Metro recommends bets and fades in the World Series futures market for three AL teams.
Boston Red Sox
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Pre-deadline odds: 6.5-1
Current odds: 3.25-1
The Red Sox have played like the best team in baseball almost all season and have the top record in the majors. J.D. Martinez is a Triple Crown threat in the middle of the most potent lineup in the game, and their pitching is ranked sixth by ERA. As a result of this success, Boston didn’t make a big splash at the deadline, opting for low-cost deals to get veteran infielder Ian Kinsler and starter Nathan Eovaldi.
Despite all these positives, it’s hard to endorse the Red Sox as the favorite to win the World Series. Staff ace Chris Sale’s second-half history is concerning, especially after last year’s stretch fade. He was dreadful in last year’s playoffs as well (0-2, 8.38 ERA). David Price’s postseason history is also alarming (2-8, 5.03 ERA). Pitching is what wins in October year after year, so if Sale and Price can’t reverse their fortunes, Boston could be in big trouble.
Verdict: Fade. The Red Sox are going to be a tough out, but their odds are hardly appealing.
New York Yankees
Pre-deadline odds: 4-1
Current odds: 9-1
There may be no better time to buy into the Yankees if you’re a believer, but the recent four-game sweep they suffered at the hands of the division-rival Red Sox all but sealed the Bombers’ fate in the AL East. This means the Yankees could be forced into yet another Wild Card play-in game (they’ve split the two they played in 2015 and 2017), which makes them a much riskier proposition than they were before the deadline.
The Yankees did make some meaningful acquisitions though, as they brought in inning-eaters Lance Lynn and J.A. Happ along with closer Zach Britton. And if Aaron Judge shows no ill-effects once he returns from a wrist injury that’s had him sidelined since July 27, the Yankees lineup will be back to its regular formidable self. However, with the American League looking extremely top-heavy, the Yankees’ road to the World Series seems very bumpy.
Verdict: Fade the Yankees; there’s no value in a losing ticket.
Pre-deadline odds: 3.75-1
Current odds: 3.75-1
The Astros are not out of the woods in the AL West with Seattle and red-hot Oakland in the mix, but they look like a safe bet to repeat as division champs. The defending World Series winners addressed what few flaws they had by adding Roberto Osuna to the bullpen along with Ryan Pressly and acquiring Martin Maldonado to catch while Brian McCann sits on the DL.
Houston’s rotation is even scarier than it was in 2017 as they have Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole as their one-two punch with the ace-like Charlie Morton right behind them. Their lineup is stacked from top to bottom as well. The only knock on the Astros is their comparatively low price.
Verdict: Bet big on the Astros if you can afford it.