Last year saw the end of the longest championship drought in organized sports as the Chicago Cubs finally expelled any demons as they captured their first World Series title since 1908 in the 7th game against the Cleveland Indians.
This offseason saw plenty of big name players change teams as the free agent market was as active as ever, and we can only hope that this year’s regular season will be filled with as much drama and excitement of 2016. Below we have listed the current odds for some of the top teams in the MLB expected to have a good shot at winning the 2017 World Series.
Chicago Cubs (4.50) It’s hard to argue that the Cubs shouldn’t be viewed as title favourites for a second consecutive year given their roster. They undoubtedly possess the deepest collection of quality arms and bat in the majors and most of whom are in their prime. Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta will once again anchor one of the best one-two punches in the big leagues, with John Lackey and Kyle Hendricks serving as excellent starters to fill out the rotation. 1B Anthony Rizzo and 3B Kris Bryant are two of the best corner infielders in all of baseball, and at 27 and 25 years of age respectively, they likely haven’t reached their ceiling. Manager Joe Maddon is one of the best in the majors and a healthy Kyle Schwarber should help out this season. They did lose a couple of key postseason heroes in pitchers Aroldis Chapman and Jason Hammel, and OF Dexter Fowler who left via free agency.
Boston Red Sox (7.00) The Red Sox will look to build off their 93 win season from a year ago which was just good enough to capture a very difficult AL East division. Boston stole the headlines this year when they acquired arguably the best pitcher in baseball in lefty Chris Sale from the White Sox. Sale anchors a solid rotation that features David Price, Rick Porcello and Steven Wright. They also added solid veteran closer Craig Kimbrel to shut the door in the ninth inning. The loss of Red Sox legend David Ortiz leaves a big void in the middle of that lineup however an ‘in-shape’ Pablo Sandoval and a healthy Hanley Ramirez will be looked upon to add some pop. Like the Cubs, Boston have many promising young core players like Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley.
Cleveland Indians (7.00) The Indians came within one win of ending a long World Series drought of their own last season and will now have to once again navigate through a very difficult American League pennant race loaded with big talent. They shook the baseball world by plucking free agent 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion from the Toronto Blue Jays this offseason to add a legitimate power threat to a quality hitting lineup. The SS/2B combination of Francisco Lindor and Jason Kipnis are magical both offensively and with the glove, and they have a fully healthy pitching staff to start the season. Kluber was great last year but the return of Danny Salazar and Chris Carrasco will be a huge shot in the arm. As we saw last year the bullpen combination of Andrew Miller and Cody Allen are virtually unhittable. They should be in the mix once again this year.
Los Angeles Dodgers (11.00): Considering their payroll and results the Dodgers appear to be frauds given the fact they are the second favourite NL team to win the World Series. Clayton Kershaw is a phenomenal pitcher although is he 100% fully recovered from back surgery? Kershaw and Rich Hill are a legitimate 1-2 punch however the rest of the rotation is average. 1B Adrian Gonzalez and 2B Chase Utley are on the back ends of their careers, meaning the team will likely be part of a lot of lower scoring games than normal. SS Corey Seager is a true budding superstar but is there enough protection for him in that lineup?
Toronto Blue Jays (15.00): The biggest story out of Blue Jays camp this offseason is the departure of slugger Edwin Encarnacion and his 42 home runs 127 RBI. Fortunately for the Jays they managed to re-sign fellow free agent slugger Jose Bautista who should be able to nicely bounce back offensively after a disappointing year last season. Former MVP Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, Russell Martin and free agent DH Kendrys Morales are still offensive studs in the batting order. The strength of this team is the starting rotation which may very well be the best one through five rotation in Baseball for a second straight year. Aaron Sanchez is a future Cy Young pitcher, followed my Marcus Stroman, JA Happ, Marco Estrada and Francisco Liriano will collectively keep them in the thick of the AL East title. This team has been to consecutive ALCS and will look for the trifecta this season.
Baltimore Orioles (36-1): Baltimore come in as juicy underdogs to win this year’s World Series. As we saw last year the Trumbo, Machado, Davis and Adam Jones can put up a tonne of runs on the scoreboard, and Zach Britton is unhittable in the 9th inning. The weakness here is the starting pitching after Chris Tillman. Dylan Bundy, Ubaldo Jimenez and Wade Miley put up batting practice numbers last year and will be expected to log significant innings for this team. They’re extremely well coached and aren’t that far removed from the AL East title.
Kansas City Royals (34-1): Kansas City missed the playoffs last year after two consecutive World Series appearances (winning one). They should be able to bounce back into the mix this season after a big of retooling this offseason. Their biggest offseason move was acquiring World Series winning starting pitcher Jason Hammel from the Cubs. 1B Eric Hosmer is continually becoming a better hitter and is approaching ‘elite’ status if this trajectory continues. Danny Duffy and Ian Kennedy are quality starting arms, however the strength for this team comes in the bullpen. A lead after six innings is as close to a sure thing as there is in Baseball with Kelvim Herrera locking down games, and the AL Central division should be tighter this year than it was a season ago.
For the complete list of all thirty MLB teams and their respective odds to win this year’s World Series, be sure to log onto Bet365 now for the best lines and latest odds!