MLB Expert Roundtable: 2024 World Series Predictions including the Atlanta Braves and a +2000 pick

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Andrew Wilsher


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Managing Editor of Pickswise. Born and raised in jolly old London, England, with an undying love for the NFL, NBA, soccer and horse racing. A big-time sports bettor who loves futures markets and backing underdogs. Long-suffering New York Jets fan. For Andrew Wilsher media enquiries, please email
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After a long few months, baseball is officially back! Okay, so maybe the 2024 MLB season got started last week when the Dodgers and Padres faced off in South Korea, but MLB Opening Day is upon us and it’s time to get excited for action on the diamond all the way through to the fall. With a lot of focus on the Dodgers and their super team, can anyone stand in their way and challenge them for the 2024 World Series? That’s a question we’ve asked 4 of our sharpest MLB handicappers, and incredibly NO ONE has selected LA to win it all this year. In fact, we have a couple of handicappers who agree on a +2000 longshot pick to win the World Series. Let’s dive into our 2024 World Series best bets, and be sure to keep an eyes on our MLB picks for all the big matchups throughout the season.

Read our MLB Player Award best bets for this season, including a +1800 longshot!

Keith Schmelter: Atlanta Braves (+450)

Odds generally available at time of publishing.

Let’s address the elephant in the room: the Dodgers are stacked. Los Angeles’ starting rotation might be the best I’ve ever seen with Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tyler Glasnow, Walker Buehler, James Paxton, Clayton Kershaw and Bobby Miller. Plus, the starting lineup is a modern-day Murderers’ Row with Shohei Ohtani, Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman. However, the reward at +320 isn’t worth the risk in my opinion. Instead, I’ve decided to go back to the well and choose the same team I picked before the 2023 season — the Atlanta Braves.

Atlanta had an incredible regular season with a 104-58 record, and Ronald Acuna Jr. set so many records that I lost count. The Braves did everything right from April to September, which included having the best run differential (+231) and the best record against teams above .500 (55-33). Spencer Strider had a fantastic season, Orlando Arcia had a breakout year, and Michael Harris Jr. continued to impress in the outfield. I felt like the smartest person in the world with a Braves +750 preseason ticket heading into October, but that didn’t last long.

So, what went wrong? The Braves ran into the Phillies in a best-of-five series. I still believe that the Braves would have won if it was a seven-game series. Anyway, the Braves fixed the few remaining holes heading into 2024. First, Eddie Rosario was a liability in left field, and his bat wasn’t what it used to be, so the Braves acquired Jarred Kelenic from the Mariners who was in desperate need of a new home. Secondly, Jared Shuster as the 5th starter meant the Braves offense had to score 6 runs that game to have a chance of winning. So, the Braves shipped him off for an elite reliever and then traded for Chris Sale from the Red Sox. I consider Atlanta’s offseason a smashing success. It’s not the most appealing payout, but at +450, I think it’s worth the investment.

Our expert also has 3 MLB win total best bets to target for the 2024 season

Ahaan Rungta: Seattle Mariners (+2000)

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook and BetMGM at time of publishing.

When looking for hidden gems in an MLB postseason in the long run, you want to identify rosters that have power in their lineup and a formidable starting rotation — the 2022 National League-winning Philadelphia Phillies and 2023 World Series-winning Texas Rangers both had that in common during their deep postseason runs. The 2022 regular-season Phillies offense was streaky but ranked #13 in HardHit percentage and #16 in flyball percentage, while their rotation ranked #12 in strikeout percentage — particularly through their dynamic duo of Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola. The 2023 regular-season Rangers offense ranked #2 in HardHit percentage and #2 in flyball percentage; although their rotation ranked #19 in strikeout percentage, it was heavily due to injuries — which they addressed as the postseason arrived. The moral of the story: home runs and power pitching win playoff games and bullpens become less significant as pitching staffs get more compact.

The Seattle Mariners’ current roster composition already matches one that would be a good fit to win in the postseason even if they do not dominate in the regular season. Their starting rotation is stacked with elite-upside talent, headlined by Luis Castillo (3.74 SIERA, 27.3% K% in 2023), George Kirby (3.71 SIERA, 22.7% K% in 2023) and Logan Gilbert (3.78 SIERA, 24.6% K% in 2023).

Additionally, their lineup is not just high-ceiling but now likely more battle-tested. As a team their offense ranked #9 in wRC+, #10 in HardHit percentage, and #3 in flyball percentage. This offseason, they lost Eugenio Suárez but added Mitch Haniger, Mitch Garver, Luke Raley and Jorge Polanco. If you’re a rival team, don’t let the Mariners get a spot in the playoffs because they could crush you in a playoff series.

Check out our MLB Division winner predictions for EVERY division!

Javan Shouey: Seattle Mariners (+2000)

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook and BetMGM at time of publishing.

While Seattle fell short of the postseason in 2023, their 88 wins were just 2 short of the division-winning Astros and 1 short of a wild-card berth. Their final win total was a bit unlucky given their Pythagorean win total of 91 and their 6-14 record in extra-innings. This offseason, Seattle has appeared to improve the depth of their batting order. The lineup loses Eugenio Suarez and Teoscar Hernandez, but adds some length with the additions of Mitch Garver, Mitch Haniger, Jorge Polanco and Luke Raley. All 4 players posted double-digit barrel rates in 2023 while Garver and Raley both posted a wRC+ of 130 or higher. The health of both Haniger and Polanco will go a long way for this lineup’s success.

Julio Rodriguez will look to produce an MVP-caliber season while J.P. Crawford and Cal Raleigh hope to replicate their career-best seasons. Mariner starting pitchers ranked 4th in both ERA and SIERA last season and the club returns the same primary guys in Luis Castillo, George Kirby and Logan Gilbert this year. Young arms in Bryce Miller, Emerson Hancock and eventually Bryan Woo are likely to contribute heavily in the back end of the rotation as well. Come playoff time, that strength is amplified and at +2000, I once again see value in Seattle’s World Series odds.

Caleb Wilfinger: Houston Astros (+800)

Odds available at BetMGM at time of publishing.

As much as it pains me to say this, the Houston Astros have been the model of consistency in the American League and deserve a bit more market respect as a result. The Astros have made the ALCS for a ridiculous 7 consecutive seasons now, and even with the improvements made by the Yankees and Orioles out east (to say nothing of the Rangers and Mariners within their own division), this organization is still the cream of the crop in the AL.

There are big names that we all know littered throughout the lineup, led by an MVP candidate in Yordan Alvarez, who is ready to claim the throne as the best power hitter in the game. And on the mound, Houston has a terrific, battle-tested rotation led by Justin Verlander, Christian Javier and Framber Valdez. If Hunter Brown can make the leap in his second full season in the majors, the sky’s the limit for a pitching staff that is already one of the best in baseball. Even though the Astros are a consensus World Series contender, the market is relatively low on them compared to the hype around the Yankees, Orioles and Mariners. I wouldn’t fault anyone for backing this Houston team at a better number than in years past.

Scoop up some value with our 2024 MLB season longshot predictions

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