The New York Yankees retook their place atop the MLB standings this past weekend with a series victory over the Boston Red Sox. Boston has the second-best record in baseball, but neither team begins the season’s fourth month as the favorite to win the World Series.

That distinction belongs to the Houston Astros, who aren’t far behind either AL East powerhouse. Trailing both the Yankees and Red Sox by 1.5 games in the American League standings, the Astros still have the best odds to successfully defend their championship.

Houston might be even better than they were a year ago when they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series. After winning their first-ever title in franchise history, Houston traded for Gerrit Cole, who is on the short list of AL Cy Young award candidates.

The Astros’ record doesn’t tell the whole story of their chances to win another World Series. They are only a half-game ahead of the Seattle Mariners in the AL West standings, even though Houston has outscored their opponents by an incredible 170 runs over the course of the season. Seattle has a plus-22 run differential.

New York, Boston and Houston have clearly separated themselves as the best teams in baseball. One of the three teams will end up in the AL Wild-Card Game. It’s possible that the Astros will face the second-place AL East finisher in that contest, though they are favored to beat out the Mariners for the division title.

The Dodgers have the best World Series odds of any National League team. The Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals are the other NL teams with better than 10/1 World Series odds. None of those teams are currently in first place.

Yankees Red Sox Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox scores a run in the ninth inning past Kyle Higashioka #66 of the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on June 30, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

World Series 2018 Odds [Bovada]

Houston Astros   15/4

New York Yankees   4/1

Boston Red Sox   6/1

Chicago Cubs   9/1

Los Angeles Dodgers   17/2

Washington Nationals   9/1

Cleveland Indians   14/1

Arizona Diamondbacks   15/1

Atlanta Braves   15/1

Milwaukee Brewers   16/1

Philadelphia Phillies   25/1

Seattle Mariners   25/1

St. Louis Cardinals   30/1

San Francisco Giants   40/1

Colorado Rockies   60/1

Oakland Athletics   100/1

Los Angeles Angels   125/1

Minnesota Twins   250/1

Pittsburgh Pirates   250/1

New York Mets   350/1

Detroit Tigers   500/1

Tampa Bay Rays   500/1

Toronto Blue Jays   500/1

Chicago White Sox   900/1

Cincinnati Reds   900/1

Miami Marlins   900/1

San Diego Padres   900/1

Texas Rangers   900/1

Baltimore Orioles   Off the Board

Kansas City Royals   Off the Board