The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers are MLB odds makers top two choices to win this year’s World Series, sitting at prices of 7/2 and plus 380, respectively.
Boston Red Sox
Boston has its inside track thanks to assurance of home-field advantage through the entire postseason, including the World Series due to the American League’s 3-0 win in July’s All-Star Game. The Red Sox look for their first title since recent championships in 2004 and 2007, both won with 4-0 sweeps.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles experienced a mid-season surge, notching a 53-13 mark from June 22 to Sept. 3. Don Mattingly’s club brings its stingy pitching trio of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu, while loaded in the lineup with sluggers Adrian Gonzalez (100 RBIs) and Hanley Ramirez (.345 BA).
Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera brought his club’s hitting to an MLB-best of .285, while ranking second in scoring (4.9 RPG). Tigers pitchers Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez have combined for a 35-11 record, while manager Jim Leyland tries for his first World Series since winning with the Florida Marlins (1997).
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis prevailed in a tough fight for the National League Central, edging Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Cardinals third baseman David Freese won both the NLCS and World Series MVP awards in 2011, while mates Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina have had hot bats through the regular season’s late stretch.
Atlanta sits as an 8/1 choice, following domination of the National League East for most of the year. The Braves’ pitching staff remains one of MLB’s tightest (3.17 ERA, 1.20 WHIP), while Freddie Freeman and Justin Upton have drilled a combined 50 home runs.
Oakland clinched the American League West early thanks to Texas fading down the strech, giving breathing room for Bob Melvin and Billy Beane’s “Moneyball” crew. The Athletics are outsiders at a price of plus 835, but will have home-field advantage against Detroit in next week’s ALDS action.
Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates
Cincinnati (14/1) will visit Pittsburgh (18/1) in Tuesday’s NL Wild Card contest, with one day of rest awaiting the winner before starting their Division Series. Reds sluggers Joey Votto and Jay Bruce will try to re-ignite their cooled off bats, while Pittsburgh’s Pedro Alvarez looks to stay hot (36 HRs).
Cleveland Indians, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers
Cleveland (17/1) picked up steam with a 19-5 surge during the season’s final month of action, giving Tampa Bay and Texas (24/1) their share of challenges in the AL Wild Card race. The winner of this three-way charade will head to Boston for Friday’s ALDS opener.
MLB Picks: Tigers, Cardinals at SBR Sportsbook
I am backing the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals with tickets to capture the World Series, looking for each to show their spark with postseason runs.
Detroit went 4-3 in its seven matchups with the Red Sox, including a 3-0 victory on the road as 134 underdogs. The Tigers should also have enough balance to get past Oakland in the ALDS, while already enjoying Jhonny Peralta’s (.305 BA) return to their lineup.
St. Louis is hard to pass on at 7/1 for my MLB picks, with Mike Matheny’s club primed for playoff competition thanks to an intense divisional race. The Cardinals stepped it up with a 16-5 mark through a 21-game stretch of their final month, with no span’s of back-to-back losses.