Posted on January 1, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
It’s officially 2018, and believe it or not, spring training is only about six weeks away. It’s no longer too soon to start thinking about the 2018 baseball season. Admittedly, the hot stove season has been a little slow to this point. However, there have been several major deals that have changed out we view teams as opposed to right after the 2017 season. Now seems like as good a time as any to check out the top betting favorites to win the 2018 World Series.
With the addition of Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees are undoubtedly the favorites to win the 2018 World Series. The Bronx Bombers also retained C.C. Sabathia to shore up their rotation. Perhaps more importantly, the Yankees have plenty of young talent and are still looking to make moves that will make them better.
The Dodgers began the offseason as leading favorites but not anymore. Thus far, Los Angeles has done more subtracting than adding this offseason. But the Dodgers do have plenty of depth and talent, and it’s a safe bet that they make a major addition before the start of spring training.
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The Indians lost Carlos Santana to free agency, which wasn’t unexpected, but they replace him with Yonder Alonso. With the Indians, the key is pitching, and while the bullpen may take a hit, the Cleveland rotation is still among the best in the game and capable of carrying them to the World Series.
Right now, Houston’s roster looks a lot like the roster that won the 2017 World Series. However, the Astros have made marginal improvements to their bullpen, which was definitely needed. It’s also possible that they make a major addition, possibly a frontline pitcher, before the end of the offseason.
Chicagos World Series odds have improved since the start of the offseason. The Cubs have solidified their rotation with Tyler Chatwood and their bullpen with Brandon Morrow. There’s also a good chance that Theo Epstein finds a way to make a major addition before all is said and done.
The Nationals have been quiet this offseason, and as a result, their World Series odds have dropped since the hot stove started. To be fair, Washington has kicked the tires on some big moves, so they won’t go to spring training without doing something of note. However, with their championship window closing, there’s definitely pressure on the Nationals to make a major acquisition this winter.
Red Sox, 12-1
The Red Sox have also seen their World Series odds drop over the last two months. Re-signing Mitch Moreland doesn’t exactly solve Boston’s lack of power from last season. The Red Sox are still working to add a player like J.D. Martinez or Manny Machado, but nothing has happened yet. Boston needs to do something big if they’re going to keep pace with the Yankees in 2018.
The Angels have definitely improved more than any other team, making them a legitimate World Series threat. Not only did they win the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes, but they’ve also added Ian Kinsler and Zack Cozart. Rotation health and the bullpen remain question marks, but the Angels are definitely a team to watch in 2018.
The Cardinals are not sitting around this winter. They couldn’t get Stanton, but they did find a way to land Marcell Ozuna. St. Louis has also improved their rotation depth and doesn’t appear to be done making moves this offseason.
San Francisco is desperate to reload, not rebuild, and it shows. There is still a lot of work to do, particularly in the outfield. Bud trading for Evan Longoria last month appears to be the first of several moves designed to make them competitive in 2018. If nothing else, the Giants now have better World Series odds than their division rivals in Colorado and Arizona, two teams that made the postseason last year.