The Phillies moved past the New York Yankees to become bookmakers' favorites to win the 2011 World Series after reports said that free-agent lefthander Cliff Lee had agreed to a deal with the team.
The odds on the Phillies' winning the championship shifted overnight to 9-5 from 6-1, making them the lone favorite, said Jeff Sherman, the assistant general manager at the Las Vegas Hilton's sports book. The Yankees' odds widened to 6-1 (the same as the Boston Red Sox') from 5-2.
"The Lee news drastically changed the landscape of the World Series odds," Sherman said in a telephone interview. "The Phillies have become the favorite at better than two to one, followed by two teams at 6-1 and then no one else better than 15-1."
At those odds, a winning $5 bet on the Phillies would yield a payout of $9.
The odds on the Yankees dropped when it became clear that Lee would not sign with New York, Sherman said. The news also moved the Texas Rangers' odds to 20-1 from 15-1.