Posted on November 4, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
The World Series may have just ended, but it’s never too soon to start thinking about next year. Sportsbooks have already listed their betting favorites for the 2018 World Series. Of course, there will be plenty of offseason transactions over the course of the winter, so things may change between now and spring training. But here are the top-10 early betting favorites to win the 2018 World Series.
They may have come up one game short this year but the Dodgers aren’t going anywhere. Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill still lead the rotation, and Kenley Jansen still anchors the bullpen. There’s also a wealth of young talent in Los Angeles, most notably Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager. Factor in the emergence of Chris Taylor, the reemergence of Yasiel Puig, and the team’s willingness to spend, and there’s no doubt that the Dodgers will be National League favorites in 2018.
The pitching that brought the Indians within a game of a championship a year ago is still there. There are some questions to answer in their lineup, but Cleveland’s pitching staff can stack up against any in baseball, and that will always make the Indians a dangerous team in October.
Don’t sleep on the Astros repeating as champs. Remember, Justin Verlander is still under contract with his new team. The Astros will get Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, and Lance McCullers Jr. in their rotation for a full season. The young core of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Alex Bregman remains intact as well. Houston may be even better in 2018.
With a new manager in Washington, it’ll be World Series or bust for the Nationals. Solidifying the bullpen wouldn’t be a bad idea, but the Washington rotation will remain strong with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. Offensively, Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy have one more year on their contract. The Nationals should also get help from the return of Adam Eaton. The championship window is closing, but the Nationals may have one more run in them in 2018.
The window is just opening for the Yankees, who have a chance to be even better in 2018. There may be a couple holes in the rotation to fill, but the bullpen is as good as ever. Plus, with Aaron Judge, Greg Bird, Gary Sanchez, and Clint Frazier, the baby bombers should be ready to carry the team in 2018.
Red Sox, 10-1
The hiring of Alex Cora should breathe new life into the Red Sox. Also, if the pitching stays healthy, Boston’s rotation is one of the best in baseball. The Red Sox may need to add a big bat this winter, but if they do that, there’s no reason why they can’t compete with the top teams in the American League.
Don’t forget about the Cubs. The north siders still have a strong core of young position players. Chicago’s rotation may have a vacancy or two, but Jose Quintana, Jon Lester, and Kyle Hendricks will all be back. The Cubs can rely on that trio and figure out the rest. They’ll definitely be favorites to come out of the NL Central.
At 20-1, the Mets aren’t a bad bet. If their pitchers stay healthy, there’s no reason they can’t replicate the success they had in 2015 when they went to the World Series. Offensively, the Mets will start to rely on some of their younger players, which may or may not work out for them in 2018. But Yoenis Cespedes is still there to anchor the lineup and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him have a big year after an injury-plagued 2017 season.
Don’t be fooled by Arizona getting swept in the NLDS. The Diamondbacks won 93 games in 2017 behind a great rotation and a potent lineup. They have an interesting offseason ahead, but the core of the team should remain intact and they will once again be a team to watch closely.
It’s shocking that the Cardinals have missed the playoffs for two straight years. There are plenty of questions that need to be answered in St. Louis. But this is an organization that has a lot of talent and a proud tradition. The Cardinals were not far from making a playoff push in 2017, so don’t be surprised if they make it back to the postseason in 2018.