Let’s get something straight right off the bat: The All-Star Game in Major League Baseball, the NBA or NHL isn’t the halfway point of the season even though it’s often referred to as such. All teams have played well past half their regular-season games by the All-Star break. That’s certainly the case in MLB where most teams have played at least 90 of their 162 games.
However, it’s a natural checkpoint for updated World Series odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Los Angeles Dodgers have the best record in baseball and might win the NL West by 25-plus games. They are +270 favorites to win their first World Series since 1988 and about to get that much better when they re-start play Friday. That’s because former NL Rookie of the Year and shortstop Corey Seager and center fielder and big offseason acquisition A.J. Pollock are both expected to be activated Friday off the injured list.
Seager has been out since June 13 with a hamstring strain and Pollock since late April due to an elbow injury. Barring massive injury, the Dodgers should have home-field advantage throughout the World Series. The Boston Red Sox had that last year and won it, but in 2017 the Dodgers had it and lost Game 7 of the Fall Classic at home to the Houston Astros.
The Red Sox are down at +2500 to repeat at sports betting sites and they wouldn’t even make the playoffs as things stand. Boston isn’t catching the New York Yankees (+333 to win the World Series) for the AL East title so it’s a Wild-Card spot or bust for the Red Sox. They badly need help in their bullpen and perhaps rotation ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.
Both the Yankees and Astros (+375) are also active in the trade market, both eyeing starting pitching. The next big shift on World Series odds likely will come on August 1 after the trade deadline. The Dodgers may not have any flaws, but they probably will add pitching too.
The Chicago Cubs’ World Series odds have risen to +2000. Since sweeping three games over the rival St. Louis Cardinals (+4000) from June 6-9, the Cubbies have largely struggled and they are simply not a good team away from Wrigley Field. Joe Maddon’s team hasn’t won a road series since May 17-19 at the Washington Nationals (+2800). If the Cubs don’t make the playoffs, Maddon won’t be back next season as manager – book on that.
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