The Los Angeles Dodgers and defending World Series champion Houston Astros entered 2018 the two shortest favorites to win it all. No surprise with each going at one another in last season’s World Series. If you remember, the Astros went on to win it all and earn the franchise its first ever World Series title.
With the final week of the regular season upon us, the Astros are offering up returns in the +300 to +350 range. The Dodgers range from +550 to +600. Each has taken much different paths to get to this point.
While Houston has been forced to deal with the red hot A’s, they were never in serious trouble of conceding the top spot in the AL West to their rivals. That can’t and won’t be said for Los Angeles who has been fighting tooth and nail just to get back to the playoffs in the ultra-competitive NL West.
As it stands now, Houston holds a 4.5 game lead over the A’s for the top spot in the division. While the Astros are headed back to the playoffs, one can only wonder if it’s going to be a quick out due to the major injuries the roster has incurred of late. Carlos Correa and George Springer have been in and out of the order the second half of the season, while Charlie Morton was just forced to leave his most recent start due to shoulder discomfort. Lance McCullers Jr. is slated to come back this week, but he’s a China doll and can’t be counted on. I’d be very concerned if I was the owner of as Astros futures ticket and would be looking to hedge.
The Dodgers check in 1.5 games ahead of the streaking Colorado Rockies, and will close their regular season slate out on the NL West road. Luckily, they get to match up against Arizona and San Francisco who both look to have already quit on the season. Dave Roberts’ squad is the healthiest its been all season, so I’d feel pretty confident if I held a Dodgers futures ticket in my portfolio. Especially if you bought in when the team got out to a terrible start the first two months of the season.
In it to Win it
This is such an enormous week for both the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals. The NL Central rivals currently check in with better than 20-1 returns to win the World Series, and each is set to play each other to kick off the week. The Brew Crew currently holds a two game lead for the top spot in the Wildcard chase with a three game series set to kick off at Busch Stadium on Monday night.
Should the Redbirds come out the victor in that series, it would then have to travel to Wrigley Field to battle a Cubs team that looks to be set on winning the NL Central a third straight season. It’s a tough uphill climb for sure, and it’s one you can’t help but doubt will be pulled off. Especially with Colorado closing its regular season campaign out at home against the Phillies and Nationals.
Of the two teams, I’d definitely take a stab with Milwaukee on the World Series futures odds. Craig Counsell’s squad learned from last year’s nosedive in September, and is playing some truly inspired ball to close out the year. It’s got added thump in the lineup, and its bullpen is one of the best in the business with Josh Hader fully capable of tossing a couple innings to shut the opposition down. It also helps that Christian Yelich is arguably the best player in baseball right now.
Teams that have been playing for their playoff lives over the course of September will likely have the leg up once the postseason arrives. Again, if you haven’t added teams like the Rockies, Dodgers, Brewers and Cardinals to your 2018 MLB betting playoffs portfolio, you haven’t been playing the game right.