Baseball’s 162-game regular season can feel endless at times. But now isn’t one of them. Maybe it’s because the Phillies still have a winning record, but I was shocked to look-up the other day and find that we’re already at the quarterpole in the 2016 campaign.
If this year is like every other than came before it, plenty of unpredictable injuries and transactions are on the horizon. But we now have a significant sample size of games played that we can use to figure out what lies ahead. There’s real in-season data and we’re not simply breaking down who looks best on paper.
Apart from a few certainties, this looks like a season where anything can happen and a lot of teams will remain in the mix throughout the summer. Heck, even those upstart Phillies remain optimistic about their chances. Really, the only guarantees at this point are that the Twins and Braves suck.
On that note, here are the current odds for the biggest MLB props and some thoughts on where the 2016 season is heading.
Boston Red Sox: 13/2
Cleveland Indians: 15/1
Texas Rangers: 18/1
Toronto Blue Jays: 20/1
Chicago White Sox: 22/1
Washington Nationals: 15/2
Chicago Cubs: 8/1
San Francisco Giants: 10/1
New York Mets: 14/1
Pittsburgh Pirates: 15/1
Boston is the new favorite. A big part of that is residing in the less competitive (at least at the top) American League. The Red Sox offense is off to an outstanding start and there’s reason to believe the pitching will continue to improve. In a league without dominant teams, Boston has the potential to become a clear favorite.
The Cubs continue to dominate the headlines and the NL standings, but they’re just one of a handful of excellent teams in the Senior Circuit. The Nationals, Mets (still waiting on you, Matt Harvey), and Giants have impressive starting pitching and will be in the mix come October.
Boston Red Sox: 1/6
Toronto Blue Jays: 11/9
Baltimore Orioles: 3/2
New York Yankees: 7/3
Tampa Rays: 8/1
Cleveland Indians: 3/7
Chicago White Sox: 11/9
Kansas City Royals: 13/7
Detroit Tigers: 10/1
Minnesota Twins: 200/1
Texas Rangers: 2/3
Seattle Mariners: 3/2
Houston Astros: 13/7
Los Angeles Angels: 30/1
Oakland Athletics: 35/1
Washington Nationals: 3/17
New York Mets: 1/4
Florida Marlins: 24/1
Philadelphia Phillies: 32/1
Atlanta Braves: 300/1
Chicago Cubs: 1/19
Pittsburgh Pirates: 2/3
St. Louis Cardinals: 2/1
Milwaukee Brewers: 50/1
Cincinnati Reds: 100/1
San Francisco Giants: 1/4
Los Angeles Dodgers: 3/2
Colorado Rockies: 16/1
Arizona Diamondbacks: 24/1
San Diego Padres: 50/1
The National League has the powerhouse teams and should have a fantastic postseason. However, the regular season has the potential to lack drama. It looks like just seven teams have a legitimate shot at earning one of the five playoff spots. The A.L. remains much more wide open and competitive from top to bottom.
Cespedes currently leads the MLB in homers but the powerful (and struggling) Stanton remains the favorite. Todd Frazier is perhaps the biggest surprise on the list. The White Sox slugger has been a huge part of the team’s early season success.
Chris Sale (Chicago White Sox): 1/1
Cole Hamels (Texas Rangers): 10/1
Felix Hernandez (Seattle Mariners): 12/1
Josh Tomlin (Cleveland Indians): 15/1
Rich Hill (Oakland Athletics): 18/1
Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers): 3/1
Noah Syndergaard (New York Mets): 4/1
Jake Arrieta (Chicago Cubs): 9/2
Madison Bumgarner (San Francisco Giants): 8/1
Stephen Strasburg (Washington Nationals): 10/1
One quarter of the way through the season, Chris Sale is about as big of a favorite as possible. The White Sox ace has been exceptional and is clearly ahead of the pack. The biggest debate about the A.L candidates is who is the second choice.
Several guys are having dominating starts in the National League. Clayton Kershaw remains the favorite… if you haven’t noticed, he has a history of being pretty good.
Chris Sale (Chicago White Sox): 9/11
Jake Arrieta (Chicago Cubs): 11/9
Tough to go wrong with either of these arms. Despite Arrieta having the better team, Sale’s stuff is a bit more consistent. This one will be tight and both are likely to eclipse the 20-win plateau.
Jake Arrieta (Chicago Cubs): 300/1
Stephen Strasburg (Washington Nationals): 500/1
These guys are great and they currently have everything going their way. Special seasons: yes; 20-0: not so much.
An amazing accomplishment for Bradley but Dimaggio’s record is not in jeopardy. The longer this lasts, the more fun it is for us fans; but this is one of the greatest records in sports and is highly unlikely to be challenged. Hot hitters get thrown fewer strikes and draw more walks, which makes it more difficult to accumulate hits. Even more importantly, the media attention and pressure will intensify every single day.
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