It has been an odd start to the baseball season. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox – two of the top World Series favourites – have combined for just 12 wins and neither are above .500. Meanwhile, the Houston Astros, Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers – all teams among the preseason favourites – aren’t even leading their division. It’s still very early but the World Series odds have shifted around as a result. Let’s take a closer look at the World Series futures as of this moment:
The Houston Astros (+375) are now the World Series frontrunners even though they are second in their division. They just went into Seattle and swept a Mariner team which had been 13-2. The Astros have an impressive pitching rotation with three starts that have a WHIP of 1.04 or lower. Combined with an impressive batting lineup, they’re now the favourites while the Yankees and Red Sox toil.
Speaking of the Yankees (+650), they have slipped a little bit after starting just 6-9. Nobody is really too worried about the record but the accumulation of injuries is a concern. Miguel Andujar, Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino, Troy Tulowitzki and Gary Sanchez are all banged up. The hope is that this team starts to shoot up the standings if everyone gets healthy.
While the Yankees can blame injuries, the Red Sox (+900) might have some genuine concerns. Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Nathan Eovaldi and Eduardo Nunez all have ERA’s of 8.40 or higher. Not even their explosive batting lineup will save them unless their pitching comes around.
Switching to the National League, the Dodgers (+850) are still favoured mostly thanks to an offence that has been mashing. Its typically their weak spot but they’ve been crushing the ball. So far as they have compiled 35 home runs, the best mark in the NL. Shockingly, they find themselves behind the San Diego Padres (11-6) in the National League West, but it seems like it’s only a matter of time before they rise higher.
The Philadelphia Phillies (+900) are second in line behind the Dodgers as Bryce Harper and the beefed-up lineup has been effective. The Phillies rank fifth in on-base percentage and are 9-5. It’s going to be in a tight race all season long as the New York Mets (+1600) and Atlanta Braves (+1700) are just one loss behind them in the standings.
The Milwaukee Brewers (+1100) are the third choice right now in the N.L. as they are just one of two teams to hit double-digit wins so far. Christian Yelich is continuing to hit like an MVP while the bullpen is doing an excellent job.
Taking a look at the longer shots, the Cleveland Indians (+1700) have struggled so far. They are 8-7 while the Minnesota Twins (+3300) are 8-4. The American League Central was supposed to be a walk in the park for them but it’s been a tight race in the early going.,
In the National League Central, the Chicago Cubs (+2000) are a team that was projected to win around 90 games but that over is already in jeopardy. They are just 5-9 and are in last place as their pitching has let them down. Their 5.43 team EAR is the third-worst in the NL.
The Seattle Mariners (+2200) have been one of baseball’s early surprises as they’re currently 13-5. They lead the league with 39 home runs so far and 124 RBI’s, so they’re no fluke. Their odds have shot up more than any other team as they were at +6600 in the offseason.