After several high-profile trades just before Major League Baseball’s trade deadline on Monday, oddsmakers evidently believe the long-suffering Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians can snap their decades-long World Series droughts.
According to Sportsbook.ag, manager Joe Maddon’s Cubs stand as 3/1 favorites to not only make it out of the National League for the first time in more than 70 years but to also claim their first World Series since 1908. The Cubs are favored to face the Indians, who sit at 7/1 odds to win their first world series title since 1948.
The San Francisco Giants are viewed as Chicago’s main competition in the NL at 5/1 odds, followed by the Washington Nationals at 13/2. Over in the AL, the Texas Rangers, who also made a huge move, are tied with Cleveland at 7/1, with the Toronto Blue Jays next up at 12/1, and the Boston Red Sox at 14/1.
Chicago strengthened its bullpen, truly the only glaring weakness in the NL’s otherwise most talented and successful club this season, by acquiring Aroldis Chapman from the New York Yankees for four prospects, including highly touted shortstop Gleyber Torres.
However, the Cubs were clearly shooting to win now and Chapman represents a significant upgrade to a pen that was seventh in the NL in ERA at 3.38 as of Monday and provides some stability next to closer Hector Rondon and his 18 saves.
Though they whiffed on one of their prospective major deals, the Indians also improved their relief staff and managed to wrangle Andrew Miller from the Yankees for two prospects, outfield Clint Frazier and lefty reliever Justus Sheffield.
The Indians, who are currently third in the AL in runs scored, didn’t need an extra bat but more stable relief behind a solid starting staff that includes Josh Tomlin and Corey Kluber and is already tops in the league with a combined 3.67 ERA. However, Cleveland’s staff is third-worst in the AL with only 21 saves and Miller is one of the best closers in the league.
The move that could’ve put Cleveland over the proverbial hump, and perhaps even challenged the Cubs favored status, alas didn’t’ come to fruition.
The Indians were chasing now former Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who instead exercised his right to veto a trade and wound up with the Rangers.
The 30-year-old Lucroy, who’s batting a solid .299 with 13 home runs, 50 RBI, and 101 hits, joins a Rangers lineup that’s already fourth in the AL in runs and somewhat helps Texas quell the loss of first baseman Prince Fielder, who’s expected to miss the rest of the season following neck surgery.
Odds To Win 2016 World Series
Chicago Cubs 3/1
San Francisco Giants 5/1
Washington Nationals 13/2
Cleveland Indians 7/1
Texas Rangers 7/1
Toronto Blue Jays 12/1
Boston Red Sox 14/1
Los Angeles Dodgers 15/1
Baltimore Orioles 18/1
Houston Astros 25/1
Miami Marlins 25/1
New York Mets 30/1
Detroit Tigers 35/1
Check out the full list of World Series futures at Sportsbook.ag.