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World Series Futures: Astros on top of 2018 Oddsboard

Corks were still popping and the champagne was still flowing in the Astros locker room after Game 7 of the World Series when oddsmakers were getting down to the business of putting the finishing touches on futures odds for the 2018 World Series. It shouldn’t come as much of a shock to see the 2017 World Series champs at the top of the oddsboard with odds of +500 to win it all in 2018.

Houston is an absolute beast and boasts a good mix of rising young talent and vets who are in their primes. It’s worth noting that the +500 price tag for the 'Stros is actually pretty decent considering the Cubs were a +350 favorite immediately coming off their World Series win in 2016.

Lots of movement should be expected on the World Series futures oddsboard throughout the offseason due to the usual flurry of transactions, so be sure to check in after every big offseason move for the odds implications.

Here’s each team’s odds to win the 2018 World Series:

2018 World Series Odds
TeamOdds
Houston Astros+500
Los Angeles Dodgers+550
Cleveland Indians+750
Washington Nationals+1000
Boston Red Sox+1100
Chicago Cubs+1100
New York Yankees+1100
St. Louis Cardinals+2200
New York Mets+2200
Arizona Diamondbacks+2800
Toronto Blue Jays+2800
Tampa Bay Rays+3300
Milwaukee Brewers+3300
Seattle Mariners+3300
Colorado Rockies+4000
San Francisco Giants+4000
Atlanta Braves+5000
Kansas City Royals+5000
Baltimore Orioles+5000
Texas Rangers+5000
Los Angeles Angels+5000
Chicago White Sox+5000
Minnesota Twins+6600
Pittsburgh Pirates+6600
Miami Marlins+6600
Cincinnati Reds+6600
Oakland Athletics+6600
Philadelphia Phillies+7500
Detroit Tigers+10000
San Diego Padres+10000

Odds as of November 3 at Bovada

Archived Articles

This is it! Game 7 of the 2017 World Series between the Astros and Dodgers goes down tonight in Los Angeles. Lance McCullers Jr. gets the start for the Astros and will be looking for a repeat performance of his four-inning save in the ALCS where he allowed just one hit. The Dodgers will counter with Yu Darvish, who will be trying to make amends for an ugly start in Game 3.

The history of World Series Game 7s shows that home-field advantage and momentum aren’t things that should be considered when handicapping a game. The home team has gone 18-19 while the Game 6 winner has gone 19-18, so it’s a virtual coin flip. Read our preview for the game here.

Here’s the odds for tonight’s game:

2017 World Series Odds
TeamOdds
Los Angeles Dodgers-160
Houston Astros +140

Odds as of November 1 at Bovada

Archived Articles

With just a handful of games left in the marathon 162-game Major League Baseball schedule, the playoff picture is taking shape with many of the playoff slots being spoken for. Despite going through a disastrous stretch at the end of August and into September that saw them lose 16 of 17 games, the Los Angeles Dodgers remain the favorite to win the World Series at +300.

Fortunately for Los Angeles, and anyone who already placed a futures bet on the Dodgers, they might be turning things around as we enter the final weekend of the season. They’re coming off a three-game sweep of the Padres and have won six of their last seven. More importantly, Clayton Kershaw is back and healthy, while Yu Darvish is rounding into ace form after an ugly start to September.

My pick to win the World Series (see archives), the Cleveland Indians, have the next-best odds at +350. The Tribe are on a ridiculous tear that’s seen them win 31 of 34 games, fueled by a league-best team ERA of 2.23 in September along with a league-best .288 batting average this month.

Here’s a look at the World Series futures oddsboard with the playoffs less than a week away:

2017 World Series Odds
TeamOdds
Los Angeles Dodgers+300
Cleveland Indians+350
Houston Astros+500
Washington Nationals+700
Chicago Cubs+800
Boston Red Sox+800
New York Yankees+1400
Arizona Diamondbacks+1400
Minnesota Twins+2800
Colorado Rockies+3300
Milwaukee Brewers+10000
St. Louis Cardinals+15000

Odds as of September 28 at Bovada

Archived Articles

With the recent successes of the Indians and struggles of the Dodgers, I’ve been hearing a lot about the importance of peaking at the right time. Some have been silly to argue that the Indians are peaking at the wrong time while it’s good that the Dodgers are getting all this losing out of their system prior to the playoffs. I call that rubbish, mainly because I haven’t seen any stats to back up either argument.

So, I went digging for some stats, and as it turns out, it’s complete rubbish — having a strong September is very important for contenders entering the playoffs. Looking at the last 10 World Series winners, they’ve combined to have a 62.23 win percentage in September regular-season games. Only one team during that span, the 2015 Royals, had a win percentage below .500 in September.

Here’s a look at the last 10 World Series winners and their win percentage in September regular-season games:

Why A strong September matters
YearWorld Series WinnerSeptember Win %
2016Chicago Cubs63.0
2015Kansas City Royals39.3
2014San Francisco Giants52.0
2013Boston Red Sox64.0
2012San Francisco Giants70.4
2011St. Louis Cardinals69.2
2010San Francisco Giants69.2
2009New York Yankees67.9
2008Philadelphia Phillies68.0
2007Boston Red Sox59.3

Obviously, history doesn’t always repeat itself, but it can be the best indicator of what to expect in the future. We still have half a month ahead of us, and unless they have a dramatic turnaround, then history will not be on the side of the current World Series favorite Los Angeles Dodgers. This is very bad news for those who already went all-in on a Dodgers futures bet and could potentially be bad news for other contenders depending on how they close out the month.

One team this decade-long trend clearly benefits is the Cleveland Indians, who at the time of writing are in the midst of a 22-game win streak. Two weeks ago (see below) I wrote about how I was all-in on the Indians at their +650 price at the time. That number has shrunk to +325 and I expect Cleveland to enter the playoffs as the favorite, so there still might be some value on betting on them now.

If you’d prefer to wait till the start of the playoffs to get a bet in, don’t touch any team that finished below.500. 

Here’s a look at the World Series futures oddsboard:

2017 World Series Odds
TeamOdds
Los Angeles Dodgers+300
Houston Astros+525
Cleveland Indians+325
Boston Red Sox+800
Washington Nationals+800
Chicago Cubs+800
New York Yankees+1400
Arizona Diamondbacks+1400
St. Louis Cardinals+3300
Colorado Rockies+4000
Minnesota Twins+5000
Milwaukee Brewers+6600
Los Angeles Angels+6600
Baltimore Orioles+15000
Kansas City Royals+15000
Seattle Mariners+15000
Texas Rangers+15000
Tampa Bay Rays+30000

Odds as of September 15 at Bovada

Archived Articles

Yes, the Cleveland Indians are undervalued to win the World Series at +650 when you consider there are two other teams ahead of them on the oddsboard — Dodgers (+220) and Astros (+500). After playing above-average baseball for the better part of the season, the Indians are hitting their stride at the right time, going 19-9 in August, rattling off 16 wins in their last 20 games. With them now playing at an elite level and given their recent proven ability to succeed in the playoffs, now is the time to get your Indians futures bet in.

The first reason is obvious — they’re offering almost three times the profit that the Dodgers are. LA will get a nice shot in the arm with Clayton Kershaw returning to the rotation but they appear to be coming down to earth a bit after losing five straight to close out August. They deserve the distinction as favorite given their historic season but betting a team at +220 to win the World Series a month out from the playoffs isn’t a wager I’d advise. Unlike the NBA playoffs and, to a certain degree, the NFL playoffs, the MLB playoffs are incredibly random. They’re so random that it’s only happened seven times in the last 31 years that the team with the best regular-season record won the World Series.

As for the Astros, well, August was a very rough month for them. They went 11-17 and their offense ranked 27th in runs scored after ranking first in July. There are plenty of reasons for optimism for the ’Stros, however. Carlos Correa will return to the lineup to open September and, of course, they added Justin Verlander. I do favor the Indians over Houston, though, and expect them to have better odds entering the playoffs. Bettors should be interested to know that the Indians won their season series over the Astros, 5-1, and also eviscerated Verlander over the course of the season. In four starts vs the Tribe, Verlander posted a bloated 8.14 ERA, allowing Cleveland batters to hit .323.

Clearly, I really like the Indians. They should have won the World Series last season being up 3-1 on the Cubs, but I can envision them following a similar path to the Royals — losing in the World Series, then rebounding to win it the next. This year’s version of the team is better than last year’s. They have healthy arms in their rotation and added serious power with Edwin Encarnacion and Jay Bruce. Put it all together and I think they’re neck and neck with the Dodgers as the most complete team in baseball.

Here’s a look at the rest of the World Series futures oddsboard:

2017 World Series Odds
TeamOdds
Los Angeles Dodgers+220
Houston Astros+500
Cleveland Indians+650
Boston Red Sox+700
Washington Nationals+750
Chicago Cubs+750
New York Yankees+1400
Arizona Diamondbacks+3300
Colorado Rockies+4000
Los Angeles Angels+4000
Minnesota Twins+5000
Baltimore Orioles+5000
Kansas City Royals+6600
Milwaukee Brewers+6600
Seattle Mariners+6600
Texas Rangers+6600
St. Louis Cardinals+7500
Tampa Bay Rays+10000
Miami Marlins+15000

Odds as of September 1 at Bovada

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