With baseball season ready to begin, Vegas oddsmakers have released their odds for each team to win the World Series in 2019. While it’s difficult to predict what will happen over the course of the regular season and playoffs, the five teams they’ve given the best odds to should look familiar to fans who have watched October baseball over the past two seasons. Here are the five teams with the best World Series odds in 2019, according to USA Today.
5. Cleveland Indians — 7:1
There’s no doubt the Indians will be heavy favorites to take the AL Central title for the fourth consecutive year. But after that, the forecast gets a bit harder to predict.
The Indians’ lineup contains two MVP-level players in Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez – though Lindor is set to start the season on the injured list. Despite the rumors they would trade one or more of their starters, the Indians kept their rotation’s stellar top three intact: Carlos Carrasco, Corey Kluber, and Trevor Bauer all return this season.
After two seasons of disappointing first-round playoff exits, it seems as though nothing less than a World Series appearance would satisfy the Cleveland faithful. Right now, oddsmakers have the Indians behind three other teams in the AL.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers — 7:1
The Dodgers have spent the last two seasons on the cusp of a World Series title, falling to the Astros and Red Sox in consecutive years. They’ve made the playoffs the last six years. Is this the year they’ll make the leap from runner up to champion? According to those in the know, Los Angeles has some of the best World Series odds in 2019.
The Dodgers had a relatively quiet offseason. Manny Machado, who played in Los Angeles at the end of 2018, went to San Diego for a big free agent deal. The team also saw Bryce Harper head Philadelphia with one of the biggest contracts ever. Los Angeles re-signed starters Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-jin Ryu, but it traded outfielder Yasiel Puig. It’s going to be a new look team, but not drastically so.
The thinking here? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Barring major injuries, it looks like the Dodgers will be the odds-on favorites in the NL West and the NL team with the highest odds of winning it all.
3. Boston Red Sox — 7:1
The Red Sox had such a great season last year, there may not be anywhere else to go but down. Reigning MVP Mookie Betts spearheads one of the best outfields in baseball, and returns to a stellar lineup that includes J.D. Martinez and Andrew Benintendi. Boston won 108 games last season, which will be hard to repeat, but oddsmakers give the Red Sox some of the best World Series in 2019.
If Boston has a weakness, it may be in the bullpen. That’s one area the Sox may struggle with this year after losing Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel to free agency.
2. Houston Astros — 6:1
After winning the World Series in 2017, the Astros came back down to Earth with an ALCS exit in 2018. They did still manage to win 103 games, however, and despite several free agent losses, they’re tied for the best World Series odds this year.
Houston lost Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton to free agency, but it still has a lineup packed with power and a deep pitching rotation. Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole headline a rotation that added veteran Wade Miley in free agency. Expect the Astros to emerge from the AL West and challenge for the AL crown.
1. New York Yankees – 6:1
Much to the surprise of the rest of the league, the Yankees were not big players on the free agent market. They met with but didn’t sign Manny Machado, and they seemingly didn’t even talk to Bryce Harper. Nevertheless, it’s the additions to the pitching department that moved them to the front of the list of favorites this year.
The Yankees traded for former Mariners star James Paxton. They also acquired reliever Adam Ottavino from Colorado and re-signed setup man Zach Britton. These additions will bolster a -team that made it to the ALDS last season. There’s no telling what kind of damage their offense can do with a full season of a healthy Aaron Judge alongside Giancarlo Stanton.