We’ve hit the All-Star break.
The defending champs aren’t looking too hot. Sure, they can mash. But their rotation has been inconsistent at best, flat out bad at worst. And the team they beat hasn’t exactly run away from the pack either. That begs the question, which team has the best chance to be the last one standing in October?
A couple months ago we broke down the odds and outlook for each of the favorites to win the World Series. It’s a good time to go back and revisit that post and see what has changed for each of these teams and what to expect moving forward.
Not much has changed in The Land. The Tribe is still holding steady and will very likely win the AL Central. They are a much more dangerous team in the postseason as opposed to the regular season, where they can amp of the usage of that stellar bullpen. The key for the Indians will be, can they hit consistently? You can’t argue that they have some dangerous bats in the lineup, much more dangerous than the World Series lineups they ran out last year. If they can stay healthy and keep that lineup scary top to bottom, they’ll be in good position to get back to the Fall Classic and finish off the job this time around.
No one is talking about the Nats much, which is odd for a Bryce Harper-led team. They suffered a major blow losing Adam Eaton for the season and now they have to deal with the loss of Trea Turner for quite awhile. Still, they have such a massive division lead coupled with enough depth to push them to the postseason. They’ll almost certainly avoid the play-in game and will be able to start off their Scherzer-Strasburg combo in the NLDS. No one wants to see that.
Boston Red Sox
The return of David Price and the ‘return’ of Drew Pomeranz has moved the Red Sox up a little bit, mostly due to the fact that they’re in good position to take the AL East behind those resurgent arms. Health will be the major factor here. I’m not a huge fan of jumping on at these odds, I’m thinking they probably dip again before we hit the postseason. But if the Sox can keep the Sale-Price-Porcello-Pomeranz foursome healthy and slinging, they’ll be a really tough out in the postseason. The AL is shaping up to be really, really fun to watch come this fall.
I was wrong about this team. They’re really good and I can definitely see them getting fitted for rings about five months from now. We knew the lineup was deep and scary but the front-end of their rotation has been great as well. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make a move for another starter or add some bullpen help and if they do, yikes. The AL is going to be a nightmare for teams to get through but the Astros will be in the thick of things. They’re all the way down to 4.25/1, they were at 9/1 just two months ago.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The best odds in baseball! I personally wouldn’t go anywhere near the Dodgers at 4/1 but with the way they’ve been playing, it’s hard to argue. They have the best pitcher on the planet and behind him, the rotation has been pretty good. They’ll probably make a move or two to bolster the middle of that bullpen but Kenley Jansen at the end of it is as good as anyone. The lineup is super long and the emergence of Cody Bellinger has vaulted them into the elite tier. The NL won’t be as much of a fight as the AL but the Dodgers, Nationals, Cubs trio should make for an interesting fall in the land of the DH-less.
As for the defending champs? They’ve fallen down the odds board pretty significantly. They’re pretty solid value at this price. Once they get Kyle Hendricks back, they’re a focused Jake Arrieta and maybe a move for another starting pitcher away from having just as good, if not better, a shot as anyone to hoist the trophy again.
The team with the best odds outside of those listed here would be the Yankees, all the way down at 15/1.