The MLB playoff bracket is set and the postseason starts Tuesday. Cleveland is the betting favorite but are the Indians the most likely team to win the World Series?

TeamOdds (5Dimes)Fan Graphs %Baseball Prospectus %Consensus%
Cleveland Indians+33023.825.224.5
Los Angeles Dodgers+38016.318.817.55
Houston Astros+45516.91214.45
Chicago Cubs+7751110.410.7
Washington Nationals+8251313.213.1
Boston Red Sox+8509.44.46.9
New York Yankees+135047.65.8
Arizona Diamondbacks+18502.75.34
Colorado Rockies+33001.61.81.7
Minnesota Twins+330011.31.15

The Tribe is seeking its second straight World Series appearance. After winning 102 games, best in the American League, Cleveland is the consensus favorite according to Fan Graphs and Baseball Prospectus.

Math (simulations) give the Indians a 24.5% chance of winning the title. With +330 odds, implied probability of 23.3%, there is value betting the World Series favorite. Cleveland, by WAR, has the best pitching staff of all-time, is 4th in offensive WAR and 8th in fielding.

MLB Playoffs are random. The best or most likely team doesn’t always win. In fact, in the 22 years of the wild card era the team with the best record has won it all just three times.

If the Indians come up short again, which team is the next best bet? The Dodgers (17.6%) and Astros (14.5%) have the second and third best probability but neither offers value.

Washington (+825) has the fifth best odds according to the bookmakers. Fan Graphs and Baseball Prospectus gives the Nats a consensus chance of 13.1%. It is easy to make a case for NL East champs with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg anchoring the pitching staff and former MVP Bryce Harper returning to the lineup after missing 42 games with a knee injury.

It’s the postseason, anyone can win but the Indians and Nationals are the best bets to capture the World Series.


2017 MLB Playoffs

Betting Against the Public: 107-75 (58.8%), +51.42 units since 2005

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