The Houston Astros are the 2017 World Series Champions but they aren’t the favorites to win it all in 2018.
— Bet Labs Sports (@Bet_Labs) November 2, 2017
Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers came within one game of winning the club’s first title since 1988 but the oddsmakers think they have a good chance to redeem themselves next October. L.A. won 104 games this year and brings back nearly the entire roster, that according to FanGraphs, was top 5 in batting, pitching and fielding WAR. Yet, preseason World Series favorites don’t win it all.
Here is every preseason favorite, using the data from SportsOddsHistory, since 2004. In three years more than one team had the best odds to win the championship.
|Year||Favorite||Make Playoffs||Win World Series|
|2016||Toronto Blue Jays||Yes||No|
|2015||Los Angeles Dodgers||Yes||No|
|2014||Los Angeles Dodgers||Yes||No|
|Los Angeles Angels||No||No|
|2010||New York Yankees||Yes||No|
|2009||New York Yankees||Yes||Yes|
|2008||Boston Red Sox||Yes||No|
|New York Mets||No||No|
|2007||New York Yankees||Yes||No|
|2006||New York Yankees||Yes||No|
|2005||New York Yankees||Yes||No|
|2004||New York Yankees||Yes||No|
Only one squad, the 2009 New York Yankees managed to win the World Series after being pegged by the bookmakers as the favorites.
Maybe the Dodgers will be the exception to the rule but betting them now is still not a sharp play. In the chart below are the World Series favorites once the season ended since 2009 and how the odds changed over the course of the season. Of the twelve teams, bettors would be able to get a better price or the same odds on ten of the teams if they waited five months and placed a wager before opening day.
It is difficult to predict which team will win the World Series after a 162 games, trying to do so almost a year out from the playoffs is impossible. Plus, a future bet at this time ties up a chunk of your bankroll. Bottom line, don’t bet the Dodgers (right now) to win the World Series.
|Year||Team||After World Series||Before Season||All-Star Break||Before Playoffs|
|2016||Toronto Blue Jays||+1000||+1450||+1265||+1350|
|2015||Los Angeles Dodgers||+650||+650||+650||+450|
|2014||Los Angeles Dodgers||+500||+700||+650||+450|
|Los Angeles Angels||+800||+800||+2500||N/A|
|2010||New York Yankees||+300||+325||+275||+330|
|2009||New York Yankees||+300||+300||+400||+175|