The 2016 MLB World Series is still months away, which leaves us plenty of time to throw down some solid MLB bets when it comes to which teams we think can win it all. The favorites won’t be surprising anyone, as the Chicago Cubs have the best overall odds per Bovada (+350) and unsurprisingly have the best record in all of baseball at 35-14. They boast elite pitching and have an offense that can match wits with just about anyone.
As mighty as the preseason favorites appear, they do have some stiff challengers right behind them, as five other teams have at least 30 wins and/or boast elite offenses. The Boston Red Sox have emerged as a real threat, while the Seattle Mariners might be one of the biggest surprises of the young season.
We could be in for more surprise, though, especially if a team with middling or terrible odds heats up and makes a late run. But are there actually some sleepers to fear?
Feared or not, there certainly are a few that would make for a fun bet, and we’ve got three you should probably consider before the odds see a shift:
Houston Astros (+4000)
Houston is the most fun bet at the moment due to actual talent, upside and odds. Vegas doesn’t see them as a total failure here, but these odds also don’t paint them as a playoff team just yet. We know they can be, though, especially if their top arms end up coming around and consistently producing on the mound. The return of Lance McCullers seems to have re-energized their defense, and hopefully a solid outing by Dallas Keuchel recently can also get him back on track. The big question mark continues to be Houston’s bullpen and erratic offense, however.
We know they have the top level pitching and power to compete with anyone, but closing out close games and getting consistent offense will be the two keys. Right now they’re still under .500 and have an uphill battle with the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners ahead of them, but a recent 7-3 run shows how good they can be if they put it all together. Just a $100 bet on them to win it all now could net you $4,000 if they somehow pull it off later this year.
New York Yankees (+3300)
New York might be a more realistic bet, yet they have just slightly better odds and still offer a nice payout per a $100 bet. They have a much better shot at making the playoffs and going deep in the playoffs, too, as they have probably the best bullpen in the league and in the last few weeks have slowly overcome an awful start to the 2016 MLB season.
New York is getting a little healthier with A-Rod back in the saddle and in the pitching department they are actually getting good games out of C.C. Sabathia. If he and the other aces can hold serve long enough to see the offense pick things back up, the Yanks could push back up past the Baltimore Orioles and compete for the wild card spot. Their offense has randomly been their weakness, though, so it remains to be determined if it can figure itself out.
St. Louis Cardinals (+3300)
A legit World Series contender a year ago, the Cardinals had the league’s best record and looked like the top defensive team in all of baseball. That hasn’t really leaked into 2016, unfortunately, as their pitching has gone majorly down hill and their defense as a whole has suffered.
Thankfully St. Louis has been amazing offensively – so good in fact that they enter June with the second most runs in baseball. That looks to be something they can keep up at the moment, so the only question for the third best team in the NL Central is if their once strong pitching can raise it’s level of play. Michael Wacha and Adam Wainwright were former staples of an elite defense and they’ve been largely trash, but there also have been small signs of them getting things figured out. If they can make it all the way back and get even remotely close to where their offense is, the Cards will quickly be a real threat.
Obviously none of these teams would return payouts as insane as, say, the Atlanta Braves (+100000 to win it all), but they actually have an argument to support a hot run and, you know, a playoff appearance The Braves have fun odds, but they’re not making the playoffs.
None of that means you need to bet on the Astros, Yanks or Cardinals winning it all this year, but they all could have a shot and there is enough talent there to warrant a shot in the dark bet. Regardless of what you do, there is still a lot of season left and before you know it, any one of these fun bets could quickly turn into a smart or obvious bet. Getting in on that action early cements these playable odds while the getting is good.