We’ve finally hit May and you know what? It’s never too early to talk World Series favorites.
As we all know, the Cubs are the reigning champs. And they are 3/1 favorites to repeat as champions. But how does it shake out behind them?
The team the Cubs beat, the Indians, are next in line but at a lot worse odds than the Cubs. They’re a really good team that also comes with some safety given that they should easily win the AL Central, probably by double-digit games. If the rotation can stay healthy and trot out Kluber/Carrasco/Salazar/Tomlin along with their big-bat lineup and shutdown bullpen, they are in really good shape. I think they win the AL again and have a really good shot at taking over the Cubs throne.
Going back to the NL, we have the Nationals. It’ll always be the same story with the Nats, they need to stay healthy. They’ll have arguably the scariest 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation with Scherzer and Strasburg and the rest of the rotation is talented enough to keep them in games. Their lineup thins out a bit after the top, especially after losing Adam Eaton last week, but the top of their lineup is really good. I’d much prefer the Indians at basically the same odds but I do prefer the Nationals to the next two teams we’ll discuss.
I understand why they’re up this high but personally, I’m staying away. Chris Sale is obviously a stud and leads a talented but inconsistent rotation. I can’t imagine the Red Sox can count on getting really anything of substance from David Price this season either. And it’s brutally obvious that they really miss David Ortiz’s bat in the middle of their lineup. If you want to take a flyer on these odds and roll the dice that David Price comes back to be the real David Price and Rick Porcello can get back to last years form, I can see the logic. But there is better value on the board in my opinion.
To round out the Top 5 we stay in the AL, with the Astros. Their odds aren’t high enough. They don’t have the rotation to make a serious postseason run so if you take them at these odds, you’re hoping that they make a big move at the deadline to bring in a front of the rotation type arm. The lineup is scary, I’ll give them that. Springer, Altuve, Correra and a slew of other dangerous bats can keep them in any game. But pitching will win games in October and as of right now, they don’t have enough of it.
I wanted to quickly mention the Dodgers as well because they’re probably the best value on the board. They’ll have the best pitcher in the postseason (if they make it) and a pretty dangerous lineup top to bottom. They gave the Cubs some trouble last year in the NLCS and at the very least, should be around come playoff time. If they get in, Kershaw alone makes them pretty scary and at 11/1, that payout would be pretty nice.