It’s a great week to get caught up on the championship chase in Major League Baseball. There are several marquee matchups involving playoff contenders the next few days. Whether betting game-by-game money lines for pleasure, or scouting to make smart bets on the futures board, baseball investors will be parked in front of their TV sets.
Today, VSiN will focus on odds to win the World Series. We’ll start in the American League because the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox begin a huge four-game series Thursday night at Fenway Park. MLB Network, FS1, and ESPN will be showcasing this weekend showdown.
▪ Odds to win World Series for A.L. contenders: New York Yankees 7/2, Houston 4/1, Minnesota 12/1, Cleveland 18/1, Oakland 30/1, Tampa Bay 30/1, Boston 30/1.
The Yanks and Astros are virtual co-favorites. At those odds, the Yankees are 22% to win the World Series, Houston 20%. New York gets the nod because it’s currently expected to earn home field advantage in the A.L. brackets. Should Houston rally for top seed, those odds would flip.
Boston has dropped way back in the percentages in recent weeks. The Red Sox are now just 3% to repeat as World Champs. Their hangover has lasted much longer than expected. The Sox are amidst a 14-game stretch vs. Tampa Bay and New York. It really is “now or never” in terms of making a 2019 statement.
Cleveland is tempting on the futures board because they’re in very good form and have a soft schedule ahead in a bad division. Oakland just enjoyed a monster month, but won’t have as many gimme’s from this point forward in the tougher A.L. West.
▪ Odds to Win World Series for N.L. contenders: Los Angeles Dodgers 3/1, Chicago Cubs 12/1, Atlanta 12/1, Washington 18/1, Milwaukee 25/1, St. Louis 25/1, Philadelphia 40/1, San Francisco 80/1, Arizona 80/1.
We included everyone that entered the week at .500 or better because the N.L. Wildcard race doesn’t exactly feature juggernauts at the moment. You can see that the Westgate is very skeptical about the likes of San Francisco or Arizona making it to the final bell.
Dodger Blue is a prohibitive favorite in the senior circuit, currently 25% to win the world title. Second-place Chicago and Atlanta are way back at 8% apiece. Los Angeles is in great shape to earn home field advantage through the playoffs, and has been extremely strong at Chavez Ravine this season. (Remember that sports books build a universe larger than 100% to create a house edge…our win equivalents are from that inflated perspective.)
Who would be a favorite in the World Series between the Dodgers and either the Yankees or Astros? Keep in mind that current prices reflect the reality that LAD would only have to beat one of those teams (at the most), while either Houston or NYY would likely have to beat two. It wouldn’t be a shocker if the Dodgers were a small underdog in the Fall Classic to either A.L. power come October.
Of course, anything can happen in a short baseball series no matter who has home field advantage. The Dodgers could have their hands full with any remaining N.L. threat. They didn’t shine consistently on a recent road trip to Boston and Philadelphia. This weekend, Washington awaits (Sunday’s meeting will be on TBS at 12:35 p.m.)
Other important N.L. meetings his weekend: Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee, and Atlanta at Philadelphia. St. Louis hosts Houston in an interleague affair (Saturday night’s game on FS1 at 6:15 p.m.).
▪ The Westgate also updated college football futures this week. Clemson is favored at 9/4 (31%) to repeat as national champs. Awesome Alabama is right behind at 5/2 (29%). Other SEC teams in the Westgate’s top 20: Georgia 6/1 (14%), LSU 25/1 (4%), Florida 50/1 (2%), and Auburn 50/1 (2%).
For you newcomers wondering how VSiN turns a futures price into a percentage equivalent, simply take the number on the right of the slash…and divide it by the sum of the two numbers. A team listed at 9/1 would be 10%, because one (the number on the right of the slash) divided by 10 (the sum of the two numbers) is 0.10 or 10%.
That’s how a 2/1 entry grades out at 33%, a 3/1 team at 25%, a 99/1 longshot at 1%, and so on. VSiN always rounds to the nearest percent. A 30/1 price is .032, which we round to 3%.
You thought you were done doing math when you finished school? Winning bettors know their math!