MLB Betting: Recent World Series Winners Were Not Favorites

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 4:00 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 29, 2016 4:00 PM UTC

The Chicago Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908, but they are the +500 favorites on MLB odds to win the 2016 Fall Classic. That's not good news for Cubs backers as the World Series favorites haven't won it this decade.

What's With The Favored Curse?
In 2008, the New York Yankees missed the playoffs with an 89-73 record. Tampa Bay won the AL East Division with a 97-65 record. Boston was second with a 95-67 mark and was the wild-card team. Remember, there was still just one wild card back then; had the current system been in place, the Yankees would have taken the AL's second spot.

The Bombers had made the playoffs each of the previous 13 seasons under Joe Torre; the 2008 campaign was the first under current manager Joe Girardi. Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was still alive back in '08 and we all know how the Boss hated missing the postseason. So he opened his wallet in a big way that offseason as the Yankees spent about  $425 million in getting star pitchers CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett and first baseman Mark Teixeira.

Those moves -- all three players were still in their primes -- led to New York being the +300 spring favorite on MLB odds to win the 2009 World Series. The Yankees finished 103-59 in the regular season to take the AL East. They swept the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS, beat the Los Angeles Angels in six games in the ALCS and took out the Philadelphia Phillies in six games in the World Series.

The 2009 Yankees are the last spring favorites to win it all and New York hasn't been back since. In fact, that's the team's only title since the 2001 Subway Series against the Mets.

In 2010, the Yankees were +325 favorites to repeat on MLB picks. That team won 95 games to finish second in the AL East by a game to Tampa Bay. The Yankees swept Minnesota again in the ALDS but lost in six games to the Texas Rangers in the ALCS. The Rangers lost in five games in the Fall Classic to the San Francisco Giants. Texas was +2500 to win it all when the season started.

The next year, Philadelphia was the +350 spring favorite to win the Fall Classic. The Phillies had led the majors with 97 wins in 2010 but was beaten in six games by the underdog Giants in the NLCS. In 2011, the Phillies led the majors with 102 wins but were upset in the NLDS by wild-card team St. Louis in five games. Philadelphia hasn't finished with a winning record since and has a good chance to be the worst team in the majors again this year. The Cardinals beat the Rangers in the World Series. St. Louis had been +2500 in the spring.

In 2012, the Phillies opened as +550 favorites but were only 81-81 and missed the postseason. The Giants beat the Detroit Tigers in a World Series sweep. San Francisco opened the season at +2000.

In 2013, the L.A. Dodgers and Washington Nationals were co-favorites at +750 to win the World Series during spring training. The Nats missed the playoffs. The Dodgers won the NL West and beat Atlanta in the NLDS before losing in six games in the NLCS to St. Louis. Boston beat the Cardinals in six games in the Fall Classic. The Red Sox were +2800 in the spring.

In 2014, the Dodgers were +700 spring favorites. They won the NL West again but were ousted in the playoffs by the Cardinals again, this time in four games in the NLDS. San Francisco continued its even-year success with a seven-game World Series win over Kansas City. The Giants were +2500 in the spring.

And finally last year, the Nationals were +650 spring favorites after adding pitcher Max Scherzer in free agency.  Washington missed the playoffs with 83 wins. Kansas City beat the Mets in five games in the Fall Classic. The Royals were +3300 when the season opened.

You can check current odds to win the World Series from top rated sportsbooks here:

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