Bettors who like baseball but do not necessarily enjoy day-to-day 5-innings bets and other MLB pastimes during the summer have an alternative in World Series futures markets.
With action beginning to ramp up as the MLB preseason approaches, which clubs have the best chance at winning a handsome sum for gamblers who took them in February?
There is no clear favorite. The New York Yankees are currently enjoying 7/1 odds to win the 2019 Fall Classic at BetOnline. But the defending-champion Boston Red Sox are only slightly behind at 15/2.
The old rivals could be similar ballclubs in 2019, with dangerous power-hitting backed up by strong pitching and excellent management. Skipper Aaron Boone led the Yankees to a promising run at the grail in 2018, and looks to take the Bronx Bombers back to the promised land this season for the first time since 2009. He’ll have help from another Aaron – outfielder Aaron Judge who posted a slugging percentage of .528 last season. But the Yankees face questions on defense after a poor fielding year. Meanwhile, Boston manager Alex Cora thwarted expectations in his debut season by dominating all of baseball with a 108-54 record. His available bats include the 1-2 punch of Andrew Benintendi and defending American League MVP Mookie Betts.
Houston is next at 8/1. The Astros won the World Series in 2017 and have nabbed 2 consecutive AL West pennants. Key replacements need to be found to replenish the pitching rotation heading into 2019, however. Outside of Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, who had 31 wins between them in 2018, there are question marks. Fielding has been immaculate as the club committed the fewest errors in the league and had the top fielding percentage in baseball last summer.
Manager Dave Roberts has led the Dodgers (8/1) to the doorstep of a World Series in 2 consecutive seasons. The back-to-back National League champs have a record of 287-200 since Roberts took over in 2016 and an NL best +800 odds to win the 2019 title. The loss of the thrilling Yasiel Puig and his 23 home runs will leave a hole to fill in the lineup, and the Dodgers may not prove to be as dynamic without his bat. But L.A. has a crop of talented young pitchers in the rotation behind celebrated starters Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler.
Several ballclubs at 12/1 could emerge including the Chicago Cubs, one of the steadiest run-producing teams in baseball under Joe Maddon. The St. Louis Cardinals (also 12-to-1 at BetOnline) acquired 1st baseman Paul Goldschmidt from the Diamondbacks in the offseason.
We’re especially feeling the Milwaukee Brewers at 14/1, though. The Brewers were among the most dominant hitting teams of ’18 with 218 home runs. The potent trio of Jesus Aguilar, Christian Yelich and Travis Shaw combined for 103 home runs and added 304 RBIs.
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