Hot Stove season may be suffering from a cold front when it comes to free agent signings, but with Spring Training just two weeks away, baseball fans are awakening from their annual slumber.
Pitchers and catchers report to their respective clubhouses in a few days, signaling the official start to baseball’s preseason. Before they do, bettors can get in early on the latest World Series odds offered by online sportsbook Bovada.
After coming up on the short end of last year’s epic seven-game series, the Los Angeles Dodgers (+500) will enter the 2018 campaign as narrow favorites. The boys in blue will be bringing back largely the same roster as last year, and given that roster’s historic 43-7 run between June and August, making L.A. the favorite in the National League certainly makes sense.
But with top flight starting pitcher Yu Darvish as yet unsigned, the Dodgers’ star-studded staff could be down a big arm going into a heated N.L. West race.
And that same Dodgers squad did lose 16 of 17 games before the playoffs began to cool off considerably, so bettors looking to fade L.A. can be forgiven – especially when a potential World Series hangover is added to the equation.
As for the victors in that unforgettable seven-game duel, the Houston Astros (+550) are favored to represent the American League in the Fall Classic once again.
Having finally secured the first World Series title in the franchise’s 55-year history, general manager Jeff Luhnow isn’t resting on his laurels. He followed last year’s decisive signing of ace Justin Verlander – who sparkled throughout the team’s dream postseason run – by trading for Gerrit Cole, a 27-year old starter and former All-Star.
That move wasn’t the splashiest of the offseason, however, as the New York Yankees (+550) pulled off their usual coup de grace by signing slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Paired with Mike Judge, the Bronx Bombers now have the only two hitters to hammer 50 home runs last season in the middle of their lineup.
The only other teams offering better than 10 to 1 against winning it all are the Cleveland Indians (+800) and Washington Nationals (+800). Both managed to make the Divisional Round in last year’s playoff dance, before seeing their year end in disappointing fashion.
Two more also-rans from the previous postseason come in at 15 to 1 or better – the Chicago Cubs (+1000) and Boston Red Sox (+1200). This duo is also linked in another way, as the Cubs have former ace Jake Arrieta still unsigned, while the Red Sox are banking on free agent masher J.D. Martinez blinking first in their contract discussions.
But if “Just Dingers” – who slammed 45 longballs in only 119 games, including 28 after a midseason trade to the Arizona Diamondbacks – rejects the Red Sox’ hardball offer, expect Boston’s title odds to drop as a result.
Conversely, if Martinez decides to stay in the desert, the D-Backs (+2500) would surely see their odds narrow with a 3-4-5 of Paul Goldschmidt, Martinez, and Jake Lamb.
Bettors looking to hit a bullseye with their futures bullets would be wise to consider teams near the (+1400) level, as both the Dodgers and Astros enjoyed those odds ahead of the 2017 season.
The full table of 2018 World Series odds currently offered by Bovada is shown below:
2018 World Series Odds on Bovada
|Team||World Series Odds on 2/8/18|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+500|
|New York Yankees||+550|
|Boston Red Sox||+1200|
|San Francisco Giants||+1800|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+2000|
|Los Angeles Angels||+2800|
|New York Mets||+2800|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+5000|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+10000|
|Chicago White Sox||+10000|
|Kansas City Royals||+10000|
|San Diego Padres||+10000|