2019 World Series Predictions with Futures Odds and Expert Analysis
We are not yet 20 percent of the way through the baseball season. Man, the season is long. We have not yet seen enough to know how things are going to turn out. But enough has happened that we have an idea of what teams are made of and what things might look like in September and beyond - when things actually matter. So, this is a good time to revisit the World Series futures for the first time since spring training. (Odds are from BetOnline)
Houston Astros (+500):
In a year when several top contenders have underwhelmed, Houston has done
exactly what we have expected of them so far. There are some issues - the
offense hasn't been as productive as it could be, and they are a game below
.500 on the road. But they have taken care of business much more often than
not, and they look like they have plenty of upside. I liked this team
entering the year, and nothing has changed. The price isn't packed with
value, but it is where it should be.
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L.A. Dodgers (+700): The Dodgers have been fine. They aren't breaking away from their division, but they are doing well enough. But the truth about them remains as it was - this is a team that hasn't been mentally strong enough when it matters. I just don't trust them.
New York Yankees (+800): The start was rocky, but they have found their way lately and are playing good baseball. With apologies to the Rays, they are in good position to win their division. They will be a factor. I don't love them, but not for reasons I can entirely put a finger on. It's probably mostly that whole evil empire thing.
Boston Red Sox (+1000): This team was built around their pitching staff, but the only team that has allowed more runs is Baltimore - a squad that is just a Double-A team in a nicer stadium. This is a serious concern. The team will be better than they have been, but I have serious doubts that they are going to get over the top again. Defending is brutally tough, and they are just another team proving it.
Philadelphia Phillies (+1000): I don't like how Aaron Nola is playing right now, and the new bats are still working to find their way here. It feels like they are just treading water right now. But I like the upside well enough - at least well enough to justify this price.
Cleveland Indians (+1200): This is an odd team. Second-fewest runs allowed in the AL. That's good. Second-fewest runs scored. Less good. They looked like they were good enough to win the AL Central by default, but it was tough to see them doing much past that. That hasn't changed.
Milwaukee Brewers (+1200): Christian Yelich is hitting the ball like he sold his soul to the devil. And if he did, then the deal was very much worthwhile. But no matter how good he is, the team just hasn't been good enough around him. The defense has been a bit of a crime, and that is a serious issue. I am not a believer.
Tampa Bay Rays (+1400): Only one team has allowed fewer runs than Tampa Bay - the Reds, bizarrely. It has been an impressive start for Tampa, and they certainly feel like they can be in the wild-card race. But they feel just a little bit like an overachiever at this point. I respect this team, but not enough to see any value here.
Chicago Cubs (+1400): It was a dire start to the season, but things have gotten back on track of late, and the team has won eight of 10. The Cardinals are playing at least as well, so winning the division could be a problem. And if it is, and they are a wild card team, then this is not a value-packed price.
St. Louis Cardinals (+1600): I really liked this team heading into the season. They have played as well as I had hoped so far. Paul Goldschmidt has been everything they hoped for, and he is leading the way on a team that feels really dangerous. There is more value here than all the other teams combined.
Seattle Mariners (+3300): That was fun for a while. Seattle is crushing the ball into submission and has been very fun to watch. But they don't have nearly the depth or talent to be a true contender, and that reality is coming to the forefront now - they have dropped seven of 10. I just hope they keep contending long enough to keep the summer interesting.
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