MLB Betting: Examining the World Series Favourites

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The Chicago Cubs ended their 108-year World Series drought last season and enter the 2017 season as the co-favourites to win again. They share the top spot with the Boston Red Sox, who’ve loaded up their roster for a run of their own. Let’s look at top teams in the MLB and their World Series betting odds.

Chicago Cubs (+450)

The Cubs were not built for just a one-year run; they were built to be a contender for years to come. They have a young core with superstars 3B Kris Bryant and 1B Anthony Rizzo, who are supported by stellar up-and-comers like LF Kyle Schwarber. Their starting rotation is star-studded and led by Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta, who has a record of 50-19 over the last three seasons. If the bullpen holds up, they’ll be hard to stop.

Boston Red Sox (+450)

Even without the retired David Ortiz, the Red Sox could have the best offense in baseball. SS Xander Bogaerts and CF Jackie Bradley Jr. are All-Stars. 2B Dustin Pedroia and 1B Hanley Ramirez proved they can still produce. RF Mookie Betts is coming off a breakout season, and there’s hope that 3B Pablo Sandoval can replace some of Ortiz’ production. Add the best 1-2-3 in baseball with newly-acquired Chris Sale, David Price (assuming his elbow is fine) and 2016 Cy Young winner Rick Porcello, and the Red Sox are the team to beat in the American League East.

Cleveland Indians (+800)

The Indians won 94 regular season games, the American League pennant and three games in the World Series last year. They return with their roster mostly intact, and hungry to take that final step. The rotation is strong with Corey Kluber, who regained his Cy Young form, Danny Salazaar, who was an All-Star, and Carlos Carrasco, who had a career year last season. The latter two are coming off late-season injuries and missed the playoffs. The team also added a big bat by signing Edwin Encarnacion, who has the second-most homeruns in baseball over the last five seasons.

Los Angeles Dodgers (+1000)

The Dodgers overcame a slew of injuries last season to win 91 games. With a healthy Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and wunderkind Julio Urias, who looked unhittable down the stretch of the season, the Dodgers are strong at the top of the rotation. MVP-candidate Corey Seager leads the lineup on a team that could challenge the Cubs.

Washington Nationals (+1200)

The Nats are stacked with talent, but loaded with questions, too. Can pitcher Stephen Strasburg (elbow) and Max Scherzer (knuckle stress fracture) stay healthy? Will Ryan Zimmerman struggle, and will Bryce Harper have a down season again? If so, the Nats might miss the playoffs. However, if those players stay healthy and play to their potential, they’re a valuable futures pick for this season’s World Series.

 

*Odds as of March 10, 2017