Braves' World Series Odds Drop

Atlanta Braves Jason Heyward Freedie Freeman World Series odds 2014

ATLANTA, GA (The Spread) - In a strange shift, the Braves' 2014 World Series odds have dropped following two significant moves by the club earlier this week.

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On Tuesday the Braves signed first baseman Freddie Freeman to an eight-year, $135 million contract extension. The deal was the largest contract in Braves' history as Freeman will earn an average of $16.875 million over his eight seasons. At 24, the first baseman is coming off an MVP-caliber season and will be a mainstay in Atlanta's lineup for years to come.

The club also avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year contract with outfielder Jason Heyward earlier this week. According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the deal is worth $13.3 million and now the 24-year-old won't hit free agency until the conclusion of the two-year contract. Injuries have derailed Heyward's career, although he's only 24 and has the talent to be an annual all-star.

Despite making those moves to ensure stability for two of its most talented young players, the Braves' 2014 World Series odds have dropped. According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, Atlanta is now a 20/1 long shot to win this year's Fall Classic, down from 18/1. In similar fashion, NL East rivals the Nationals' odds have gone from 10/1 to 12/1.

There's not much explanation for the change in odds. Former catcher Brian McCann signed a five-year, $85 million contract with the Yankees, but that occurred in early December. Oddsmakers may have just wanted to make Atlanta and Washington more attractive to bettors with spring training set to kick off in a week.

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