It is only just over a week since the Boston Red Sox did the business by winning their fourth World Series of the 21 Century, but already players and coaches will have one eye on next year’s prize. Sure, a long regular season means that players will no doubt be looking forward to having some days off to do whatever baseball players do in their spare time, but the best players are always thinking about how to come back bigger and better in the next season.
With teams often looking very different in April than they do in November, sportsbooks can be somewhat reluctant to make too big a statement so far in advance. However, some of the best sports betting sites in Canada, like William Hill and others, have pushed out some early markets on the 2019 MLB season. It makes for some interesting reading due to the fact all of 2018’s contenders are on the top of the list again. While that may seem uninspiring, it also gives punters the opportunity to pick some dark horses should they believe a team’s GM will make some big moves over the next few months.
Sox and Astros top the betting odds
At the top, both the Red Sox and Astros come in as the favorites at odds of +700. It’s hard to argue with this assertion. Despite dispatching with Houston in the ALCS with relative comfort, the Astros are still – arguably – the most complete team in MLB, so you can see why they are right up there with the champions. Next up comes the Dodgers and Yankees, both tied at +800, and the Cubs at +900. The Indians, who have consistently come up just short in the last few seasons, come in at +1200.
The above is, of course, the textbook prediction by sportsbooks. None of those teams could be said to have a bad season last time around. Disappointing perhaps, but all six were in the postseason. It’s 2018’s underachievers who probably make the most interesting reading. For example, the Washington Nationals, whose fans will be obsessed with Bryce Harper over the coming months, were poor last season. But regardless if their bearded messiah re-signs are not, it’s a reasonably decent team in D.C. The sportsbooks are sitting on the fence though, with odds of +1800.
West coast AL teams given long odds
However, the most interesting candidates, in terms of betting value, all sit on the west coast: the Seattle Mariners +6000, LA Angels +4000 and Oakland Athletics +3500. The Mariners, in particular, have a huge price, considering the ball club is ambitious and was in contention all the way up to September in the AL West. Consider the fact that the Mariners won 89 games last season and the World Series finalists, LA Dodgers, won just three more in the regular season.
As for the teams to avoid, it seems there might be a bit of undue optimism around the Mets +2500 and Phillies +2000. Both teams have long-suffering fans that have had to suffer inconsistent and bang-average baseball over the last few years. Despite what some might say, they are not a Manny Machado or Bryce Harper away from contention. At the very bottom of the list comes the Tigers, Royals, Marlins and Orioles, all at a massive +25000. Although, we are approaching miracle territory here. Still, there was plenty of negativity around the Red Sox this time last year, and we all know how that turned out.