MLB Picks: World Series Top Contenders & Runner-Ups

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 5:54 PM GMT

Wednesday, Sep. 2, 2015 5:54 PM GMT

The World Series lockhold has been broken as sportsbooks have seen a torrent of money come flooding in on a hot team and the MLB odds futures have been altered for the first time in months.

For quite awhile we have seen nothing but St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals as the top choices to make the World Series, but with the way the Toronto Blue Jays have been playing since the end of July, they have risen to the top by those generating MLB picks with their bludgeoning offense and ever improving pitching.

Here are the latest updates according to 5Dimes

 

Top Betting Choices
While it might come as a surprise to some Toronto now has the lowest betting odds at +450 to win the Fall Classic, there are ample reasons to think they could get it done. There is no offense close to the Blue Jays who are scoring an incredible 5.5 runs a game and the catalyst has been Josh Donaldson, who brought grit and toughness to this club. The other aspect not being talked about in Toronto's rocket-like ascension is the pitching. Once ranked 12th in the American League in June, they are up to fifth in ERA and still climbing. With a remarkable run differential of +193, the Jays are the real deal, but will they hold up facing better pitching game after game in the postseason?

Kansas City is next in line at +475, having the best record in the AL all season and the second-best in baseball. The Royals have played like a team all year intent on finishing what they were so close to winning last fall. The only potential downfall for K.C. is its starting pitching, which ranks only seventh in ERA and a very poor 13th in OBP.

St. Louis is now third at +550, in spite of having the finest record. The Cardinals pitching has dominated all season, with its current ERA of 2.66. To put that into perspective, the gap between them and Pittsburgh in ERA is just over 15 percent. If you add 15% to the distance from the Pirates, you go all the way to No. 11 with Toronto. Will their fantastic pitching be able to carry an ordinary Cards offense?

 

Next On The List
The L.A. Dodgers (+700) show up at No. 4 where they have been virtually all year. Everyone understands what Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke bring to postseason party, but will the rest of the starters and the NL's 12th rated bullpen (by ERA) hold up?

It is appearing each day to the shock of many baseball handicappers the New York Mets are going to win the NL East and they are fifth overall at +850. The Mets offense has picked up and the mostly young pitchers are showing no signs of fatigue, listed third in ERA and first in OBP in the senior circuit. Though they rank behind the Dodgers to become World Series champs, they are currently ahead of them to be NL champions at 5Dimes.

Houston is No. 6 at +1100 and is second in run differential in the league thanks to their big inning results. Just not sure if this team has enough starting pitching and their lineup can go ice cold.

Behind the Astros are the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh at +1150. The Yankees will have several key games with Toronto to decide the AL East, but some of their older veteran players have been breaking down with injuries, making on wonder if they make it to the finish line and if they do what will they have left? The Pirates look like a great value play for sports picks. Yes, the Pirates look destined to be in the Wild Card game again, but both World Series participants went that route last year and Pittsburgh has the same amount of defeats as Kansas City. They just have to prove it on the field.

The Cubs (+1550) are like Houston, their future appears to be in front of them and a taste of playoffs would help for the future as long as the pitching pipeline is fed.

San Francisco (+2000) probably will have to get scalding hot to catch the Dodgers to make the postseason. Even if Texas (+2500 MLB odds) makes their way past the regular season, too many better teams in the AL to be taken seriously this year.

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