As the month of April ends, each team in Major League Baseball (MLB) has put just under 30 games in the books – enough of a sample size for oddsmakers to start making adjustments.
When opening odds on the 2018 World Series champion were initially posted back in February, online sportsbook Bovada had the Los Angeles Dodgers as narrow (+500) favorites to finish their title chase off. After all, the boys in blue were one victory away from winning it all last November, before falling in Game 7 to the Houston Astros – who were listed at (+550) six weeks ago.
With two dozen or so games to go on, the AL West leading Astros (19-10) now enjoy favorite status at (+500). Meanwhile, as the Dodgers (12-15) have tumbled to fourth place in the NL West, their World Series odds (+1200) have slid in kind.
L.A. begins a pivotal four-game series in the desert today, but if they’re not careful against the West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks (19-8), their playoff aspirations may dry up before the All-Star Break. The Dodgers trail the D-Backs by a whopping 7 games already, and a loss in the opener will put them further out of first than L.A. has ever been at the end of April since the Divisional era began in 1969.
Accordingly, Arizona has climbed steadily up the odds board, moving from (+2500) dark horses to (+850) – the third best odds in all of baseball.
Standing between the D-Backs and Astros at the moment, per Bovada anyhow, are the Boston Red Sox (20-7). Having opened up a slim 2-game lead over the New York Yankees (18-9) – while putting up a gaudy +59 run differential in the process – Boston sits at (+650) to win its fourth World Series of the 21st century.
That’s quite a bump from their (+1200) opening odds, and Boston has effectively traded places with New York, after the Bronx Bombers opened at (+550) and slipped to (+900).
Another major mover in the right direction plays across town from the Yanks, as the New York Mets (17-9) have staked themselves to a 1.5-game lead in the NL East. The Mets opened in the middle of the betting pack at (+2800), but an 11-1 start has helped propel them to (+1000) odds within only a month.
While their regional counterpart struggles in Chavez Ravine, the Los Angeles Angels (16-12) are turning Anaheim into a hotbed for baseball fans, media, and bettors alike. They still have work to do, trailing the Astros by 2.5 games in the AL West, but the emergence of Shohei Otani – dubbed the “Babe Ruth of Japan” – has taken the game by storm. With Otani bringing ace stuff to the mound, while also smacking prodigious dingers in his role as DH, the Angels have moved to (+1400) after opening at (+2800).
As far as the teams that may have already torched their World Series tickets, the Chicago White Sox (8-18) and Baltimore Orioles (8-20) are among the most negative movers.
The White Sox trail by 6 games in the AL Central, and after opening at (+10000), they’ve plummeted to (+50000) longshots.
The Orioles are cellar-dwelling in the top-heavy AL East, moving them from (+10000) to the bottom of the board at (+75000).
Less than 20 percent of the schedule has been played out, so early season line movement can certainly be a mirage, but tracking the risers and fallers can be useful for futures bettors in search of an edge.
The full table of odds on winning the 2018 World Series, both at opening and as currently offered by Bovada, can be found below:
2018 World Series Odds on Bovada
|Team||World Series Odds on 2/8||Team||World Series Odds on 4/30||Movement|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+500||Houston Astros||+500||-50|
|Houston Astros||+550||Boston Red Sox||+650||-550|
|New York Yankees||+550||Arizona Diamondbacks||+850||-1650|
|Cleveland Indians||+800||New York Yankees||+900||+450|
|Washington Nationals||+800||Cleveland Indians||+950||+150|
|Chicago Cubs||+1000||New York Mets||+1000||-1800|
|Boston Red Sox||+1200||Chicago Cubs||+1100||+100|
|San Francisco Giants||+1800||Los Angeles Dodgers||+1200||+700|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+2000||Los Angeles Angels||+1400||-1400|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||+2500||Washington Nationals||+1600||+800|
|Los Angeles Angels||+2800||St. Louis Cardinals||+2000||N/A|
|New York Mets||+2800||Milwaukee Brewers||+2500||-1500|
|Minnesota Twins||+3300||Toronto Blue Jays||+2500||-2500|
|Milwaukee Brewers||+4000||Colorado Rockies||+3000||-2000|
|Seattle Mariners||+4000||San Francisco Giants||+3000||+1200|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+5000||Minnesota Twins||+3500||+200|
|Colorado Rockies||+5000||Philadelphia Phillies||+3500||-6500|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+10000||Pittsburgh Pirates||+5000||-5000|
|Chicago White Sox||+10000||Seattle Mariners||+5000||+1000|
|Atlanta Braves||+10000||Atlanta Braves||+7000||-3000|
|Texas Rangers||+10000||Detroit Tigers||+15000||-5000|
|Baltimore Orioles||+10000||Oakland Athletics||+17500||+7500|
|Kansas City Royals||+10000||Tampa Bay Rays||+20000||+10000|
|Oakland Athletics||+10000||Texas Rangers||+25000||+15000|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||+10000||Chicago White Sox||+50000||+40000|
|Philadelphia Phillies||+10000||San Diego Padres||+50000||+40000|
|Cincinnati Reds||+10000||Baltimore Orioles||+75000||+65000|
|San Diego Padres||+10000||Kansas City Royals||+75000||+65000|
|Detroit Tigers||+20000||Cincinnati Reds||+75000||+65000|
|Miami Marlins||+20000||Miami Marlins||+75000||+55000|