With half the season in the books and the NL finally overcoming a 13-year old All-Star game drought, it is time to look at the updated baseball odds to win the World Series. In the “year of the pitcher” we have seen many teams getting it done with strong pitching.
The bats have gone quiet across the league, and we have already seen two perfect games – plus another one that should have been – and four no-hitters. Some teams are still getting it done with hitting, but most rely on strong pitching. The books have done a good job adjusting the world series odds to teams with strong starting pitching.
The Yankees look like the team to beat right now. They lead the AL East with a 56-32 record, and look like the strongest team in the majors. Robinson Cano is having a breakout season and he could end up the AL MVP. Phil Hughes has joined Andy Pettite and CC Sabathia at the top of the rotation, and the Yankees look great on the mound.
All three of the aforementioned pitchers have double digit wins, and they have combined for only seven losses. Nick Swisher has surprised with a .298 batting average and 15 homeruns. And the Yankees have done all of this without Derek Jeter’s bat. The shortstop is only hitting .274, the worst average in his entire career as a Yankee.
Any issues with the Yankees? AJ Burnett had a horrible month of June, going 0-5 with an 11.35 ERA. He has one win and a no-decision so far in July, and his 1.32 looks a lot better. The biggest problem though is the price for the Yankees. They are the 3/1 favorite to win the World Series, but they have strong competition in the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox in their division alone.
The Rays actually look like one of the better bets. The 15/2 price doesn’t offer the greatest payout, but it’s better than the Yankees’. Plus the Rays look solid in all parts of the game. Tampa Bay has the deepest rotation in the majors, and Rafael Soriano has been lights out as their closer.
David Price is having a great season with 12 wins, four losses and a 2.42 ERA. Evan Longoria and Carl Crawford lead the team in batting average, and Crawford has lit up the basepaths with 31 steals. The Rays are currently two games behind and winning the AL East could come down to the wire.
Tampa Bay could use some more help from BJ Upton, who is hitting only .230. He has used his speed on the bases, swiping 25 bags, but he needs to be more consistent with his bat. Still, the Rays look like a better bet than the Yankees, based on price alone.
The Philadelphia Phillies were high in our last MLB futures outlook, but they have struggled. While Roy Halladay is still having a great season, and Placido Polanco is contending for the batting title, injuries have kept the team from unleashing their full potential.
Polanco, Chase Utley, Antonio Bastardo, and Chad Durbin are all on the disabled list. On top of that, Raul Ibanez hasn’t given the team the production they were hoping for, hitting only .243 with just seven homeruns. They offer a better payout now at 12/1, but I wouldn’t count on them bouncing back and winning it all.
The Braves might be the most interesting team in the NL. They are dominating at home with a 30-10 record when playing at Turner Field. Their rotation is looking good with Tim Hudson leading the way. They have a little bit of a drop-off at the fifth starter position, but they just brought Jair Jurrjens, who missed significant time in the first half of the season, back to the rotation.
Martin Prado leads the NL in batting at the midseason point, and rising star Jason Heyward has brought some pop to the lineup. He is on the 15-day DL so far, but he should be back soon. Expect more of the same when he returns.
Nate McLouth has disappointed so far and is hitting a dismal .179 with only three homers. He blasted 20 big shots last year and had a .256 average. The Braves are probably your best bet out of the NL at 8/1 as the Cincinnati Reds have dropped off a little lately.
All baseball odds were taken from Bodog who offers futures betting on the 2010 world series winner. For game by game lines check out our live MLB baseball betting lines page which offers up to the minute line moves for the days schedule.