500-1: What The Washington Fire Sale Means For Nationals Futures Bets

Written By Dann Stupp on July 30, 2021 - Last Updated on July 31, 2023
Washington Futures

If you’re holding a 2021 Washington Nationals futures betting ticket, Thursday’s news about Max Scherzer and Trea Turner was a real downer.

Sure, it’s bad enough that the Nats traded two of THEIR top players to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

But if you’ve also got a futures bet riding on the fate of this year’s Nationals squad, the blockbuster trade is doubly disappointing.

Sure, Washington, will receive a handsome bounty for trading two of its biggest and most productive stars (pending medicals, of course).

But most of that talent isn’t yet Major League ready. And as a result, the Nationals now face long odds to even get to the postseason this year.

MLB futures for 2021 Nationals

If you’re already sitting on a 2021 Nationals futures betting slip, this week’s fire sale is a real gut punch.

However, if you’re still bullish on the 2021 Nationals, some potentially big payoffs await. Just be sure to shop around, especially as the MLB Trade Deadline forces Virginia sports betting oddsmakers to continually update the lines.

As of Thursday in the Nationals futures market, the team was 500-1 (+50000) to win the 2021 World Series at BetMGM VA. Again, though, shop around. Other VA online sportsbooks had a payoff of just +6600.

A 500-1 payoff is a far cry from the Nationals’ preseason expectations. Before Opening Day, the Nationals were approximately +3500 (or, 35-1) at most sportsbooks to win the MLB season championship.

Entering Thursday, the Nationals were 47-55, in fourth place, and 7.5 games back.

Are the odds of a depleted roster actually staging a massive second-half rally better than 500-1? If so, perhaps you’ll want to sprinkle a little wager on that futures bet.

But, given this team’s sharp turn into rebuilding mode, including shedding some of the biggest names from its roster, a repeat of its 2019 World Series title is a true long shot.

A team without Max Scherzer and Trea Turner

On June 30, the Nationals won for the ninth time in 11 games to move to 40-38 on the season. After trailing the NL East leaders by as many as 8.5 games at one point, Washington had closed the gap to just two.

Then, sadly, the bottom fell out. The Nats are just 7-17 since July 1. And as Thursday’s MLB Trade Deadline approached, it was obvious Washington was more likely to be a seller than a buyer.

Scherzer (8-4, 2.76 ERA) and Turner (.322, 18 HRs, 49 RBIs), who were both All-Stars this season, are now headed west. In exchange, the Nationals receive a bevy of prospects:

  • C Keibert Ruiz (LA’s No. 1 prospect)
  • RHP Josiah Gray
  • RHP Gerardo Carrillo
  • OF Donovan Casey

Scherzer and Turner weren’t the only players the Nats dealt, though. Washington also traded veteran left fielder Kyle Schwarber (.253, 25 HRs, 53 RBIs) to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for pitching prospect Aldo Ramirez. RHP Daniel Hudson and LHP Brad Hand were also traded for prospects in separate deals.

The influx of top prospects should bode well for upcoming Nationals seasons. But what about 2021?

LA Dodgers’ World Series odds shorten

On the flip side, the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were already a World Series favorite, saw their odds shorten even further.

With the addition of three-time Cy Young Award winner Scherzer and speedster Turner, LA dropped to +375 (at DraftKings Sportsbook and BetRivers) to win the last game of this season.

And hey, if you still wish the best for Scherzer and Turner, you’ve got to like their improved chances of claiming another World Series ring.

After all, Scherzer joins what’s already MLB’s best starting rotation. And Turner, who’s 21-for-24 on stolen base attempts this season, should give the LA offense a jolt.

Expect the Dodgers (62-42), who trail the San Francisco Giants by three games in the NL West, to make some noise in the postseason whether they get there via a division title or a wild card entry.

Photo by AP / Nick Wass
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN, MLB.com and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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