The Chicago Cubs’ year-long dominance and the Boston Red Sox’s indomitable second half has indirectly created value on the 2016 World Series champion board at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
With Major League Baseball entering the final weekend of the regular season, the Cubs rate +225 odds of being the champion – less than half of what their odds were at the end of April. Chicago has racked up more than 100 wins and clinched home-field advantage through the NLCS.
Of course, since the Wild Card era began, only four of 26 teams who had the most (or tied for the most) wins have also won the World Series.
The Red Sox, led by a MVP-worthy season by RF Mookie Betts and ace pitching efforts from LHP David Price, have also had their odds come down to +500 from +1000 at the start of September. The Red Sox and Cleveland Indians are only a half-game apart for the American League’s second-best record, so home-field advantage for their ALDS matchup is up for grabs.
Cleveland is listed at +800, but the loss of RHP Danny Salazar will hurt their chances of winning a best-of-seven series.
The Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals are all listed at +650. The Rangers are close to clinching the AL’s best record and earning home-field advantage through the World Series. The Rangers’ strengths in relief pitching and situational hitting will make them a tough out.
Washington has lost C Wilson Ramos to a torn ACL, and ace RHP Stephen Strasburg’s status for the NLDS is up in the air. Two other all-stars, 2B Daniel Murphy (glute) and RF Bryce Harper (thumb), are trying to get healthy.
Toronto has been one of MLB’s poorest hitting teams in September, and has yet to clinch a wild card berth.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, who surged to the NL West title largely without LHP Clayton Kershaw, are a value pick at +800. The Baltimore Orioles, at +2800, will be a threat due to their powerhouse lineup and untouchable closer, Zach Britton. Baltimore and Toronto are dead even for the AL wild cards.
The Detroit Tigers and New York Mets are each listed at +2200 on those baseball betting lines. Of those two, Detroit has a tougher road to get into the postseason. New York is in the driver’s seat to host the NL wild card game on Wednesday against either the San Francisco Giants (+2500) or St. Louis Cardinals (+4000). The survivor will have the task of facing the well-rested Cubs.