With the American League’s dominance in the Midsummer Classic continuing in a 2-1 win over their National League counterparts, Major League Baseball enters a two-day repose.
And while that All-Star Game result would’ve had major implications for the World Series in previous years, it was a simple exhibition with no strings attached this time around.
And that’s a good thing for baseball fans, as the NL-leading Los Angeles Dodgers and their sterling 61-29 record puts them just 0.5 games up on the AL-leading Houston Astros (60-29) in what promises to be a thrilling race for home field advantage in November.
Predictably, those two teams are the favorites to win the 2017 World Series, at least according to the latest odds posted by online sportsbook Bovada.
The Dodgers lead the way at (+350), while the Astros are close behind offering (+425) to win it all. Coincidentally, the same two teams enjoyed identical odds of (+1400) during Spring Training, with five teams ahead of them in the Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Washington Nationals, and San Francisco Giants.
Aside from the Giants, who lost Madison Bumgarner early on to a dirt biking accident and forgot how to win, the other four powerhouses are all ranked among the current favorites.
The Red Sox (+600) hold a 3.5-game lead in the AL East over the rival New York Yankees (+1400), powered by ace Chris Sale and his glittering 11-4 record and 2.75 ERA.
In the nation’s capital the Nationals (+700) are running away with the NL East, holding a 9.5-game lead over Wild Card contenders the Atlanta Braves (+1500).
And even as last season’s World Series combatants have gone on opposite tracks this year – with the Indians holding a slim 2.5-game lead in the AL Central, while the Cubs trail by 5.5 games in the NL Central – both teams are offering (+800) odds.
Cleveland will need to fend off the upstart Minnesota Twins (+6600), while the Cubs are neck and neck with the St. Louis Cardinals (+5000) in chasing the division leading Milwaukee Brewers (+2500).
This year’s surprise team is the Arizona Diamondbacks, a last-place squad in 2016 that has been revitalized under first year manager Torey Lovullo. The D-Backs were winning on pace with the Dodgers all season, until a three-game sweep and subsequent swoon saw them fall 7.5 games off the NL West pace. They still hold the NL’s top Wild Card spot, sitting two games up on the Rockies and 9.5 games up on the Cubs and Cardinals.
Arizona’s record of 53-36 is the third-best in all of baseball – behind only the Dodgers and Astros – and at (+1600) odds to win the World Series, they’ve earned by far baseball’s biggest improvement over the preseason odds (+10000).
The only other teams offered better than 30 to 1 odds are the aforementioned Brewers and Rockies (+2500), who at one point in the year led both the Dodgers and D-Backs in the NL West standings.
Like the Colorado air, the Rockies have cooled off considerably since their peak, but they still hold a firm grasp on the NL’s second wild card spot – leading the Cubs and Cardinals by 7.5 games.
|Team||World Series Odds on 7/12|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+350|
|Boston Red Sox||+600|
|New York Yankees||+1400|
|Kansas City Royals||+3300|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+5000|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+5000|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+6600|
|Los Angeles Angels||+7500|
|New York Mets||+10000|
|Chicago White Sox||+50000|