Dodgers head into spring training as World Series betting favorite

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While trading for Giancarlo Stanton gives the New York Yankees a pair of 50-home run hitters in their lineup, the sharps still believe pitching and depth are the name of the game in World Series futures.

Coming off a seven-game loss in the 2017 Fall Classic, the Los Angeles Dodgers are +500 favorites on the 2018 World Series odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. As spring training gets underway in Arizona and Florida, there’s a big three at the top of the board, with the aforementioned Yankees (+550) and the reigning World Series champion Houston Astros (+550) offering a just slightly higher price than the Dodgers.

Major League Baseball has gone 17 consecutive seasons without a repeat champion and only three teams (2008-09 Philadelphia Phillies, 2010-11 Texas Rangers and 2014-15 Kansas City Royals) have made back-to-back World Series appearances. It’s possible the game is overdue for a change.

Both Houston and Los Angeles had more than 100 regular-season wins in 2017 despite the fact the best pitchers on either staff, the Astros’ Justin Verlander (late August trade) and the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (injury), weren’t around for the full season. However, both teams still have a young core.

Adding Stanton as a big bat to go with Aaron Judge means the Yankees’ price has dropped by half from an opening +1100, days after the World Series. However, with TV analyst-turned-skipper Aaron Boone as a rookie manager, the Yankees will be trying to become only the fifth team to win the World Series with a first-year manager. Only one of the previous four – the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks – has come since the wild-card era began.

The Washington Nationals (+800), Cleveland Indians (+850), Boston Red Sox (+1000) and Chicago Cubs (+1000) are the only other teams at 10/1 or less. Considering its success over the last two seasons, Cleveland could be undervalued. Wariness about Washington stemming from its failure to advance past the NLDS is understandable, but the Nationals are in a do-or-done scenario with superstar rightfielder Bryce Harper in his contract year.

Adding Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani, a pitcher-outfielder, has brought the Los Angeles Angels’ price down to +2800, from an opening +5000. Expecting one player to have that much impact in his first season stateside seems like a tall order.

The deep sleeper might be the Colorado Rockies (+5000), who have one of MLB’s most productive infields with third baseman Nolan Arenado, second baseman DJ LeMahieu and shortstop Trevor Story. Colorado’s prospects are contingent on either wrestling the NL West title from the Dodgers or winning the “best of one” wild-card series.

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.

MLB games today: Schedule, start times, matchups, Peacock live stream info for today’s baseball games

Philadelphia Phillies v Pittsburgh Pirates
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The Toronto Blue Jays take on the Pittsburgh Pirates today at 12:00 PM ET on Peacock. See below for additional information on how to watch today’s Blue Jays vs Pirates matchup and the full Sunday schedule of games.

RELATED: MLB schedule 2022: Every Sunday morning baseball game on Peacock, matchups, what to know

What MLB games are on today?

(All times are listed as ET)

Blue Jays @ Pirates – 12:05 PM

Athletics @ Orioles – 1:35 PM

Rangers @ Red Sox – 1:35 PM

Marlins @ Braves – 1:35 PM

Rockies @ Reds – 1:40 PM

Royals @ Tigers – 1:40 PM

Nationals @ Mets – 1:40 PM

Yankees @ Rays – 1:40 PM

Twins @ White Sox – 2:10 PM

Cubs @ Cardinals – 2:15 PM

Mariners @ Guardians – 2:40 PM

Phillies @ Giants – 4:05 PM

Astros @ Angels – 4:07 PM

Brewers @ Diamondbacks – 4:10 PM

Padres @ Dodgers – 7:08 PM


How to watch Toronto Blue Jays vs Pittsburgh Pirates:

  • When: Sunday, September 4
  • Where: PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA
  • Time: 12:00 p.m ET (live coverage begins at 11:30)
  • Live Stream: Watch live on Peacock

How to watch the MLB on Peacock:                           

Baseball is back and for the first time ever MLB games are coming to Peacock this May, featuring a total of 18 Sunday match ups. Click here to sign up for Peacock and watch MLB games live on Sunday mornings!

In addition to MLB games, Peacock will also feature a new MLB hub which will include access to highlight packages and award-winning documentaries from the MLB Film & Video Archive.

Toronto Blue Jays vs Pittsburgh Pirates live on Peacock: How to watch, stream, start time, TV channel for MLB Sunday Leadoff game

It's the Toronto Blue Jays vs Pittsburgh Pirates this Sunday on Peacock! Find out how to watch/live stream the game!
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It’s the Toronto Blue Jays vs Pittsburgh Pirates this Sunday, September 4 at 12:00 PM ET on Peacock. 18 MLB games will be featured on the streaming service this season. Live coverage begins at 11:30 a.m ET. See below for additional information on how to watch the game.

RELATED: MLB teams to play all 29 opponents under ’23 balanced sked

Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays currently sit third in the AL East which puts them in the third and final Wild Card spot if playoffs were to start today. The team has had to overcome a lot of challenges this season so far, including adjusting to interim manager John Schneider, after Toronto parted ways with manager Charlie Montoyo on July 13, but starting pitcher Ross Stripling says that the team has learned to bounce back in spite of adversity.

“I think the word that’s going to follow the 2022 Blue Jays for years to come is ‘streaky,’” Stripling told reporters at MLB.com. “We’ve had more highs and lows this year than any team I’ve been a part of. You won’t see us get too down, because after lows, we’ve had a lot of highs. I think we’re ready to start playing good baseball again.”

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates sit last in NL Central and have the third worst record in Major League Baseball. The team’s bullpen and rotation have struggled all season long and having a young roster has made it difficult for the Pirates to find their identity. Team General Manager Ben Cherington has made it clear that the Pirates will work to find long-term solutions to these struggles in the offseason.

“We understand going into this offseason that one of the ways going forward is to identify areas of the team where we have maybe what you’d call a black hole, where we’re just not getting enough production from this spot or these spots,” Cherington told reporters at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “That’s on us in baseball operations to find a way to solve that going into next year.”

RELATED: MLB schedule 2022: Every Sunday morning baseball game on Peacock, matchups, what to know


How to watch Toronto Blue Jays vs Pittsburgh Pirates:

  • When: Sunday, September 4
  • Where: PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA
  • Time: 12:00 p.m ET (live coverage begins at 11:30)
  • Live Stream: Watch live on Peacock

How to watch the MLB on Peacock:                           

Baseball is back and for the first time ever MLB games are coming to Peacock this May, featuring a total of 18 Sunday match ups. Click here to sign up for Peacock and watch MLB games live on Sunday mornings!

In addition to MLB games, Peacock will also feature a new MLB hub which will include access to highlight packages and award-winning documentaries from the MLB Film & Video Archive.