For much of the 2015 MLB season, the Kansas City Royals (73-46) and St. Louis Cardinals (77-43) have been the best teams in the American League and National League, respectively. With the start of the playoffs less than seven weeks away, baseball could be looking at an all-Missouri World Series.
Kansas City has all but clinched the Central Division, leading the second-place Minnesota Twins by 14.5 games. St. Louis and their MLB-best record have a five-game lead on the Pittsburgh Pirates, as well as 10 more wins than the No.2 NL wild-card team. The teams’ regular-season dominance and betting odds indicate that they might be on a collision course to meet in the Fall Classic.
According to Bovada.lv, the Royals have +450 odds to win the World Series. In addition, their AL Pennant odds stand at +225. The Cardinals are the favorites in the NL with +650 World Series odds and +275 NL Pennant odds.
The Toronto Blue Jays might be the biggest obstacle in creating a rematch of the World Series from 30 years ago. The Blue Jays lead all of baseball with +400 championship odds and +200 pennant odds.
Toronto is no guarantee to reach the postseason. They trail the New York Yankees by three games in the loss column for first place in the AL East. As the No.1 wild-card team, they have a three-game lead on the Baltimore Orioles, who are currently out of the playoffs. While Toronto made significant upgrades at the trade deadline, winning a wild-card berth means they wouldn’t get home-field advantage in any AL playoff series, and they are just 26-32 on the road.
Both the Royals and Cardinals are headed towards having home-field advantage in their first two playoff series, and no team has been more dominant in their own stadium than either club. St. Louis leads MLB with a 46-19 record at home, while Kansas City is 42-20 at Kauffman Stadium.
Having the best odds might not mean much when the playoffs finally begin. Last year, the Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers were given the top odds to reach the World Series, and neither team even made it out of the division series for an all-Southern California World Series. Only the Pirates were given worse odds in the NL than the San Francisco Giants, the eventual World Series Champs. Kansas City was named the biggest longshot in the playoffs, and they made it all the way to Game 7 of the World Series.
But the Royals and Cardinals have more than just good betting odds to indicate that they will make a title run in 2015. St. Louis’ 2.61 ERA is by far the best in baseball, and Kansas City ranks fifth with a 3.51 team ERA. No team is better late in games, as the Cardinals and Royals rank in the top two in bullpen ERA.
St. Louis and Kansas City have split their four head-to-head matchups in 2015 with both teams scoring 12 total runs. They combined to have 13 players in the All-Star Game.