Many baseball fans are still trying to figure out what happened to this season’s MLB World Series after San Francisco made short work of Detroit in a four-game sweep. Putting the Giants’ incredible run in the rear view mirror, it is time to take a look at Bovada’s early odds for next season’s Fall Classic.
The team at the top of the list is the Detroit Tigers at 8/1. Considering that the same core of all-stars that includes Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder on the offensive side of the equation and Justin Verlander anchoring the starting rotation should remain intact, there is no real reason to believe that the Tigers will not be right back on top of the American League in 2013. This ball club was assembled to win games, and that is exactly what it did with an overall record of 88-74. Detroit successfully made its way through the best teams in the AL to get to the World Series but ran into a buzz saw once it got there. That experience could actually be the key to winning it all next time around.
The Washington Nationals are counting on having Stephen Strasburg available for the entire season and postseason next year, and so are the oddsmakers after opening them as 17/2 second-favorites to take the next step and win a world title in 2013. Even with all the controversy surrounding the decision to shut Strasburg down for the season, the Nationals still won the most games in the regular season (98) and jumped out to a 2-0 series lead against St.Louis in the NLDS. Who knows what would have happened if they had their ace on the mound for a third and deciding game in that series?
The third-favorite to win next season’s World Series are the defending champion San Francisco Giants at 10/1. The Giants have proved over the past three years that they are a team that you can never count out of the race no matter how bleak the circumstances may appear. This bunch does not know the world "quit," and as long as the front office can keep the basic core of star players intact, San Francisco should be one of the top favorites to successfully defend its title. The main thing that is working against these odds is that it has been well over 10 years since a team has accomplished this feat, going back to the 2000 Yankees, who wrapped up their third-straight title.
No list of favorites would be complete without those Yankees, who are currently the fifth-favorites to add yet another world title at 11/1. This team will always be at the top of the list just because of its storied franchise record, but the simple fact remains that New York faces a number of offseason hurdles to correct some of the glaring problems that showed up in this season’s playoffs. The Alex Rodriguez situation alone bears watching, but he was far from the only high-priced bat that went into hiding in an embarrassing four-game sweep at the hands of Detroit in the ALCS. New York has a way of figuring these kind of things out, but do not be surprised it the Yankees take a step backwards next season in a AL East Division that is already loading up for a shot at their title.
The current World Series odd for the other 25 MLB teams are as follows:
Los Angeles Angels-12/1
Los Angeles Dodgers-12/1
Toronto Blue Jays-14/1
Tampa Bay Rays-25/1
Boston Red Sox-28/1
Chicago White Sox-30/1
New York Mets-66/1
San Diego Padres-66/1
Kansas City Royals-75/1
By Dave Schwab