves will be rolling back very similar teams in 2023, but there is one question mark on each, offensively. Trea Turner (LA) and Dansby Swanson (ATL) are free agents and may possibly move elsewhere.

The Mets took care of one of their big free agents by locking up closer Edwin Diaz for five more years after one of the most dominant seasons by a closer in baseball history, logging a K/9 rate of over 17, which is nearly two out of every three batters per inning. He’ll also be bringing his now-iconic entrance back to Citi Field for 2023 and beyond.

The Mets still have to see whether they can come to terms with pitcher Jacob DeGrom, and other key free agents include Brandon Nimmo, Chris Bassitt, and Taijuan Walker.

Several questions remain for Philadelphia, who won the pennant with an interim manager and a patchwork starting pitching staff. After having a 2-1 World Series lead, the bats went cold. Including a Game 4 no-hitter, the Phillies scored just three runs in the final three games of the series.

San Diego returns a strong pitching staff that got the team to the NLCS, and they will have the return of Fernando Tatis Jr., who was injured for the first half of the year then lost the rest of the season due to a positive test for a performance-enhancing substance.

Favor Mets or Yankees’ Pennant Odds at the Moment?

Each team of course has holes to fill for 2023, but of the two teams’ huge free agents, it’s more imperative for the Yankees to re-sign Judge. On his way to an American League-record 62 home runs, Judge carried the Yankees’ offense for much of the season. We saw what happened in the playoffs when he slumped, as New York struggled to put runs on the board.

DeGrom is a dominant pitcher when healthy. But while he remained on the field, he did struggle a fair bit in September. In addition, the Mets were 65-37 before DeGrom even threw his first pitch of 2022 on Aug. 2. And with owner Steve Cohen’s deep pockets, expect the Mets to replace DeGrom with another co-ace to stand alongside Max Scherzer, whether that’s Verlander, Carlos Rodon, or making a trade for someone unexpected.

Prediction: Wait on Yankees, Buy on Mets

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