Sure, the Bryce Harper and Manny Machado bombs have yet to land, but that won’t stop oddsmakers from thinking about the upcoming baseball season. Some familiar teams reside at the top and bottom of the preseason projections. Here’s an early look at 2019 world series odds.
New York Yankees (+700)
The Bronx Bombers were back with a vengeance last season! New York was one of just three 100-win teams in 2019. The only problem is they share the AL East with the Boston Red Sox, a team that finished with 108 wins, eight games ahead of the Yanks. There’s no question about this team’s offense. Last season Giancarlo Stanton, Didi Gregorius and Aaron Judge combined for 92 home runs. That’s why Brian Cashman has made a concerted effort to improve New York’s pitching staff. James Paxton, J.A. Happ and Zach Britton is not a bad start at all, when trying to overhaul that staff. And, oh yeah, could the team still add a Harper-sized bat to the lineup as well? Regardless, betonline.ag tentatively lists New York as the world series favorite.
Boston Red Sox (+750)
Already a world series contender, the Boston Red Sox just casually added J.D. Martinez in late February of last off-season. All Martinez did was lead the majors with 130 RBIs and finish second among all players with 43 home runs. Not a bad contribution for a guy who couldn’t find the contract he was seeking in free agency. Boston set a franchise record for wins on their way to a title. But, there are a few reasons why the defending champs are not given the best odds to repeat in 2019. It seems inevitable the squad will lose Craig Kimbrel. That’s a big blow to any bullpen. The loss of Kimbrel could prove to be the difference between first and second place in the AL East.
Houston Astros (+800)
Houston, we have no problems! Arguably the most complete team in the league won 103 games last season, trailing only Boston’s 108. The best way to show just how balanced this team is, offensively and defensively, is to look at one telling statistic. Houston had a run differential of plus-263 last season. Not only was that the best mark in the league, it was 34 runs better than the next-highest team, and a whopping, 69 more than the third-best team in that category. The AL West could be as tight as it has been in years, with the A’s, Angels and Mariners all expected to improve. Even so, the Astros should win the division by a healthy margin.
Miami Marlins (+15000)
Year two of the Derek Jeter-era can’t get much worse than year one… right? Well, maybe not. Yesterday’s trade of Catcher J.T. Realmuto was expected, but still not easy to stomach. The 27-year-old was an all-star for the Marlins last season, one of the few bright spots. But the Marlins’ desire to get younger while shedding massive amounts of salary continues. Miami finished last in the NL East with a 63-98 record last season. Is there a single team in that division that doesn’t expect to improve in 2019? Most pundits expect Miami to finish dead-last in the NL once again.
Baltimore Orioles (+25000)
The long and painful rebuild is underway once again in Baltimore. Finishing 61 games back of first place put the Orioles in the record books. That’s the sixth-largest deficit in the modern era (1900-present). Baltimore’s 47 wins rank among some of the game’s all-time worst teams, including the 1915 Philadelphia Athletics and 1911 St. Louis Browns. So, there’s nowhere to go but up, right? Orioles management purged the roster of talent last season, including Machado, Britton and Jonathan Schoop. Buck Showalter was replaced with Brandon Hyde as the team underwent major changes from top to bottom in the off-season. Plus, Baltimore still owes underachieving slugger Chris Davis more than $21 million for each of the next four seasons.