World Series odds update: Rays, A's both trending up after win streaks
The MLB season has taken a wacky turn this week as umpires crack down on foreign substances used by pitchers, who have reacted somewhat comically to the league's new protocols. Will the new emphasis on "clean" pitching close the gap between title contenders and long shots?
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+325|
|Chicago White Sox||+700|
|New York Mets||+700|
|San Diego Padres||+800|
|New York Yankees||+1100|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+1200|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+2000|
|Boston Red Sox||+2200|
|San Francisco Giants||+2500|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+4000|
|Los Angeles Angels||+6000|
|Kansas City Royals||+11000|
Tampa Bay Rays (+1200)
After opening the season as 15-1 contenders in the World Series market, the Rays tumbled down the standings and found themselves as 30-1 long shots in May. Then came the win streak - Tampa Bay ripped off 24 wins in 29 games from mid-May to mid-June, winning 11 straight at one point, to seize the top spot in the AL East.
That all came crashing down amid a seven-game losing streak dating back to June 15, a day after Tyler Glasnow suffered a serious elbow injury that jeopardized his campaign. With their ace, the Rays are a flawed but interesting team in the postseason. Without him, they're merely frisky.
As any bettor knows, "frisky" isn't exactly what you hope you're paying for at 12-1 odds. Glasnow may return before the playoffs, after all, but there's simply too much risk here to pay the price for essentially one good month.
Oakland Athletics (+1200)
The Athletics have hovered around the 20-1 range since the start of the season, even as they followed a six-game losing streak with 13 straight victories early in the year. But their recent success has finally convinced oddsmakers to make an adjustment.
That's what happens when you win 11 of your first 13 games in June, as Oakland did before a 1-3 bump in its last four. The A's still boast the second-best record in June (14-5) thanks to a top-10 rotation and a lineup that's produced the third-most runs (114) in the majors since June 1.
This team still lacks a bona fide ace, despite four starters owning a FIP below 4.00 and their bats having hit well above their pay grade for most of the year. There are clear regression concerns at this price, but Oakland's floor is among the highest in the majors.
St. Louis Cardinals (+4000)
The Cardinals have a pitching problem, and the results haven't been pretty. After losing starters Jack Flaherty and Miles Mikolas in late May, St. Louis has posted the fourth-worst record in June (6-13) as the club's starters compile a cumulative 6.06 ERA - fifth-worst in the majors.
That mark might be survivable if the Cardinals didn't also post the second-lowest wOBA (.268) in that span, plating a league-low 56 runs as their rotation was shellacked on the other end. Even with Nolan Arenado in the fold, this isn't a special lineup - the highest batting average among qualified batters belongs to Tyler O'Neill (.276), while regulars Paul DeJong (.165) and Matt Carpenter (.179) are both below the Mendoza line.
Those guys won't hit .200 all season, while Arenado and teammate Tommy Edman will likely emerge from recent slumps before long. Still, even if they improve and Flaherty returns at full strength, this team is much closer to also-ran than a legitimate World Series contender.
Atlanta Braves (+3000)
Forget the World Series - can the Braves even make the playoffs? After the club opened at 9-1 and dealt around that price for most of the season, a rash of injuries decimated Atlanta's rotation. Max Fried's injury this week landed him alongside fellow starters Mike Soroka, Huascar Ynoa, Tucker Davidson, and Touki Toussaint on a loaded injured list.
The good news: Not all of those injuries are serious, and the Braves have still managed league-average numbers with a rotating stable of arms. There's less concern over the team's lineup, with MVP candidate Ronald Acuna (.285/.394/.602) leading a supporting cast of young surging bats.
A 10-11 record so far in June has Atlanta four games behind the Mets for the NL East lead, which is certainly doable once this club gets back some key pieces. It's still worth buying at this price on a team that, when healthy, is among the best in all of baseball.
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