With the All Star game behind us, we can now look forward to the second half of the Major League Baseball season. So far, there have been no shortage of surprises, with the Astros, Yankees, and Twins all squarely in playoff contention.
So, halfway to the World Series, who do the experts think will be named champions come October? According to Las Vegas odds from the Bovada casino, Kansas City, the defending AL champs, have the best odds to win at 6 to 1. The Royals are currently four games up in the Central, but recently lost outfielder Alex Gordon for a couple months with a groin injury.
Out of the National League, Bovada likes the Cardinals and Nationals equally at 15 to 2 odds to win the World Series. Both clubs are at the top of their respective divisions. The Cards are destroying with a league high 57 wins, but the Nationals are considered to have the best pitcher in all of baseball at the moment in Max Scherzer.
San Francisco, winner of last season’s World Series, is going to have a hard time winning their division(they currently trail the Dodgers by four games), but Vegas still gives them 12 to 1 odds to repeat. No club has repeated as champions since the Yankees of 1998 to 2000.
Speaking of the Yankees, the Bronx Bombers have been arguably the biggest surprise of the year. Led by veterans Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann and Brett Gardner, the Yanks have taken a four and a half game lead in the East. Bovada gives them 16 to 1 odds to win their 28th world title. With an aging lineup, New York was not expected to win the division, much less the World Series. Before the season, the Yankees were 35 to 1 to win.
Minnesota and Houston might not win their divisions, but they have placed themselves in perfect positions to reach the playoffs via a wildcard spot. These small market clubs have been struggling to stay relevant in the last few years, but this year, they have shocked the baseball world. Pre-season odds for Houston to win the title were put at 150 to 1. They currently sit at only 16 to 1! The Twins were even bigger underdogs back in April. Bovada gave them 250 to 1 odds to win months ago, now they are only 40 to 1.
The second half of the season should be a tight one, with many teams fighting for playoff positions. This has been a strange but fun season so far, hopefully with more to come.