When will oddsmakers start giving the surprising Atlanta Braves some respect?
Most baseball experts will tell you that a team’s win/loss record isn’t its most important statistic but that run differential is instead. The Braves, perhaps a year ahead of schedule with their rebuild, have a nice lead in the NL East and the second-best run differential in the National League yet are only eighth-favorites on the 2018 World Series odds at +1600.
By comparison, the Washington Nationals – a team trailing the Braves in the division and in run differential – are at +700 on those betting futures at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
To be fair, the various sportsbooks’ odds are affected by the number of bets on a team so perhaps the general public doesn’t believe in the Braves yet, either. They should. Atlanta has an offense and pitching staff both ranking in the Top 10 in all of baseball and the Braves have an NL MVP candidate in Freddie Freeman. He’s among the NL leaders in the three Triple Crown categories (batting average, home runs, RBI) and, as of this writing, is first in on-base percentage, slugging and OPS.
The Braves could be very active ahead of the July 31 trade deadline to improve the team because of two reasons; 1) ownership has money to spend after hoarding it for a few years and is playing in a new (two-year-old) money-making stadium; 2) Atlanta has one of the best farm systems in baseball so it could theoretically go get anyone.
The Nationals did make a move this week that strengthens their team in acquiring excellent reliever Kelvin Herrera from the Kansas City Royals. He had been 1-1 with 14 saves, a 1.05 ERA and 0.82 WHIP this season. Herrera likely won’t close in Washington as the Nats have Sean Doolittle, but Herrera helps shorten the game and that’s what teams are trying to do in modern-day baseball.
The New York Yankees remain +400 favorites on the odds to win the World Series, but the scorching-hot Houston Astros (+450) could take over that role soon. They just completed a 10-game road trip at an unthinkable 10-0 by outscoring foes a whopping 74-35.
On Monday back home, Houston rallied from four runs down for its 12th straight win overall (before losing the next night). That’s the longest streak in MLB this season and tied for the best in franchise history. Houston could continue rolling for a while as it has the easiest schedule in the majors by opponents’ combined winning percentage until the All-Star break.
The Boston Red Sox (+600) and Chicago Cubs (+950) are the only other teams with World Series odds under +1000.
For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libysyn.com.
Source: Heavy Sports