In what might be considered a battle of World Series longshots, the New York Yankees and Houston Astros usher in the 2015 Major League Baseball postseason with Tuesday night’s winner-take-all American League Wild Card playoff.
Odds makers are not enthusiastic about either team's chances beyond this game. The Astros are listed at 16/1 while the Yankees are 14/1 to win the World Series, according to the latest odds from VegasInsider.com.
Instead the Toronto Blue Jays, who return to the postseason after an over 20-year absence, are the heavy betting favorite at 3/1 odds before they open against the Texas Rangers with Game 1 of AL Divisional Series on Friday.
Even though they are powered by the most potent offense in baseball, the Blue Jays are only slim favorites to make it out of the AL with the defending league champion Kansas City Royals next up at 5/1 after posting a league-best 95-67 record and five-game winning streak to close the regular season. However, Toronto’s odds did slightly improve from last week when they were listed as 4/1 favorites.
The Royals excellent work in the regular season affords them the right to play either New York or Houston in the ALDS.
Over in the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals (5/1) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (6/1) are the picks to reach the World Series. The Cardinals, who dominated the league with a 100-62 regular season record and a team 2.94 ERA, roll out maybe the most balanced starting rotation in baseball headlined by 17-game winner Michael Wacha.
The Cardinals will stare down whoever comes out victorious between in the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates’ duel in the NL Wild Card game on Wednesday. Both the Cubs, Pirates, and Rangers sit just ahead of New York and Houston at 12/1 odds to win it all.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers face the New York Mets, who are also 6/1, in the NL’s other division series. The series features perhaps the best pitching matchups fans will see throughout the postseason. Los Angeles sends Cy Young-favorites Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw to the mound while the Mets boast Jacob deGrom and a deep collection of young talent.
Odds to Win World Series
Toronto Blue Jays 3/1
Kansas City Royals 5/1
St. Louis Cardinals 5/1
Los Angeles Dodgers 6/1
New York Mets 6/1
Chicago Cubs 12/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 12/1
Texas Rangers 12/1
New York Yankees 14/1
Houston Astros 16/1