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With Red Sox Struggling, There’s a New World Series Favorite

Most MLB teams have played around 10 games in the 2019 season and already we’re seeing plenty of movement in the World Series odds. Teams like the Tampa Bay Rays, Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers are off to pretty good starts.

Conversely, the 2018 champion Red Sox are just 3-8 and tied with the Toronto Blue Jays for last in the American League East. With that, the LA Dodgers are currently the World Series favorites. 

Below, I’ll give my take on some good and not so good bets:

Can Boston Repeat?

There’s no reason to believe that the Red Sox won’t make a real run at defending their World Series championship in 2019 despite their slow start. The Sox boast one of the best starting rotations in baseball and have a really nice mix of veterans and young studs. 

There’s no doubt that they’ve been slow off the mark, but you can rest assured that they will be in the conversation in September. Boston’s odds are sitting at +850 and are offering the best value since the initial release. 

Be Wary of Cleveland

The Indians were listed at +1200 after the 2018 World Series and remain near the top of the table at +1600 in the latest odds release. However, the Indians are in sell-off mode, already shedding Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso, with the word on the street that they are open for business on superstar pitcher Corey Kluber after Andrew Miller departed for St. Louis.

Yes, the Indians play in the woeful AL Central, but it seems that they will be ceding their position at the top of the division in favor of a rebuild. It was a good run, but they’re not a good futures bet. 

The Minnesota Twins, who opened at +4500 and now sit at +3000, could be the sleeper pick in the AL Central.

Brewers finally gettinG some Respect

The Milwaukee Brewers and reigning National League MVP Christian Yelich were getting no love from the oddsmakers at open as they fell to +1400 just a few months after their NLCS loss. 

However, after a blistering start from Yelich, Milwaukee has joined the big teams near the top of the futures board at +850 this week. If you got in on them earlier, congratulations and good luck!

You can find the full odds list for the 2019 World Series champion below:

2019 World Series Odds
TeamOpening OddsCurrent Odds
Los Angeles Dodgers+800+500
New York Yankees+800+550
Houston Astros+700+550
Philadelphia Phillies+2000+800
Boston Red Sox+700+850
Milwaukee Brewers+1400+850
Cleveland Indians+1200+1600
St. Louis Cardinals+1800+1700
New York Mets+2500+1700
Tampa Bay Rays+5000+1800
Washington Nationals+1800+2000
Chicago Cubs+900+2000
Atlanta Braves+1400+2000
Minnesota Twins+7500+3000
Seattle Mariners+6000+3000
San Diego Padres+12500+3300
Oakland Athletics+3500+4000
Colorado Rockies+3500+4500
Pittsburgh Pirates+6000+5000
Arizona Diamondbacks+6000+6600
Los Angeles Angels+4000+8000
Detroit Tigers+25000+10000
Chicago White Sox+6500+12500
Cincinnati Reds+12500+15000
San Francisco Giants+12500+17500
Texas Rangers+12500+17500
Toronto Blue Jays+7500+25000
Baltimore Orioles+35000+25000
Kansas City Royals+25000+30000
Miami Marlins+25000+50000

Odds as of April 8 at Bovada

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The Boston Red Sox made quick work (Game 3 notwithstanding) of the LA Dodgers to win the 2018 World Series in five games. As soon as the final out was recorded, odds for the 2019 World Series were released by sportsbooks. The Red Sox and the Houston Astros are co-favorites to be the last team standing next October at +700.

Yankees, Dodgers Right Behind

The other two teams that the Red Sox dispatched en route to the Commissioner’s Trophy are just behind the two front-runners at +800. The Dodgers have a lot of questions to answer after a World Series performance that was at a minimum questionable in terms of decision-making and downright maddening if you’re a Dodgers fan.

The Yankees showed some great promise once they got healthy in 2018. One of the most potent lineups in baseball is only going to get stronger through free agency this offseason. The emergence of youngsters Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar plus the superstars like Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge will have New York right in the mix all season.

Injuries have already struck next year’s Yankees, though, as Didi Gregorius has undergone Tommy John surgery. While the rehab won’t take as long as it does for a pitcher, don’t look for Didi to be in the lineup any time before the all-star break if he returns at all.

Any Long Shots Worth Considering?

At first glance, the Tampa Bay Rays at +5000 and the Oakland A’s at +3500 jump out to me as teams that have the foundation to make a run from a severe underdog position in 2019.

Blake Snell is likely going to be a Cy Young winner for the Rays. They say you need to be strong up the middle to have success in baseball and the Rays are as good as anyone up the middle, especially with perennial Gold Glover Kevin Kiermaier in center field. Joey Wendle and Willy Adames were two of the top four hitters on the team after the all-star break.

The addition of Tommy Pham in the outfield with Mallex Smith and Kiermaier helps Tampa round out an impressive lineup. Kevin Cash’s ability to manage the bullpen and his new approach to getting outs are starting to become a trend in the league and led to success as Tampa was one of the best teams in baseball in the second half.

Oakland made it to the wild-card game in 2018 and has a heck of a team out in Alameda County. Khris Davis hit 48 home runs and drove in 123 runs and was insulated by Matt Chapman, Stephen Piscotty, Matt Olsen and Jed Lowrie. Fans also fell in love with center-fielder Ramon Laureano, who looks to be a very promising young player.

You can find the full odds list for the 2019 World Series champion below:

2019 World Series Odds
Boston Red Sox+700
Houston Astros+700
New York Yankees+800
Los Angeles Dodgers+800
Chicago Cubs+900
Cleveland Indians+1200
Milwaukee Brewers+1400
Atlanta Braves+1400
Washington Nationals+1800
St. Louis Cardinals+1800
Philadelphia Phillies+2000
New York Mets+2500
Colorado Rockies+3500
Oakland Athletics+3500
Los Angeles Angels+4000
Tampa Bay Rays+5000
Arizona Diamondbacks+6000
Seattle Mariners+6000
Pittsburgh Pirates+6000
Chicago White Sox+6500
Minnesota Twins+7500
Toronto Blue Jays+7500
San Francisco Giants+12500
Texas Rangers+12500
San Diego Padres+12500
Cincinnati Reds+12500
Kansas City Royals+25000
Detroit Tigers+25000
Miami Marlins+25000
Baltimore Orioles+35000

Odds as of October 28 at Bovada