World Series Odds: Dodgers Emerge as Betting Favorite
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World Series Odds: Dodgers Emerge as Betting Favorite

With the second half of the 2017 MLB season set to begin Friday it’s a good time to check the updated odds to win the World Series at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

No team has repeated as the winner of the Fall Classic since the New York Yankees won a third in a row in 2000. No National League team has repeated as the world champion since Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine in 1975-76. It sure doesn’t seem likely that the Chicago Cubs will join that club this October as they are now back at +800 to win it all.

At the 2016 All-Star break, the Cubs were 53-35 and led the NL Central by seven games. They blew the doors off everyone in the second half and finished an MLB-best 103-58 on the way to winning the franchise’s first World Series since 1908. Right now, the Cubs would be watching playoff baseball as they sit 43-45, 5.5 games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central and 7.5 games out of the second wild-card spot.

However, on Thursday the Cubs acquired White Sox ace lefty Jose Quintana for prospects to boost a disappointing rotation. Expect that deal to really get trades going around the league.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are +350 favorites to win their first championship since that memorable 1988 team led by Orel Hershiser and Kirk Gibson upset the powerful Oakland A’s in five games in the World Series. The Dodgers have been back to the postseason 10 times since, including the past four years, but haven’t won a pennant.

The call-up of slugger Cody Bellinger in late April from the minors changed everything for the 2017 Dodgers. He’s the clear NL Rookie of the Year favorite. Los Angeles has the best record in baseball at 61-29 and leads the NL West by 7.5 games. Remember, the pennant winner with the best regular-season record gets home-field advantage for the World Series. It no longer goes to the winning league in the All-Star Game, which was the AL.

Barring an asteroid hitting earth over the next few months, the Houston Astros are going to win the AL West as they have the best record by far in the American League at 60-29 and a whopping 16.5-game lead in the division. The Astros, +425 to win the franchise’s first World Series, have three AL MVP candidates in Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve and George Springer and lead the majors by a wide margin in runs. If there’s one concern, it’s the rotation. Expect Houston to make a move for a starting pitcher by the July 31 deadline.

The only other teams below +1400 to win the World Series at online sports betting sites are the Red Sox (+600), Nationals (+700) and defending AL champion Indians (+800). The team getting arguably the least respect from oddsmakers? The NL Central-leading Brewers at +2500 on the World Series odds.

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