We’re at the halfway mark of the Major League Baseball season and it’s a good time to reflect on which teams are playing better than expected and which sides are disappointing us more than the second season of The Wire.
We looked at the World Series odds just before the first pitch of the 2017 regular season and compared those to the current odds at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.
March odds: 100/1
Current odds: 14/1
Entering the season, oddsmakers knew the Diamondbacks could rake. Led by perennial NL MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona finished the 2016 campaign ranked 10th in runs scored. The team finished dead last, however, in team ERA at 5.09.
This year the D-backs trail only the Los Angeles Dodgers for best team ERA in the big leagues at 3.37. Arizona backers can thank a bounce back year from Zack Greinke and one of the best bullpens in baseball for the improvement.
Also worth noting: Arizona owns the best win-loss record in one-run games at 18-10.
March odds: 300/1
Current odds: 60/1
Only the Cincinnati Reds had worse odds to win the World Series than the Brewers in the National League Central division. Well, the team that was projected to finish second last in the division is in first place heading into the All-Star break.
The Brewers don’t go about their business quietly. Their success is measured by every ball they mash over the outfield fences. Milwaukee is second in the majors in home runs and fourth in slugging percentage.
There isn’t much star power on the mound for the Brew Crew outside of all-star closer Corey Knebel. Bettors know the Brewers must out-bash opponents to keep up the results in the second half of season.
San Francisco Giants
March odds: 12/1
Current odds: 200/1
Didn’t Vegas get the memo? It’s only in even years San Francisco becomes a giant in the baseball world. San Fran won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014 and last year went 87-75.
The Giants’ record in odd years since 2011? Not as good. That’s on you, Vegas.
Still the Giants have been a regular 80-plus win team this decade and they are on pace to lose 100 games this season. Everyone expected a drop when team ace Madison Bumgarner was placed on the 60-day DL back in April, but not for the bottom to fall out this quickly.
March odds: 20/1
Current odds: 100/1
Is Miguel Cabrera a Detroit Tiger or a paper tiger? Will the judges accept both as correct answers?
Miggy finished last year third in the American League in OPS but ranks near 40th in 2017. It was bound to happen. This is Cabrera’s 15th season in the bigs and those wrists have to slow down at some point.
Cabrera isn’t the only star losing his shine in Detroit. Justin Verlander, who many feel should have won the AL Cy Young in 2016, is battling through one of his worst campaigns as a professional. He’s carrying a 4.96 ERA and is closing in on matching his walk total from a year ago with half the season still to go.