Posted on July 14, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
After a long all-star break, the second half of the 2017 MLB season is finally ready to get underway. It’s finally time to start getting serious about what teams have a chance to win this year’s World Series and what teams are long shots. Naturally, not everything has gone as expected, as some of the favorites at the start of the season are no longer the top favorites. Meanwhile, there are also a few teams to surprise everyone. As we head into the second half, here are the updated odds for teams winning the 2017 World Series.
Los Angeles was a .500 team early in the year, but the Dodgers have exploded over the past six weeks. They now lead the majors in wins and are starting to run away with the NL West. Of course, we’ve seen this act before, only to watch the Dodgers falter in the postseason. But if the Dodgers stay healthy, they have the pieces to be a championship team.
The Astros have been the biggest story in baseball this year. Houston’s lineup has lived up to the hype and they’ve gotten better pitching than expected. If Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh can come back healthy, the Astros will have enough pitching to compete for a title, although it may not hurt to add a little more rotation depth at the trade deadline.
Red Sox, 13-2
It took some time, but the Red Sox are finally coming around. Chris Sale has not disappointed, but Boston still needs the rest of its pitching staff to help out. If the Red Sox add a little help at the deadline, they may be able to close the gap with the Astros as the American League’s best team.
Even without their rotation living up to its high expectations, the Indians are in great shape at the all-star break. However, they have some competition from within their division and a few injuries are starting to creep up. But as long as the Indians find a way into the postseason, their pitching staff makes them World Series contenders.
The Nationals should have no problem winning the NL East, but what happens after that is anybody’s guess. Washington’s bullpen remains a huge issue that has to be addressed at the trade deadline. The club has also been hit with several injuries this season, and the Nationals definitely need to be healthy in order to be successful in the postseason.
The Cubs face a deficit in the NL Central, but all the pieces of a championship-caliber team are still in place. After a disappointing first half, the addition of Jose Quintana could help to jumpstart the Cubs for the second half of the season. This team is one 10-game winning streak away from reminding everyone why they are defending world champions.
The Yankees are right in the middle of both a division race and the wild-card race. Injuries have held them back over the past month, but their young players have performed this year and their pitching has surpassed expectations. If New York’s rotation can continue to perform, there’s no reason the Yankees shouldn’t at least capture a wild card spot and have a chance to make some noise in the playoffs.
Arizona’s offense has not been a problem in recent years, but the Diamondbacks are finally getting the pitching they need to compete. With the Dodgers running away with the division, the Diamondbacks may have to settle for the wild card, which will make things more difficult. But with Zack Greinke back to pitching like an ace, Arizona may have a fighting chance to win a one-game playoff.
The Rockies are in the same boat as the Diamondbacks. Those two teams appear to be on a collision course for the wild-card game. Colorado’s young starters have put the team in a great position despite a slump right before the all-star break. As long as their young pitching holds up, the Rockies have a chance to reach the postseason and surprise some people.
The Royals are going for it this year in what could be their last chance to compete before they have to rebuild again. Unfortunately, the odds are against them. Outside of Jason Vargas, Kansas City’s pitching hasn’t been all that impressive compared to the other contenders in the American League. But the core of the team that won the World Series in 2015 is largely intact, so don’t count out the Royals just yet.
The oddsmakers are still not sold on Milwaukee, despite a somewhat comfortable lead atop the NL Central at the break. Offensively, the Brewers are clicking. However, the club may need to add to both its rotation and bullpen at the trade deadline in order to hold off the Cubs and be serious contenders in October.
Twins, Cardinals, Rays, Blue Jays, 50-1
There are a few long shots that deserve some mention. The Rays, in particular, may have the pitching to be a threat in October if they can overcome some injuries and find a way into the postseason. The Twins are another interesting team that has received some surprising performances from young players who may have a chance to get better the second half of the season.