World Series odds: Teams to buy, sell in final weeks of MLB season
Three teams have already clinched a playoff spot with roughly a dozen games left in this MLB campaign, leaving seven spots open in what promises to be a wild postseason. This is also the perfect time to buy low on clubs with safe profiles or take a swing on high-upside teams with long-shot prices.
Here are the current World Series odds at theScore Bet and our biggest buy and sell candidates ahead of the final two weeks of the regular season:
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+325|
|San Francisco Giants||+500|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+550|
|Chicago White Sox||+700|
|New York Yankees||+1500|
|Boston Red Sox||+2000|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+2000|
|San Diego Padres||+4500|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+4500|
|New York Mets||+12500|
|Los Angeles Angels||+400000|
Chicago White Sox (+700)
The White Sox have lost some of their luster after posting a 31-29 record since the All-Star break and an 8-9 record in September. Still, they're a near-lock to win the AL Central and have everything you'd want from a World Series contender.
Chicago's lineup ranks fifth in wOBA (.327) and second in OBP (.333) across the entire season and should enter the playoffs healthy with Tim Anderson, Luis Robert, and Eloy Jimenez finally in the order together. The former two are both hitting over .300 - Robert's .350 average leads all players with at least 250 plate appearances - while Jimenez's 29 RBIs since Aug. 1 are tied for 31st in MLB and rank second on the team behind Jose Abreu (36).
Chicago's vaunted rotation has taken a hit with Dallas Keuchel's struggles and Carlos Rodon's injury concerns, but this is still an elite group with ace Lucas Giolito, Cy Young contender Lance Lynn, and breakout star Dylan Cease flanked by the AL's most electric bullpen. On paper, this is the most complete team this side of Los Angeles and arguably the safest bet in the AL.
Toronto Blue Jays (+2000)
The team has done so behind MLB's best lineup per wOBA (.340) and xSLG (.443). Toronto is led by MVP contender Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (.320/.410/.614), who currently leads qualified AL batters in all three slash-line stats and home runs (46). The Jays' rotation is impressive, too, boasting the AL's best ERA (3.53) over the back half of the season with Cy Young favorite Robbie Ray (2.72) as the anchor.
There's risk in backing a team teetering on the wild-card line, but this price won't exist if the Blue Jays make the postseason field. And if they do, watch out.
Los Angeles Dodgers (+325) and San Francisco Giants (+500)
Look, this has nothing to do with either of these rosters, which have been phenomenal en route to likely 100-win campaigns. This has everything to do with their situations heading into their final 12 regular-season games.
The Dodgers and Giants are both a coin flip away from landing in the NL wild-card game - which, by design, is a virtual coin flip to advance to the divisional series. Why would anyone want to lay such short odds on a team that could easily be one loss away from elimination?
Both of these teams are already priced like No. 1 seeds, relative to their talent level, so their odds aren't likely to change all that much if they escape the wild-card round - or survive it. You're better off waiting either way.
Tampa Bay Rays (+550)
The Rays have clearly exceeded expectations this year, especially at the plate, and deserve some praise for doing so. But who on this staff do you trust pitching in October?
Tyler Glasnow and Chris Archer, the team's top-two options entering the year, are out for the season. Veterans Ryan Yarbrough (5.30 ERA) and Michael Wacha (5.56) have been disappointments, while potential starters Shane McClanahan (24 years old), Drew Rasmussen (25), Luis Patino (21), and Shane Baz (22) have a combined eight career postseason innings - and zero playoff starts - among them.
We saw this team make a World Series run last year, albeit with a more reliable staff and an all-time run from Randy Arozarena. I simply don't buy the same magic this time around, especially at this price.
New York Yankees (+1500)
It's not often that a team with worse than a 50% chance to make the playoffs would be dealing at a price this short in the final two weeks of September. That's the "Yankees tax" at work, and you're better off not paying it for a club mired in an 8-15 slump down the stretch.
That run has New York on the outside of the AL playoff field with 11 games to go, and we simply haven't seen enough consistency with this group to expect a sustained push for the second wild-card spot. If the Yankees make the field, they've got the talent to win it, but this is a fool's price to bet on such a risky outcome.