MLB WINTER MEETINGS: HOW IT AFFECTS THE 2023 WORLD SERIES
The MLB Winter Meetings concluded in San Diego and they were as eventful as ever with some notable changes coming to the game and a lot of high-profile player movement.
The Winter Meetings are more than an appetizer for baseball fans hungering for action during a long offseason. They are an opportunity for club leaders from all 30 teams and 120 Minor League teams to come together and discuss everything business, including player transactions and rules changes. These discussions will shape the game for the upcoming year and beyond.
We have a long way to go before baseball resumes and even longer before the 2023 World Series nears, but that does not mean it’s too early to start thinking about how the Winter Meetings will affect World Series odds. You are hard-pressed to find odds updating directly after the meetings so it is a good time to find value on an early bet if you think a team greatly improved its position.
We will rundown the biggest happenings of the MLB Winter Meetings and how it affects World Series odds from JazzSports.
MLB Winter Meetings
There are a couple of notable rule changes that are focused on improving the fan experience by speeding up the game. These changes will affect the play on the field for both hitters and defenses.
The biggest change is the implementation of the pitch clock. The pitch clock was successfully implemented in 2015 and the reviews were positive enough for MLB to adopt it. With the clock, pitchers will have 15 seconds to deliver the pitch after receiving the ball while the bases are empty. Once there are runners on base, the clock is upped to 20 seconds, allowing pitchers and baserunners more time to evaluate each other.
A pitcher does have some freedom to control the pace of the game but it has been greatly limited. They are allowed to step away from the bump to reset the clock twice for each batter they face without incurring a penalty. The timer also resets if a baserunner gets to the next base. If the pitcher steps away for a third time it will be called a balk.
The most apparent impact is the effect this will have on pitchers, especially high-velocity pitchers. They will be given less recovery time between pitches, likely leading to arms wearing out just a little bit more quickly. Decisions will have to be made more quickly about how to approach situations with runners on base. Batters will not unanimously enjoy the clock either though. Some prefer to have time at the plate to think about the game situation they are facing and diagnose what the best play is. It is a give-and-take but we could see just a little more offense and shorter game times.
Along those same lines, the shift is also being changed with two infielders being required on both sides of the second base. This limits some defensive opportunities but we will not know how this affects offense and defense until we see it in action.
Another change that is overshadowed by the pitch clock is the size of bases being increased by 4.5 inches. It may not sound like much but we know how close plays on the bases can be. With the base paths being shortened even slightly, baserunners have a big advantage. A shortstop’s turn to make a double-play or a pitcher’s attempt to throw out a runner has to be that much quicker and more accurate or we will likely see more steals.
2023 World Series odds
Blue Jays +1100
Player movement and its impact on the odds
The transactions surrounding the Winter Meetings were nothing short of wild. Let us break down where we are because of them.
The first big one is Aaron Judge going off the table to stay with the Yankees on a huge, long-term contract. This keeps the Yankees right where they were in the AL, if not in a slightly better spot with some notable rivals moving backward. Boston did however secure reliever Kenley Jansen which fills a glaring hole in the team over last season.
The most notable of those rivals is Boston who lost Xander Bogaerts to San Diego. This is a huge loss for the Sox and a big gain for the Padres. Bogaerts immediately plugs into the shortstop position and bolsters an already talented defense. Fernando Tatis Jr. will move to the outfield and the offense will be even more potent than before. That is part of the equation in closing the gap with the Dodgers.
The other part of that equation is L.A. losing Trae Turner to the Phillies. While the Dodgers have a stacked lineup, Turner is as crucial a part of that as anyone else. In 2022 he was 2nd in batting average and he has led baseball in hits over the course of the last 2 seasons.
As for Philadelphia, Turner takes 2022’s Cinderella playoff team and makes them a more reliable team in 2023. The NL East is 1 of the toughest divisions and the Phils needed to make a move just to stay on pace with Atlanta and New York. Turner is a huge get that makes Philly much scarier than it was at the start of last season.
Jacob deGrom and more
The rest of the NL East did not sit still though. The Mets lost Jacob deGrom to the Rangers but added 3-time Cy Young winner Justin Verlander. This reunites Verlander and Max Scherzer who last played together in Detroit. Verlander has had a lot of great statistical seasons but you can argue 2022 was 1 of his most impressive. It was, even more, satisfying with he finally captured an elusive World Series win.
The Mets also locked up Brandon Nimmo who is a big part of setting up 1 of the better offenses in the game. Nimmo has gotten on base about 40 percent of the time throughout his career. Then they shored up the bullpen with reliever David Robertson, who had a 2.70 ERA after being traded to Philadelphia last season. That takes a good arm away from a division opponent and makes the Mets that much stronger.
Based on all of these moves, the Mets and Padres will see the biggest shortening of odds thanks to some excellent moves. The Dodgers will still have the shortest odds despite the loss of Turner while the Astros may stay ahead in the AL, but the Yankees will be a little bit closer. Futures on the Mets or Padres should be high on your list of priorities while you can get the most value out of those bets.
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|he Dodgers will still have the shortest odds despite the loss of Turner while the Astros may stay ahead in the AL