Baseball Odds Favoring Chicago & Boston In World Series Betting Markets

Cubs David Ross Homers in Wrigley Field

Matthew Jordan

Friday, September 30, 2016 1:55 PM UTC

Friday, Sep. 30, 2016 1:55 PM UTC

It seems like just yesterday that the 2016 Major League Baseball season began, but we are entering the final weekend with every division having been clinched. Let's examine Bovada's World Series odds and find the best value.


Could we be looking at the Theo Epstein Bowl in the World Series? Epstein was the general manager of the Boston Red Sox from the end  of the 2002 season through the completion of the 2011 campaign -- not including a strange, brief resignation in late October 2005 for a few months that likely was over contract details. The Red Sox ended their 86-year World Series drought under Epstein in 2004 and won another one in 2007.

Epstein is one of those guys who believes that 10 years or so in one place is enough, so he left Boston after the Sox missed the playoffs in 2011  for the Cubs -- Boston would win another World Series in 2013 with players mostly acquired or drafted by Epstein. Clearly, Epstein likes challenges as no franchise has gone longer than the Cubs without winning a title, their last coming in 1908. That franchise was a mess when Epstein took over and he had to basically tear it down and rebuild from the bottom up. The Cubs won just 61 games in 2012, 66 in 2013 and 73 in 2014. But all those high draft picks chosen by Epstein started paying off, and he made some unbelievable trades in landing the likes of Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks. The Cubs jumped to 97 wins last year behind the Cy Young winner Arrieta and NL Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant. Chicago beat Pittsburgh in the wild-card game, St. Louis in the NLDS but lost to the Mets in an NLCS sweep.


This year, the Cubs have the best record in baseball and have reached 100 wins for the first time since 1935. They will face the wild-card winner -- the Mets, Cardinals or Giants -- in the NLDS starting next Friday. Lefty Jon Lester, a free-agent signee by Epstein from Boston, could win the Cy Young Award. Bryant is the favorite to win NL MVP. To no surprise, the Cubs are Bovada's favorites at +225 on the MLB odds to win the World Series. The city of Chicago will party like it never has before if that happens.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox finished last in the AL East in 2015 but have won the division this year. They are in a dogfight with the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers for the AL's best record and that could go down to Sunday's final day. The AL's top seed will have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs because the AL won the All-Star Game. Boston's Rick Porcello is the likely AL Cy Young  winner and Mookie Betts could win AL MVP. The Sox are +500 second-favorites to win the World Series.

How fun would a Cubs-Red Sox Fall Classic be?


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Jays Can Hit, Dodgers Can Pitch

So why do I like the Blue Jays and Dodgers as the best values in each league?

Toronto is currently +1200 on MLB picks to win its first World Series since repeating in 1993. The Jays aren't assured of a playoff spot as of  this writing but should be in the wild-card game against either Baltimore or Detroit. I think the Jays can outslug nearly every team with the likes of Edwin Encarnacion (an MVP candidate who is second in the NL with 42 homers and first with 127 RBIs), reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, Troy Tulowitzki and All-Star Michael Saunders. The Jays have two very good starting pitchers in All-Star Aaron Sanchez and lefty J.A. Happ, a 20-game winner. Ideally, the Jays play either Cleveland or Texas in the ALDS and hope the Red Sox lose in the same round. I would feel very comfortable taking Toronto to beat any AL team in a playoff series other than the Red Sox.

As for the Dodgers, they are +800 at SBR's best sportsbooks to win their first World Series since 1988. First-year manager Dave Roberts deserves to be NL Manager of the Year as the Dodgers have been ravaged by injuries all season, especially in the rotation. But that group looks really strong now with the return of ace Clayton Kershaw (12-3, 1.65). He missed more than two months on the DL earlier this season with back troubles but has a 0.85 ERA in four starts since his return. Kershaw has had his postseason issues in the past, but perhaps missing all that time could be a blessing in disguise as he will have thrown less than 150 innings in the regular season. Behind Kershaw, you have excellent lefty Rich Hill (12-5, 2.05), acquired from Oakland at the trade deadline, and rookie right-hander Kenta Maeda (16-10, 3.28).


I believe the Dodgers will get past Washington in the NLDS because the Nationals are missing No. 2 pitcher Stephen Strasburg and All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos, who tore his ACL earlier this week. Plus the team's two best offensive players overall, Daniel Murphy and Bryce Harper, are banged up. Expect a Dodgers-Cubs NLCS, and if L.A. can throw Kershaw and Hill twice each in that series, it can upset Chicago.


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