There are some teams with outside chances of winning the World Series this year and then there are the sportsbook favorites. You’re going to find the familiar faces on this list – don’t expect many surprises on the baseball betting lines.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
World Series Odds: +540
In a survey of all Major League Baseball teams, the Dodgers would very likely come up as one of the foremost favorites to take the World Series. The Dodgers were horrible in the first two months of 2013, but the team that played in the final four months of the regular season was as good as any in baseball, if not better. The Dodgers were shut down by the pitching of the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series, but their pitching is going to make them very hard to beat in October.
2. Detroit Tigers
World Series Odds: +865
This is the team most likely to win the American League championship. The Tigers have kept the heart of their pitching staff intact, with Max Scherzer being kept around along with Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez. Those three arms will keep the Tigers strong on a regular basis, and if Verlander – who showed how great he still can be in last year’s playoffs – can return to being a Cy Young-level stud in the regular season, Detroit should hold off Cleveland in the American League Central, in what promises to be a great race with the Indians and the Kansas City Royals as well.
3. St. Louis Cardinals
World Series Odds: +750
This team is so stocked with good, young pitching that it’s going to be impossible to discount the Redbirds in October. The Pittsburgh Pirates have the makings of a great team, but St. Louis seems to be more fully formed and more prepared to return to the postseason. The Pirates are a little more likely to regress, given that they seemed to catch lightning in a bottle in 2013. The Cardinals should remain the National League Central favorite, though Pittsburgh and the Cincinnati Reds should just as legitimately be seen as contenders that will push St. Louis to the very end.
4. Boston Red Sox
World Series Odds: +1400
The Red Sox are still the class of the American League East, and as such, they should still be on the short list of World Series favorites. The big question will be if Koji Uehara can still be as unhittable as he was last season. It’s rare for a dominant season from a closer to be followed up with another year that’s just as good. If Uehara can come through, though, this team will once again be very hard to score on in the final two innings.
5. Atlanta Braves
World Series Odds: +1750
This team is loaded, and what’s more is that it has locked up its best players for the long haul. The Braves have anchor-level players on the infield, in the outfield, and in the back end of their bullpen. They are always going to be questioned in terms of their ability to win in October, but they are just as likely to get to October and have a chance to win the whole thing.