2018 World Series Predictions
As I sit at my kitchen table writing this I look into my backyard and see a foot of new fallen snow since last night, and heavy snow is still falling. It is very hard to believe given that that baseball is almost here. But pitchers and catchers are packing their suitcases to report, and we'll be playing games that matter in no time flat. This is a good time, then, to look at the World Series futures offered by Bovada before casual bettors start to take note and do some damage to them:
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Dodgers (+500): I don't like the offseason the team had - they won 104 games and lost the World Series, but they made a lot more changes than would have been ideal, and I'm not convinced that they got a ton better. Clayton Kershaw's health really scares me, too - back injuries and pitchers aren't typically short stories. And then there is the issue that I have never liked this team mentally, and despite their success last year that hasn't changed. I'm not at all interested at this price.
Yankees (+550): Aaron Boone has not only never been a manager, but he's been broadcasting until now. By all accounts he's a brilliant, charismatic guy, but this is a lot to take on for any guy in the fish bowl that is the Yankees. The rotation is solid, and the bullpen is so good it's ridiculous. And an offense that led the majors last year with 241 home runs just added Giancarlo Stanton. That's hardly fair. They have some more very good young players seemingly ready - far more than they should given how they have focused on free agency and trades for so long. I hate to admit it with every fiber of my being, but they are legitimate AL favorites - at least.
Astros (+550): The biggest reason to doubt this team is that no team since the Yankees in 2000 has won consecutive titles. But they took a good rotation and made it considerably better, and they now have the deepest group in the league. And they took a stellar offense and brought it back intact. The bullpen isn't quite as good as others, but there is a whole lot to like. I wish the price was a little higher, but if I had to hitch my wagon to one team then this would be it.
Indians (+800): The Indians have to be very hungry after squandering good chances the last two years. They have a strong rotation - at least at the front end - and their horses for the eighth and ninth innings are as good as any duo in the league. The bats are strong, too, and I like the move to replace Carlos Santana with Yonder Alonso. I'm not sure that they will beat the Yankees in a head-to-head battle, and that's not the only test in a very top-heavy AL, but this is a contender for sure.
Nationals (+800): The pressure is intense because this could be the last year Bryce Harper is in town. Dave Martinez is a much better manager than Dusty Baker, so that's a positive change. And they have an outstanding rotation, a strong bullpen, and a loaded lineup. I maintain my position of not having much faith in the mental game of the Dodgers, so I think the Nats are the team to beat in the NL - and that makes the price attractive, at least in relative terms.
Cubs (+1000): This team was a total disaster in the first half last year and then back to looking like the World Series champs that they were in the second half. There is a lot to like here, and it is likely they will be closer to their peak than their low. I don't like the rotation nearly as much as others, though, so I can't get excited by this price.
Red Sox (+1200): The rotation is strong - especially is David Price can actually remember that he is capable of being a major leaguer. And Craig Kimbrel is a great closer. The issue here, though, is that the other three AL teams ahead of them all can really club it, and the Indians and Yankees have improved on that front. The Red Sox aren't nearly as good at the plate, and they will still be comparatively lacking even if they do finally sign J.D. Martinez. I think they moved too soon and then didn't respond to the teams around them. A playoff team, but not a champion.
Giants (+1800): Every single pitcher in the rotation is poised to be much better than last year. And the offense should be better. The issue I have, though, is that this already wasn't a very young team, and though Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen are both productive leaders who are easy to cheer for they aren't exactly spring chickens. The offensive disaster of last year shouldn't repeat, and the pitching will be better, and you can never rule out the Giants, but I'd be far more interested at 30/1 than I am here.
Cardinals (+2000): I really like the addition of Marcell Ozuna to this offense - they are going to be able to score. The rotation is relying too much on youngsters, though, and the bullpen wasn't overhauled enough for my tastes because it just wasn't good last year. I just don't see this price at all.
Diamondbacks (+2500): Their rotation was as good as any in the NL last year despite not having as many big names, and there is room for them to be even better this year. And the offense is very good - even without J.D. Martinez. I don't love the bullpen, though, and I am not convinced that they have quite enough tools to compete with the best of the league. The price isn't quite high enough for my tastes.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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