While there is value on the World Series champion futures board, it is worth noting that the team with the best record in baseball has ended up hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy with greater frequency in recent years.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have moved to +250 favorites on the 2019 World Series odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, followed by the New York Yankees (+350), Houston Astros (+360), Minnesota Twins (+800) and Atlanta Braves (+800). The Dodgers were the quickest team to the 50-win milestone this season and, of course, have won two consecutive National League pennants.
Since baseball introduced playoffs in 1969, the top regular-season team has gone on to win the World Series only 13 of 49 times, or 26.5 per cent. But that percentage is inching up, since it’s happened in five of the last 12 seasons and two of the last three.
The Dodgers boast the game’s best run differential thanks in large part to a hitting attack led by Cody Bellinger and a pitching staff led by the starting trio of Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu. The Dodgers’ odds might be as good as they will get this summer.
The Yankees, vaunted Zack Britton-Aroldis Chapman-Adam Ottavino bullpen aside, might be a team to wait on at this point, until key players are healthy. Also, if the playoffs started today, the Yankees would have the prospect of not having home-field advantage in the ALDS, never mind the ALCS.
There is better value to be had right now among American League teams with the Astros, whose 3-7 stretch over their last 10 games will keep away some casual bettors. Every team will go through a dip during baseball’s marathon regular season, particularly one with all-star shortstop Carlos Correa on the injured list.
Houston is also one of only two teams – naturally, the Dodgers are the other – in the top five in Major League Baseball in both staff ERA and their hitters’ on-base-plus-slugging (OPS).
Quality pitching is what wins in October, and to this point both the Twins and the Braves are in front in their respective divisions more by virtue of scoring runs than limiting them. The wait-and-see approach – as in wait to see how either Minnesota or Atlanta shores up its pitching ahead of the July 31 trade deadline – seems prudent.
Beyond that big five, the board at online betting sites also includes the Chicago Cubs (+1600), defending champion Boston Red Sox (+2000), Tampa Bay Rays (+2000) and Milwaukee Brewers (+2200).