Play Ball! Every team’s full allotment of players was scheduled to report to spring training by Monday. There are still some big-name free agents unsigned on the market, but now is a good time to look at updated 2018 World Series odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
These are certainly subject to change when someone like a Jake Arrieta signs with a team. Spring injuries to star players also would alter futures odds.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are +500 favorites to win their first championship since 1988. The Dodgers came oh so close last fall in having a home Game 7 in the World Series against the Houston Astros, but Los Angeles starting pitcher Yu Darvish was rocked early and the Dodgers lost 5-1. Darvish is the only significant loss from last year’s team that led the majors with 104 regular-season wins – and Darvish was only a midseason acquisition. The Dodgers were quiet in free agency for luxury-tax reasons on the salary cap.
The Astros and New York Yankees are each +550. The last repeat World Series champion was the Yankees when they won three straight titles from 1998-2000. On paper, Houston looks better than last year’s club because it will have a full season of ace pitcher Justin Verlander, a 2017 late-August acquisition, and the team also traded for very good young Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole this offseason.
The Yankees had perhaps the newsiest offseason in landing 2017 NL MVP and home-run champion Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins and replacing Manager Joe Girardi with former Yankees third baseman Aaron Boone. Stanton and New York’s Aaron Judge, last year’s AL Rookie of the Year, combined for 111 home runs in 2017. The entire San Francisco Giants team had 128.
Speaking of the Giants, they have the shortest World Series odds (+1800) of any team to miss last season’s playoffs. Why the optimism for a club with so little power and which finished tied for the worst record in the majors? San Francisco was busy this offseason in trading for Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, a former NL MVP, and Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
Plus, the Giants should have a full season of ace pitcher Madison Bumgarner. The lefty was limited to 17 starts last year due to a dirt bike accident.
The longest shot on the board are the Miami Marlins at +50000. It would be a minor miracle if the Marlins didn’t lead the majors in losses after trading off all their top players, including Stanton, in salary dumps under a new ownership group led by Derek Jeter.
For more odds info, 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 check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.
Source: Heavy Sports