Sun, Apr 2, 10:18am by Head Editor
With just one sleep until the opening pitch of the Major-League Baseball season we’ve run our eye over the contenders to give you the best chance of backing a winner come seasons end.
Let’s start with the favourites, the Chicago Cubs who are at $5 with Sportsbet for back-to-back World Series titles. Only two teams have done it in back-to-back seasons since 1979, but this squad has every chance of becoming the third.
On paper, their roster looks even better than last year, with emerging stars Javier Baez and Addison Russell having another season under their belt and of course, the ever-reliable National League MVP Kris Bryant and his partner in crime Anthony Rizzo.
They look good things to win the National League Central at $1.20 and as long as they stay healthy, they’ll be right there at the end of the postseason.
The Boston Red Sox are second favourite at $7.50 for their first World Series since 2013. Despite being without pitcher David Price for the first month of the season, they have a great mix of veterans and youth who will be looking to once again top the American League East come season’s end which is a $1.80 shot.
Last season’s bridesmaids – the Cleveland Indians – are $9 to finally break their World Series drought that stretches back to 1948. They had a great postseason and were unlucky not to win it all.
The good news for long-suffering Indians fans is that they’ve added first-baseman and designated-hitter Edwin Encarnacion to their roster Andrew Miller will have a full year in the bullpen. They are favourites to win the American League Central at $1.25 and rightly so.
Next up is the Washington Nationals at $11, they won 95 games last season, they won their second National League East division title in three seasons, but the big question for the club this season is can they win a postseason series? Something they’ve failed to do since 1981 – when they were the Montreal Expos.
They’ll need Daniel Murphy to have another big-season at second base if they are to top the division again.
Not much has changed at the Los Angeles Dodgers in the off-season after going so close to ending the Chicago Cubs fairy-tale run in the National League Championship series.
They are $13 to win their first World Series since 1988 but for that to happen they’ll need Clayton Kershaw to stay fit and arguably the best closer in baseball – Kenley Jansen – to be as good as he was last season.
MLB World Series – Outright Betting odds (Sportsbet):
Chicago Cubs $5
Boston Red Sox $7.50
Cleveland Indians $9
Washington Nationals $11
Los Angeles Dodgers $13
Houston Astros $15
San Francisco Giants $15
New York Mets $17
Toronto Blue Jays $17
New York Yankees $21
St. Louis Cardinals $21
Texas Rangers $23
Seattle Mariners $23
Detroit Tigers $26
Baltimore Orioles $26
Kansas City Royals $34
Arizona Diamondbacks $51
Pittsburgh Pirates $51
Miami Marlins $51
Colorado Rockies $51
Los Angeles Angels $51
Tampa Bay Rays $67
Chicago White Sox $91
Philadelphia Phillies $101
Cincinnati Reds $101
Milwaukee Brewers $101
Minnesota Twins $101
San Diego Padres $101
Oakland Athletics $101
Atlanta Braves $101
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