We’re sort of at the official start of baseball season, or at least one of the multiple official starts that will roll through over the next six weeks. Although predictions and gambling odds aren’t quite the same thing, they both serve the same purpose of fueling debates. One of the most popular betting agencies is Bovada, and they recently listed their World Series favorites. The odds are as follows.
Hey, look at the team at the top! It’s the Red Sox, tied with the Cubs. Although that’s a World Series that would have been more exciting 13 years ago, it’d still be a hell of a matchup. It is now that I mention that odds aren’t just based on how talented the oddsmakers believe each team is, but rather how they expect other people to judge each team. The Red Sox and Cubs are big name teams, and Boston in particular has been in the news quite a bit this winter. People who may not be as familiar with the rest of the league know who the Red Sox are, know that they just got Chris Sale, and know that they are generally one of the better teams in the league. They are a relatively safe team to bet on for more casual baseball fans.
Basically, this is my way of saying that I wouldn’t put them quite so high on this list. Obviously, that’s not to say that I believe they aren’t a great team. They are! It would not be at all surprising if they made a run into November. With that being said, I’d put the Cubs, the Indians and possibly the Dodgers all ahead of them. Chicago should go without saying, but Cleveland seems to be more disagreeable. Their rotation still scares me, as does their bullpen. On top of that, they should have a great lineup with Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor having another year under their belts, and the addition of Edwin Encarnacion combined with the return of Michael Brantley gives them a formidable duo in the middle to add to Carlos Santana. The Red Sox aren’t far behind them in my mind, but I’d give a slight edge to Cleveland.
Looking elsewhere at the odds, there aren’t too many surprises. These came out before the Cardinals learned they may be without Alex Reyes all year, so theirs will likely come down in the next few days. Besides that, the strangest ranking I can find is the White Sox. They are clearly rebuilding, and yet they have the same odds as teams like the Angels, Marlins and Rays who probably won’t be playoff teams but certainly could if things break correctly. I can’t see that happening on the South Side.
So, what do you think? Is Bovada too high on the Red Sox or am I just a pessimistic ass? (Or both)?