Pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training, which means now is the best time to wager on what happens in October. Baseball season is almost back and the MLB betting odds markets are brimming with value if you know what to look for.
One of the most popular futures bets on the board are potential World Series matchups. Oddsmakers have set sports betting odds on each and every possible pairing for the Fall Classic and these options could be a home run for baseball bettors willing to sweat out a season’s worth of action:
Washington Nationals vs. Cleveland Indians (+1,600)
If you comb through the favorite matchups in this market, you find some of the most public teams on the diamond – Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers – as well as the defending World Series winning Astros. There’s not too much value in those clubs making it to the Fall Classic and facing each other.
Looking just outside those notable names, you get a potential showdown between the Washington Nationals and Cleveland Indians. Washington is one of the best two-way teams in the National League, with a power-packed lineup and a pitching staff that finished third in ERA in the Senior Circuit. The playoffs have been a different story for the Nats, but if they can shake that postseason jinx this team has pennant potential written all over it.
Cleveland gets a bit of a demotion in the American League pecking order, thanks to the Astros winning the World Series and the Yankees throwing money at slugger Giancarlo Stanton this offseason. The Tribe are cut from a similar cloth as the Nationals, with pop at the plate and a deep pitching rotation. There are still some notable free agents out there, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Cleveland plugs its holes in the batting order with those options.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Houston Astros (+2,600)
This pick leans very heavily on the Cardinals cracking the National League Central or at least earning a Wild Card spot. St. Louis is the Chicago Cubs’ closest competition, but there is still a lot up in the air with the Cubbies rotation. Jake Arrieta isn’t signed and Yu Darvish could be a big-money bust. The Cardinals, however, are a hungry team with plenty of talent. St. Louis hasn’t been to the postseason in two years and could have one of the more undervalued pitching staffs in baseball.
What can we say about the Astros that wasn’t on display last October? Houston seems to have it all: hitting, pitching, defense – and now postseason experience. The Astros added starter Gerrit Cole to an already lethal starting rotation, making them even more October proof. The three other matchups involving Houston – vs. the Dodgers, Cubs and Nationals – are all priced at +1,200, so there is good value in this pick.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Los Angeles Angels (+3,200)
An all-Los Angeles World Series would be fun to watch. The Dodgers were one win away from winning the 2017 crown and head into this spring on a mission to avenge that loss. Clayton Kershaw remains the best arm in baseball and L.A. has the bullpen to close out opponents in the late innings. The Dodgers lineup got even better as the season went on, with surprise production from guys like Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger.
The Angels are the reach in this potential World Series matchup but made enough moves to challenge the Astros in the American League West. No addition was welcomed with more fanfare than Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani. Lost in the hoopla around Ohtani was the additions of Ian Kinsler and Zack Cozart. Mike Trout is back and healthy after missing a good chunk of 2017 due to injury and the pitching staff, which was also held back by injuries, could make this team a true contender in the AL West.