A number of teams have narrowed their World Series odds considerable from the first day of the season to now, and you would probably be surprised at which two teams have cut those odds the most.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Yes, the Dodgers entered the season as one of the favorites to win the World Series, which would be their first title in 29 years. However, they have shortened those original odds of 10-1 by four-fifths to 2-1. Only one other team has cut its odds by that large of a ratio.
L.A. opened its season with a 15-14 record, losing to the rival San Francisco Giants, 4-1 in 11 innings, on May 3 at Dodger Stadium. That result dropped the team to that mediocre mark and 2-1/2 games out of first place in the NL West as well. However, they went 18-6 over their next 24 contests in taking over sole possession of first place for the initial time on May 30. Although they quickly dropped back to second place, they remained close and took over the NL West’s top spot for good on June 21 and now lead the division by 20 games.
Will Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger and Clayton Kershaw be able to lead the Dodgers through the series of sprints that the playoffs are comprised of and to the team’s first World Series title since Kirk Gibson hobbled around the bases in 1988?
The other team to cut its odds by four-fifths is Arizona as the Diamondbacks were 100-1 to win the World Series at the start of the season, and those odds are currently 20-1. Still a long shot for sure, but now with a shout. The reason for that is because the team has exceeded expectations this season in improving upon its 69-93 record a year ago to being 67-56 heading into the final full week of August. The Diamondbacks may be 20 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West, but they are looking solid for earning a wild card spot, and just getting into the playoffs is half the battle.
Are Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb and Zack Greinke going to be able to secure that wild card spot, get the Diamondbacks past that game and then through three playoff series? If they do, it will be Arizona’s second title and first since Luis Gonzalez stunned Mariano Rivera and the Yankees to win game seven of the 2001 Fall Classic in walk-off fashion.
Between the two teams that have shaken up the World Series odds the most, the Dodgers’ odds are inflated the most. Playoffs in baseball are nothing like in football and basketball. They’re very unpredictable. So, the Dodgers being 12 games ahead of every other team in baseball is not as meaningful as it would be in those other two sports. As a result, Arizona at 20-1 is more likely to be accurate World Series odds than 2-1 for L.A., and a better pick.