Dodgers and Red Sox share best odds to win World Series
With the MLB regular season ending on Sunday, postseason baseball begins on Thursday, October 3. Per Bovada, as of today on 9/28, the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers have the best odds to win the 2013 World Series at 4/1.
The Dodgers had been World Series-favorites for some time now, ever since August when they went 23-6 throughout the month. At one point, the club posted a 53-13 record over a 10-week span (SB Nation). They have gone 12-13 through September thus far, which has allowed the Red Sox to come from behind and now share the best odds according to the offshore betting site. The Red Sox have gone 16-7 through September so far and currently have their magic number at one in regards to claiming the best regular season record in baseball for 2013.
Following these two teams are the Detroit Tigers with 5/1 odds. The Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals share 7/1 odds. The Oakland Athletics have 8/1 odds. Then, a trio of teams in the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, and Pittsburgh Pirates share 16/1 odds – a drop off from the first six teams mentioned. Finally, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers (who are currently on the outside of the playoff picture and looking in) have odds at 18/1 and 20/1, respectively.
While I am far cry from being a sports-handicapper, the Cardinals’ odds at 7/1 has great value to me because of the organization’s experience in the postseason during four of the last five seasons (and given their recent championships in 2006 and 2011). Although the current team does not boast the likes prime-Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds, or former-manager Tony LaRussa, the Cardinals have still been one of the model organizations in terms of developing talent. In the 2011 World Series, third baseman David Freese tied up Game 6 against the Texas Rangers at the score of 7-7 with a triple after being one strike away from losing the series. He then went on to hit a walk-off home run in the 11th inning. Freese was eventually named the MVP of that series.
I do not trust the Braves, Athletics, and Rays in a short series. I think those teams are usually built for a longer stretch, as they tend to do better over a larger span of games. While the old cliché is that pitching wins championships over the long-haul, I believe bats tend to win games in short series. The Red Sox and Tigers are either first or second in the MLB in runs scored, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.
The Dodgers, who are 16th in runs scored and 8th in on-base percentage, have played .682 baseball so far during the second half.
But who knows? It is a new year and anything can happen.