Top Props of the Week: 2013 MLB World Series Matchups
by Dave Schwab - 7/24/2013
The 2013 MLB regular season grinds its way into the dog days of summer with a clear picture of which teams are the top contenders to win this year’s World Series. BetOnline has recently released its prop bet odds for which two teams will clash in this year’s Fall Classic. And after breaking down the numbers for all the potential matchups, the following are my top three plays.
While it is way too early to start putting any kind of guarantees on anything when it comes to this year’s World Series, the current form of all the top teams in both the American and National League lean towards the Detroit Tigers facing the St. Louis Cardinals. The odds for this matchup are +1400.
The Tigers’ boast an incredibly deep lineup that is ranked first in the AL in hitting with a team batting average of .280 and second in scoring with an average of 5.1 runs a game. Miguel Cabrera is well on his way to a second-straight triple crown with a .358 batting average, 31 home runs and 96 RBI, and Prince Fielder continues to play at a high level with 16 homers and 71 RBI. Detroit’s pitching is equally as good with a starting rotation that is led by Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, who have already combined for 24 wins this season.
St. Louis is just one season removed from a dramatic run to a World Championship in 2011 and can currently boast the best record in the National League through this past Tuesday’s games at 60-37. The Cardinals are another extremely well-balanced team with a pitching staff that is ranked fourth in the NL with a team ERA of 3.39 to complement a lineup that is ranked first in the league in scoring with an average of five runs a game.
Without going too far out on a ledge as far as picking longshots, my boldest play on the list would be the Tampa Bay Rays against the Pittsburgh Pirates at +5000.
Tampa Bay will be in a dogfight with both Baltimore and Boston all season long in the AL East, so you know the team will be battle-tested come October. Manager Joe Maddon remains one of the best at squeezing as much production as possible from the players he has. His pitching staff is currently ranked fourth in the AL with a 3.79 ERA. Matt Moore has led the way with 14 wins and an ERA of 3.17. The Rays are fifth in the AL in hitting with a .262 team batting average and fourth in scoring with 4.7 runs a game.
A whole generation of players has grown up since Pittsburgh’s last winning season in 1992, but there is something about this year’s team that makes me think things will be different this time around. The main reason is a rock-solid pitching staff that remains at the top of the NL with a team ERA of 3.07. The Pirates have not been lighting up the scoreboard like some of the other teams in the NL, but they have shown the ability to score just enough to win games.
My Top Value Play
The Boston Red Sox and the Atlanta Braves both jumped out to strong starts this season and have yet to look back. I am going with a wire-to-wire run by both teams that ends in a World Series matchup that offers the best value on the board at +2300.
There is little doubt that the Red Sox are the best all-around hitting team in baseball with a lineup that is averaging more than five runs a game. It is productive from top to bottom, which is exactly what you need to make a championship run. While pitching continues to be an issue at times, the Red Sox still boast a respectable 3.85 team ERA.
The Braves are my pick from the National League, partially because they almost have a lock on the NL East title barring anything crazy happening down the stretch, but mostly because they have the pitching to win the NL Pennant. Atlanta is second only to Pittsburgh this season with a team ERA of 3.36. Injuries have taken some of the sting out what can be a very potent lineup, but the Braves should start getting healthy at just the right time. Through it all they are still ranked fourth in the NL in scoring with 4.3 runs a game.
Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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