While it is no surprise the Yankees have the best record in the AL, and in the Majors, it is a little bit of a surprise that the Braves have the best record in the NL.
As the All Star Break is here and the MLB season is half over the leaders in five of the six divisions are teams that were not picked to win their division. Sure, the Yankees were picked to win the AL East, but the other division leaders are the White Sox, Rangers, Braves, Reds, and Padres.
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Out of these teams it is very surprising the Reds and Padres are in the mix, as their odds to win the Fall Classic at the beginning of the season were huge.
The Yankees are at +300 at Sportsbook to win the World Series after being at +275 at the start of the season. At the break they have a two game lead over Tampa Bay and their offense and pitching staff has been solid. They did not land Cliff Lee, which would have made their staff more than formidable.
Sportsbook has the Rays at +600 after being at +1200 at the start of the season. The Rays trail the Yankees in the AL East by two games and they are getting timely hitting only ranking 20th in batting average, but third in the Majors in RBI’s. Their young staff has the fifth best team ERA and they need to stay healthy down the stretch to contend with New York and Boston.
Before Sportsbook Day the Braves were at +2000 to win the World Series and are now at +700 at Sportsbook. Atlanta has been on fire for the last month and a half and lead the NL East by 4.5 games at the break. Their offense has been solid after struggling in the first month and a half of the season and their pitching ranks fifth in the Majors in team ERA. The Braves have the best home record so far this season.
The Rangers are at +700 at Sportsbook after being at +2500 at the start of the season. The Rangers lead the AL West by 4.5 games even though they entered the break losing four straight. Texas has one of the best offenses in the Majors and their decent staff got a major upgrade, as the Rangers traded for Cliff Lee.
The Red Sox are at +1000 at Sportsbook, which is a drop from +600 at the beginning of April. Big Papi is back, but injuries have killed Boston this season. At the Break the Red Sox are five games back of the Yankees and they need to get healthy, especially their pitching staff, which only ranks 22nd in team ERA.
Sportsbook had the Cardinals at +1200 at the beginning of the season and they are currently at +1000 to win the Fall Classic. The Red Birds trail the surprising Reds by a single game in the NL Central. Albert Pujols is putting up MVP numbers again, but St. Louis only ranks 19th in the Majors in RBI’s. Their pitching has carried them having the second ranked team ERA and their starters have to stay healthy for Cardinals to have any chance to win it all.
The defending NL champion Phillies are at +1200 after being at +600 on Sportsbook Day. Philadelphia trails Atlanta by 4.5 games in the NL East, but they ended the first half on a four-game winning streak. Their stellar offense had a huge slump for a month, but has showed signs of life lately and Chase Utley will come off the DL in around a month.
Sportsbook has the Mets at +1400 after being at +4000 at the beginning of the season. New York is in second place in the NL East after catching fire about a month before the break, but they have lost six of their last 10 games. Their pitching has the sixth ranked team ERA even though Johan Santana has not pitched like a staff ace.
The Red have been a major surprise starting the season at +3000 and now Sportsbook has them at +1800. Cincinnati leads the NL Central by one game over St. Louis, but they lost their last four games entering the All Star break. The Reds offense has carried them, as their pitching staff only ranks 18th in team ERA.
The White Sox have remained at +2000 from the start of the season and they ended the first half on fire and lead the AL Central by ½ game over the Twins. Chicago is winning even though they only rank 18th in RBI’s and 13th in team ERA.
The Padres and Dodgers are both at +2500 to win the World Series and to begin the season the Dodgers were at +2500 and the Padres were seen as a long shot posted at +10000. However, the Padres lead the NL West at the break with a two game lead over the Dodgers and Rockies. Pitching wins and the Padres have the best team ERA in the Majors.
Other teams that still have long odds at Sportsbook to win the World Series, but are in the mix are the Twins (+1400), Rockies (+2500), Tigers (+2500), and Giants (+3000).