2018 World Series Odds and Preview
By Steven Wisner
And then there were seven.
The number of teams still alive for the 2018 World Series title are dwindling as we are now a week into October baseball. The Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics are already on the golf course and the Colorado Rockies just exited the postseason having been swept by the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS.
Aside from Milwaukee, the other six teams that still have a pulse this season are still battling it out in the division series, but a couple squads, like the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians find themselves with their backs against the wall. If they can come back swinging—both literally and figuratively—they could built a bit of momentum for the next round, but that’s a longshot at best. Still, momentum plays big right now.
The picture is clearing up as we get deeper into October, but a number of questions still remain. Will we see a rematch of the 2017 World Series with the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers? Can the Brewers continue to defy the odds? What will be the outcome of the first postseason series between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox since 2004? Will the winner of that series have enough left to take the ALCS?
There’s still plenty to be decided, but with some much still up in the air, there’s one thing that’s clear: as the season winds down, if you’re looking to get some MLB futures action, BookMaker.eu is the place to go.
Houston Astros +240
Los Angeles Dodgers +345
Milwaukee Brewers +375
Boston Red Sox +485
New York Yankees +530
Atlanta Braves +2750
Cleveland Indians +3500
Right now, the chalk would indicate that we should expect a rematch of the 2017 World Series with the Astros taking the title for the second year in a row. Houston is the odds-on favorites with the Dodgers second. The Brewers, however, are close behind Los Angeles, making a huge jump with their Game 163 victory over the Cubs and their NLDS victory over the Rockies.
The Dodgers got their first push back from the Braves in Game 3 of their NLDS as Atlanta battled to keep the series alive at home. L.A. are still in a very good position. Even if the Braves can force a Game 5, they have their ace ready for a home game to advance.
The Astros, on the other hand, have made the Indians look bad. Cleveland’s potent bats have fallen silent against the Houston pitching staff. The rotation is amazing and the bullpen is very deep. What they’ve shown in a small sampling this postseason is enough to lift them up as the favorites.
Coming into the season, the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers were the odds-on favorites to win it all in 2018 after their epic seven game World Series last year. While some things change, some remain the same as they’re back atop the odds.
When the postseason began, Boston was another heavy favorite, but they’ve slipped, looking vulnerable in their series against the Yankees. Through the first couple games, the Boston versus New York series appears to be the most contentious division series matchup. Either team could come out of that series with plenty of momentum, but they could also come out very fatigued.
BEST LONGSHOT BET
The Brewers are no longer a longshot given. They’ve seen their odds climb considerably over the last week.
Both Atlanta and Cleveland would be worth watching if they’re able to climb out of their respective division series holes, but that seems unlikely. Given that, the Yankees—surprisingly enough—may be the best longshot bet.
New York has to get through Boston and Houston—or Cleveland—to even make it to the World Series. That’s got the odds depressed a bit, but the Yankees have looked like the better team against Boston through the first two games. They fought tough in Game 1 and beat up on the Sox’s second best starter in Game 2.
The Yankees ultimately have a lot of swing and miss in their offense, but they also have a ton of power and can put runs on the board with a single swing of the bat. It would be nice to have a more versatile offense, but the team can still score runs. The pitching is also a bit underrated. The bullpen is excellent and the rotation—as long as it’s pitching to its potential—is strong. J.A. Happ and C.C. Sabathia represent dependable veteran arms while Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino have the upside and ability to shut down the opposition, as long as they’re on their game.
While the Yankees are an interesting longer shot pick, the Brewers may still be the best value. Their behind the Astros and Dodgers in terms of overall odds, but they’re red hot. A hot team in October is dangerous.
Counting their wins against the Cubs and Rockies so far this October, the Brewers have won 11 straight games. Their bullpen is their strength and as a unit they’ve been fantastic the last month. Christian Yelich is continuing to swing like an MVP and the rest of the lineup is producing, too. The starting pitching is a concern, but most starters are only asked to go one or two times through the order. The bullpen is good enough and deep enough to offer five—or even six—innings every day in October given the extra off days.
The Dodgers are a deep team, too, a chalkier pick in the NL, but don’t look over the Brewers at this point as momentum is a big piece to the puzzle in postseason baseball.
On the AL side, the Astros seem destined for another Fall Classic. This team is better than the one that won the World Series last year. The bullpen is incredibly deep, the rotation is stacked and the offense—even with the struggles of Carlos Correa—can matchup with anyone. Houston is still probably the safest bet. Teams don’t often go back-to-back for World Series titles, but teams aren’t typically as good as the Astros either.
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