2006 MLB Notes – Odds to Win World Series ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>
|Yankees Face Expectations
by Perry of BetWWTS
Ah the New York Yankees, as usual they are the odds-on favorite to win the World Series.
The Yanks opened at +350 to win the Fall Classic, something they haven’t done since 2000 even though they have fielded the highest paid, most talented team for the past five years.
As we all know, New York’s big acquisition this offseason was centerfielder Johnny Damon, who they signed as a free agent. One of the top leadoff hitters in the Major Leagues, Damon joins the Bronx Bombers after batting .316 last year for the BoSox, fourth overall in the American League.
Along with Damon, the Yanks will have Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield in the outfield. The Yankee infield will feature Jason Giambi, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.
With so many all-star bats, many baseball observers are predicting eye-popping offensive numbers in Yankeeland this season. Of course, all the offense in the world may not be enough to compensate for weak pitching, which is something the Yanks struggled with last season.
Collectively, New York pitchers, which included high-paid hurlers Randy Johnson, Mike Mussina, Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright, had an underwhelming 4.52 ERA in 2005, 22nd overall in the majors.
Although the Yankees did make it to the postseason, their poor pitching caught up with them and they were eliminated in the first round by the Los Angeles Angels in five games.
The loss capped what was a disappointing season for both New York fans and bettors. The Yanks were one of the worst moneyline teams in the majors with a net loss of $1,897 over the course of the season (based on $100 bets).
Only the Orioles (-$1,982) and the Dodgers (-$2,455) lost more.
Considering the team had a respectable 97-70 record overall, the net loss was more a reflection of the fact that the ever-popular Yankees were favorites in nearly every one of their games, sometimes huge favorites.
Nowhere was this more evident than when the Yankees played the Tampa Bay Devils Rays. In their second game against the Rays last April, the Yanks were listed as massive -360 home favorites. With the Big Unit on the mound, they lost that game 6-2.
Then in September, again with Johnson on the mound, New York was a -340 home chalk, and lost 4-3.
The trend of overly inflated odds will no doubt continue this season for the star-studded Yankees. Which means the Yanks will likely continue to be a bad bet this year on a game-by-game basis, especially since there are still big question marks surrounding the team’s pitching.
For instance, the starting rotation will continue to be anchored by Johnson and Mussina, two aging veterans whose best years are far behind them. A few losses to teams like the Devil Rays and Royals and one’s bankroll could be killed pretty quickly.
That said, those who still feel compelled to bet on the Yankees might be better off taking the pinstripes to win the World Series or even the AL pennant at +200.
At least in both of these cases the odds are fairly attractive. And when it comes to the Yankees, you can never count them out in October.
Following behind the Yankees, the Chicago White Sox have the best odds to repeat as World Series champions at +450.
The Chisox had the best moneyline record in the majors last year, probably because they weren’t expected to do as well as they did, particularly on the road.
Through 174 games (includes playoffs), the Sox showed a net profit of $3,392. The next best team was Cleveland way down at $1,180. Chicago had the best record in the AL last year and all points sign to them continuing their winning ways this season.
The Sox kept their pitching rotation intact with Jose Contreras, Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland and Freddy Garcia. With the addition of reliable righthander Javier Vazquez, the Sox will likely log the lowest ERA in the AL once again.
The Sox also kept their bats, including first basemen Paul Konerko, who belted 40 homers, drove in 100 runs and hit .283 last season. And they added some DH power in Jim Thome, who they acquired from the Phillies. Prior to last year when he only played 59 games, Thome hit over 40 homes and 100 RBI in four straight seasons.
Coming in as the defending World Series champion, the Chisoxwill no doubt be a lot more popular with bettors this season,and as a result, onlinesportsbooks will probably have them as bigger favorites onaverage.
But that doesn’t mean they won’t be a good bet on a game-by-game basis. On the other hand, taking them to repeat as World Champs would seem unwise since so few teams are able to win back-to-back.
Here are the complete World Series futures odds (as of Thursday):
New York Yankees +350