The Washington Nationals won the 2019 World Series, but it’s the losing team from Game 7 that is given the best chance to win next year’s Fall Classic. The Houston Astros opened as the co-favorites to win the 2020 World Series after falling just shy of earning a second title in three years.

Houston is given +600 betting odds, along with the New York Yankees. The Astros beat the Yankees in six games in the American League Championship Series. The two teams led the AL with 210 combined regular-season victories.

Washington isn’t even the 2020 World Series favorite in the National League. That honor belongs to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have +800 championship odds.

The Dodgers led the NL with a 106-56 record. They couldn’t finish off the Nationals in the NLDS when they took a 2-1 series lead. Los Angeles has won seven straight NL West titles. L.A. came up short in both the 2017 and 2018 World Series.

The Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves are tied for fourth with +1200 odds. Washington has the sixth-best odds, tied with the Cleveland Indians at +1500.

The Philadelphia Phillies have +2000 odds, putting three NL East teams in the top eight. The St. Louis Cardinals opened with +2200 Worlds Series odds.

There’s no guarantee that the World Series MVP will return to the Nationals for the 2020 MLB season. Stephen Strasburg can opt-out of the final four years and $100 million he has left on his contract. Star third baseman Anthony Rendon is a free agent and could be headed elsewhere for a massive payday.

The Nationals missed the 2018 playoffs and had never even reached the NLCS before 2019.

Gerrit Cole’s free agency could shift the balance of power in the AL. Houston’s right-hander could earn a record-setting contract for a pitcher on the open market. Cole finished off a potential Cy Young campaign with a 1.72 ERA in 36.2 playoff innings.

No team has repeated as World Series champions since the Yankees did it in 2000. That New York team was also the last defending champion to even reach the Fall Classic the following year.

The Washington Nationals celebrated Wednesday after defeating Houston 6-2 to win the World Series in a dramatic seventh game
The Washington Nationals celebrated after defeating Houston 6-2 to win the 2019 World Series in a dramatic seventh game. GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Bob Levey