For fans of America’s Pastime, the first sign of spring’s approach is when pitchers and catchers report to begin their preseason process.
That’s only a week away, and with baseball about to be back in the national sports spotlight, pundits are taking their first look at contenders for the 2017 World Series crown.
The Bovada sportsbook has released its set of futures for this year’s World Series, assessing all 30 teams in Major League Baseball on their relative merits.
At this time last year, baseball’s lovable losers were tabbed as spring training favorites. And after the Chicago Cubs followed through to win their first World Series title in 108 years, they’re back in a familiar perch as +450 favorites.
With its championship roster largely intact – defections by outfielder Dexter Fowler and closer Aroldis Chapman notwithstanding – curse-busting general manager Theo Epstein has the Cubbies poised to become perennial postseason powers.
That’s the model he established in Boston, where Epstein assembled a Red Sox roster capable of breaking the city’s own 86-year drought in 2004. From there, the team won two more titles over the next decade, and according to Bovada the Red Sox are the second favorites to compete for a fourth at +500.
Another team looking to end an extended run of futility is the Cleveland Indians (+800), following last season’s epic Game 7 loss to the Cubs for all the marbles. The Tribe hasn’t won it all since 1948, but Bovada has them third out of 30 teams this time around.
Moving down the line to identify a few dark horse candidates offering value, Bovada has the Los Angeles Dodgers (+1400) falling back to the pack, despite pushing the Cubs into a 2-1 hole in the NLCS.
As for the Toronto Blue Jays (+2000), a rousing run to the ALCS was cut short courtesy of Cleveland last year, but Bovada doesn’t believe they’ll take the next step this season.
Among the participants in last fall’s postseason party that can be backed at favorable odds, the Washington Nationals (+900) are the favorites of the bunch, followed by the San Francisco Giants (+1200), the New York Mets (+1800), the Texas Rangers (+2500), and the Baltimore Orioles (+3300).
When it comes to the basement dwellers, seven teams are listed as +10000 longshots: the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Cincinnati Reds, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Minnesota Twins, the Oakland Athletics, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the San Diego Padres.
The full table of 2017 World Series odds posted by Bovada ahead of Spring Training can be found below:
|Team||World Series Odds on 2/6|
|Boston Red Sox||+500|
|New York Mets||+1800|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+2000|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+2000|
|New York Yankees||+2800|
|Kansas City Royals||+3300|
|Chicago White Sox||+6600|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+7500|
|San Diego Padres||+10000|