Posted on September 2, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
September has arrived and the stretch run in Major League Baseball is finally here. The playoff races in each league are getting closer to being sorted out, so it seems like a good time to take a look at the 2018 World Series odds of each contender.
Red Sox, 4-1
After passing the 90-win mark long before reaching September, the Red Sox are the obvious favorites. At times, their lineup looks unstoppable. However, with recent health scares to Chris Sale and David Price, Boston is not a slam dunk to win the 2018 World Series.
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The Astros have stumbled a bit over the past month amidst a series of injuries, so their odds are down because the AL West is not yet secure. The lingering injury to Lance McCullers Jr. is also a concern. But as long as the trio of Verlander, Keuchel, and Cole remain healthy, the reigning champs will be dangerous in October.
The Yankees are slowly falling apart with injuries. They are also going to end up in the Wild Card game, which hurts their chances. But if they can get healthy and get rolling by the end of September, they can be as good as any team, and so their odds remain relatively high.
The Cubs may be the closest thing the National League has to a championship contender. The additions of Cole Hamels and Daniel Murphy have been massive. How they match up against the top teams in the American League remains to be seen. But the Cubs definitely look like the best team in the National League these days.
It’s tough to figure out the Indians. They don’t have the wins that the other top teams in the American League have despite playing in a division in which every other team is terrible. However, the Indians have also made some nice additions over the summer, including Josh Donaldson, so they should not be overlooked in the postseason, especially if Trevor Bauer can return to full health.
The Dodgers have been hot and cold all season. There are also some serious concerns about the Los Angeles bullpen that could be exposed in the playoffs. But if they can get hot at the right time, they’re capable of getting back to the World Series.
Oakland has come out of nowhere to become a legitimate playoff threat. Recent injuries to their rotation could make it harder to catch the Astros or even lock up a wild-card spot. But they do have some good young hitters and a deep bullpen. If their rotation can get healthy and hold up, they will be an interesting dark horse in the playoffs.
Even if they can’t hang onto the division lead, the Diamondbacks look good to reach the postseason. With a couple frontline starters, a capable bullpen, and plenty of sluggers in their lineup, they have enough ingredients to make a postseason run.
Atlanta may actually be a great value pick at 16-1. Their young position players are dynamic and could potentially thrive on the big stage. On paper, Atlanta’s starting pitching may not match up with the Cubs or Dodgers. But it wouldn’t be a shock to see this team make a run, especially since they’ve started to create some separation at the top of the NL East.
Few teams have been hotter over the past month than St. Louis. Much like the Braves and some other clubs, the starting pitching may not hold up for the Cardinals against the top teams in the National League. However, it’s hard to ignore how well they’ve played lately.
The Rockies have some work to do just to reach the postseason. but they have some good young pitchers who are better than their numbers would indicate. If they can reach the playoffs, the Rockies are a potential dark horse.
The Phillies have worked hard to add to their team via the trade market and stay in the race, but they’re going to have to spend September finding their way back to the top of the NL East. If they can make it, the duo of Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta would be interesting to watch in a playoff series. But the odds are stacked against them at the moment.
Milwaukee has consistently held on to one of the two wild-card spots in the National League this season. However, they don’t project well in the postseason. The Brewers would need their bullpen and offense to do a lot of the heavy lifting, which is why they have the longest odds of all the teams in the playoff hunt.