It’s been quite the turnaround season for the Boston Red Sox. In 2012, the club had their worst year since 1965. Just 12 months later, they are favored to win the World Series.
Following the wild card round,the Red Sox have the best betting odds to win the title. Their 97 wins led the American League and tied the team for the top record in all of baseball. The Red Sox were dominant throughout the entire season, remaining in first place for the final two months. They won the AL East, which featured four teams over .500, by six games.
In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals also led the way with 97 victories. However, they aren’t expected to represent the NL in the World Series. Instead, the Los Angeles Dodgers have the best odds of playing in the Fall Classic.
L.A. began the year as the favorites in the NL after spending big money on Zack Greinke and trading for players like Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez last year. Following a slow start, no team has played better than the Dodgers over the final 90 games. Los Angeles went 62-28 during that time. Clayton Kershaw led the team with a 1.83 earned-run average, almost guaranteeing him the Cy Young award and making him a contender for the MVP.
The Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals come in at third and fourth, respectively. They’ve had the most success in recent years of any remaining playoff team. The Tigers were swept by the San Francisco Giants in last season’s World Series and lost in the 2011 ALCS. They have the best hitter in the Majors in Miguel Cabrera, who just won his third consecutive batting title. The Cardinals won the title in 2011 and were defeated in seven games in the 2012 NLCS.
The Tampa Bay Rays and Pittsburgh Pirates have the worst World Series odds. Both teams had to win their one-game wild card playoff, while the Rays also had to defeat the Texas Rangers in a play-in game before making the postseason.
Most of the recent champions have been division winners. Only one of the last eight World Series winners was a wild card team. The 2009 New York Yankees were the last team that finished the regular with the best record to win it all.
All betting odds are courtesy of Bovada.lv. The 2013 World Series is scheduled to begin on Oct.23. The AL representative will have home-field advantage.
Boston Red Sox 15/4
Los Angeles Dodgers 9/2
Detroit Tigers 19/4
St. Louis Cardinals 11/2
Atlanta Braves 7/1
Oakland Athletics 15/2
Tampa Bay Rays 8/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 10/1