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Betting Odds Are Predicting a Red Sox Repeat

Believe it or not, we are just weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to their respective spring training facilities. With that, let’s take a look at the latest odds to win the 2019 World Series.

The defending champion Boston Red Sox have moved from +700 on the day they won the 2018 crown to +500 as the calendar turns to the new year. The team they eliminated in the ALCS, Houston, remains at +700 – the same spot the Astros were in when last season wrapped up. 

Other big-budget teams – the Yankees, Dodgers and Cubs – all have +1000 odds for 2019 while we await the movement of some big free-agent chips, many of them rumored to be headed to big markets. 

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. The Sox boast maybe the best starting rotation in baseball and a really nice mix of veterans and young studs. 

The big question mark in Boston right now appears to be who will be coming out of the bullpen in the ninth inning? Craig Kimbrel is commanding a large sum and a long-term contract and it’s quite possible that he will be usurped from the position he’s held as Boston’s closer since 2016. You can’t blame Kimbrel, though, as this is probably his last contract and he’s looking out for Number One.

Nationals Make a Big Move on the Odds Table 

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Bryce Harper’s future, the Washington Nationals have moved from +1800 in October to +1050. Washington has been among the more active teams in the offseason, signing Patrick Corbin from the Diamondbacks, Matt Adams from the Cardinals and Anibal Sanchez from the Braves.

While it seemed like the Dodgers were clearing salary room for Bryce Harper by moving Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, the free-agent outfielder remains unsigned and has recently been rumored to be staying put in D.C. If he does, the Nationals have a really nice-looking roster heading into 2019. Even if Harper leaves, don’t sleep on the Nats this season.

Be Wary of Cleveland

The Indians were listed as +1200 after the 2018 World Series and remain near the top of the table at +1400 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. 

With that said, the Chicago White Sox seem to be on the come-up and might be a nice sleeper pick from the AL Central at +4700.

Brewers Getting No Respect

The Milwaukee Brewers and reigning National League MVP Christian Yelich are getting no love from the oddsmakers as they have fallen from +1400 to a price of +2000 just three months since nearly making it to the World Series. 

Part of the reason may be that many of their established starting pitchers from 2018 have declared free agency and have yet to be replaced. This is expected to be addressed before spring training and I like the Brewers at this price.

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

2019 World Series Odds
Boston Red Sox+500
Houston Astros+700
New York Yankees+1000
Los Angeles Dodgers+1000
Chicago Cubs+1000
Washington Nationals+1050
Cleveland Indians+1400
St. Louis Cardinals+1500
Milwaukee Brewers+2000
Atlanta Braves+2000
Philadelphia Phillies+2100
New York Mets+2300
Colorado Rockies+2800
Oakland Athletics+4000
Chicago White Sox+4700
Los Angeles Angels+5500
Tampa Bay Rays+5750
Minnesota Twins+7200
Seattle Mariners+7500
Pittsburgh Pirates+8000
Cincinnati Reds+8500
Toronto Blue Jays+9000
Arizona Diamondbacks+9500
San Francisco Giants+14000
San Diego Padres+14000
Texas Rangers+17000
Detroit Tigers+25000
Kansas City Royals+28000
Miami Marlins+29000
Baltimore Orioles+45000

Odds as of January 4 at 5Dimes

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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