With MLB spring training baseball in full swing and the start of the 2018 regular season less than a month away, now is the perfect time for some an expert look at the odds to win the 2018 World Series. Whether you like one of the top favorites, a middle-of-the-pack title contender or a straight-up longshot, you could cash in big one the annual Fall Classic rolls around for a wager you make today!

 


The Favorites

New York Yankees +500

After coming up one game short of reaching the World Series last year, the Yankees (91-71) added home run-mashing superstar Giancarlo Stanton (59 HR) in the offseason and are now the prohibitive favorites to win the 2018 World Series. The AL runner-ups have a powerful batting order that features Stanton, now, second-year star Aaron Judge (52 HR) and another big-time bopper in third-baseman Gary Sanchez (33 HR).

Not only that, but the Yankees have several other young, up-and-coming young hitters like left-fielder Brett Gardner, shortstop Didi Gregorius and first baseman Greg Bird among others. Not only that, but New York has the makings of a fantastic starting pitching staff led by ace Luis Severino (14-6), Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and veteran C.C. Sabathia (14-5). If New York’s bullpen performs at a high level, it could be lights out for every other AL World Series hopeful in 2018.

New York Yankees World Series Wager

Houston Astros +600

In spite of winning it all last season and bringing back the majority of their star-studded – and youth-filled – roster, the Houston Astros (101-61) are not the prohibitive favorites to win the 2018 World Series at many sportsbooks. No matter, baseball bettors everywhere should expect them to contend in a big way this coming season.

In addition to AL MVP Jose Altuve, gifted shortstop Carlos Correa and World Series MVP George Springer, Houston will have ace right-hander Justin Verlander for an entire season after he went 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA in five starts in the regular season while winning the MVP of the ALCS against the Yankees. Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers Jr., and Charlie Morton give the Astros a formidable starting pitching staff that can contend with anyone.

Los Angeles Dodgers +600

The Dodgers had a fantastic season in 2017 by winning a Major League-high 104 games and reaching the World series where they came up just short against Houston in seven most amazing games. Now, L.A. heads into the 2018 season looking to contend again – and they will because they’re loaded. Shortstop Corey Seager, dangerous right-fielder Yasiel Puig blossoming left-fielder Joc Pederson and sweet-swinging first baseman Cody Bellinger head up a batting order that should put plenty of runs on the board in 2018. The Dodgers also have plenty of pitching thanks to the emergence last season of left-hander Alex Wood and consistent pitching of veterans Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, and Kent Maeda. Los Angeles has a phenomenal closer to fire-balling right-hander Kenley Jansen, but they need more production out of right-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu with veteran right-hander Yu Darvish off to Chicago. The Dodgers have won five straight NL West titles and they should hoist their sixth straight in 2018 while making a legitimate run to make back-to-back World Series appearances.

Chicago Cubs +800

The Cubs won 92 games last season but took a slight step backward after winning it all in 2016. No matter, I think they’re offering great value as a +800 pick that will have some renewed fire working in their favor in 2018. The Cubs still have a boatload of mostly young and gifted hitters like 2016 NL MVP Kris Bryant, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, and shortstop Addison Russell among others. A lot of Chicago’s success in 2018 will be dependent upon their pitching staff. The addition of Yu Darvish was a big positive, but Jon Lester needs to throw better and the Cubs need both, Joe Quintana and Tyler Chatwood to play at a high level, not to mention a bullpen I’m not very sure about right now.

Cleveland Indians +800

Despite coming up short of making back-to-back World Series appearances last season, Cleveland (102-60) won more games than any team in baseball besides the Dodgers while ranking sixth in scoring (5.05 RPG) and an MLB-best, first in runs allowed (3.30 RPG). While the Tribe lost setup man Bryan Shaw, but added former A’s outfielder Yonder Alonso and signed both, Jose Ramirez and Roberto Perez to extensions. Cleveland is expecting big things out of gifted center fielder Bradley Zimmer in 2018 and right-hander Danny Salazar. With stars like Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco still leading the way and one of the best managers in all of the baseball guiding them in Terry Francona, I see no reason why the Indians won’t be one of the top contenders to win the 2018 World Series.

Cleveland Indians World Series Wager

Washington Nationals +800

Dusty Baker is out as manager and Dave Martinez is in after coming over from the Chicago Cubs where he served as Joe Maddon’s bench coach. The Nats (97-65) have almost the same roster as they did a year ago and that’s not necessarily a bad thing seeing as how they have two aces in Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg and a pair of other really good starters in Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark. 2015 NL MVP Bryce Harper will be in right field, with Michael A. Taylor back in center after a breakout year. 2016 NL MVP runner-up Daniel Murphy is back at second base and gifted third baseman Anthony Rendon is back as well. Much like the Cubs, Washington’s success, particularly if they reach the playoffs, hinges on their bullpen and back end of their pitching staff. Still, they’re likely a lock to win the NL East which means they’ll contend in the postseason.

Boston Red Sox +1000

The Red Sox won the AL East last season, but you’d never know it, seeing as how they were never a match for the surging Yankees and have also fallen clearly behind the Astros and Indians in the American League as well. The good news is that they added sweet-swinging outfielder J.D. Martinez. The bad news is that they had better get some bounce-back season from several of their position players if they want to reach the postseason in 2018. Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr. needs to improve in 2018 and who knows how first-year manager Alex Cora will handle the pressure of managing in baseball-crazy Boston. Right now, I’m thinking Boston’s odds are a bit too high for a team with so many question marks.


Long Shot Hopeful

Colorado Rockies +4500

The Rockies went 87-75 last season and advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. However, Colorado could be even better than they were a year ago, thanks to the expected maturation of a quartet of young hurlers that were all just finding their way in 2017 and a powerful offense that ranked third in scoring (5.09 RPG) and second in team batting average. Colorado added closer Wade Davis and setup man Bryan Shaw and I believe they could take another step forward in 2018 even if no one else sees it coming. Yes, the Rockies finished third in the NL West behind both, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, but isn’t that what the definition of a longshot is?


The Rest of the Field

St. Louis Cardinals +2000
Arizona Diamondbacks +2500
Los Angeles Angels +2800
New York Mets +2800
San Francisco Giants +3250
Seattle Mariners +4000
Milwaukee Brewers +4000
Minnesota Twins +4000
Colorado Rockies +4500
Toronto Blue Jays +4750
Tampa Bay Rays +10000
Texas Rangers +10000
Baltimore Orioles +10000
Pittsburgh Pirates +10000
Philadelphia Phillies +12500
Chicago White Sox +15000
Atlanta Braves +20000
Oakland Athletics +20000
San Diego Padres +20000
Cincinnati Reds +25000
Detroit Tigers +30000
Miami Marlins +100000