Sportsbooks Were Ready for Bryce Harper’s Deal with Philly
When Bryce Harper’s big deal broke the internet Thursday afternoon, most baseball fans weren’t surprised by his new team, the Philadelphia Phillies.
As it turns out, neither were the oddsmakers.
In fact, many sportsbooks had already accounted for Harper agreeing to terms with the Phillies and reflected as much in their 2019 National League futures odds.
This means that fans of MLB betting won’t be beating the bookies by sneaking in some Philadelphia World Series, National League, and divisional future bets before the odds have shifted.
How Harper’s Move Affects 2019 MLB Betting
After essentially delaying the inevitable for several long months, Harper officially decided to join the Phillies by signing a 13-year, $330 million contract. What’s perhaps most shocking besides the length of the contract is the absence of opt outs.
Win or lose, Harper appears to be in it for the (very, very) long haul with the City of Brotherly Love.
Keeping things in the present, here’s where Philadelphia stands with some of New Jersey’s major sportsbooks:
Phillies 2019 World Series Odds
- FanDuel: +1300
- 888: +1000
- DraftKings: +1000
- SugarHouse: +1000
- MGM: +1000
FanDuel offers the juiciest payout for World Series betting aficionados while the rest are fairly uniform at +1000.
It’s interesting to note that Philadelphia is itself on the verge of becoming a sports betting hub for the Northeast. After PASPA was struck down by the SCOTUS last May, Pennsylvania was one of the states in prime position to take advantage.
Despite some recent setbacks in terms of MLB spring training bets the state will likely soon offer the full Vegas experience to fans.
Slugger Completes a Dark Horse Contender
Harper’s signing is only the latest development for a team that’s been turning heads and building towards serious contention after seven years of no postseason play.
Despite finishing at .500 or lower for the seventh-straight season, the Phillies’ potential was on display throughout 2018.
Under new manager Gabe Kapler and his unconventional style, Philly fans watched the rise of slugger Rhys Hoskins who cranked 34 home runs and 96 RBI as he led a crop of young homegrown talent.
The Phillies have also made major acquisitions (Jake Arrieta, J.T. Realmuto, Jean Segura and Andrew McCutchen) over the last few years that seem to have all built up to Bryce.
Harper’s 2018 left a lot to be desired by his own standards as the specter of his eventual departure haunted his final season in the nation’s capital.
While he did hit an impressive 34 home runs and drive in a career-best 100 RBI, he compiled just a .249 batting average over 159 games and the Nationals missed the playoffs.
Still, he remains a franchise-changing talent whose achieved more at 26 years old than many baseball players hope to accomplish over an entire career.
The six-time All Star has already been an MVP, hit 184 homers and is well over halfway to 1,000 career RBI.
He’s never, however, been past the National League Divisional Series and will look to fix that during his extended stay at Citizens Bank Park.
More Markets for 2019 Phillies Season
The Phillies’ odds obviously have improved from what they were before speculation of Harper’s signing began. That’s not just their chances to win the World Series for the first time since 2008, but for a variety of other markets as well.
MGM, which just recently became MLB’s official entertainment partner, has the Phillies at +500 to win the National League pennant and lists them as the new favorites to win the NL East at +180.
FanDuel also has the Phillies at +500 to win the National League and head to the fall classic, but lists them at a slightly higher +185 to win the division.
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