Throughout much of the first half of the season, every team in the majors have gone through highs and lows. As we hit the midway point, though, there are a few teams that are proving that they might be here to stay when it comes to postseason contention.
Let’s look at some of the most notable teams that were initially considered longshots but are starting to shake up the World Series odds.
Surprise MLB Teams That Are Shaking Up The World Series Odds
San Francisco Giants
During the preseason, when debating who would win the N.L. West, there were only two teams that were brought up: the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres.
A third team has shown superiority to this point in the division, and that is the San Francisco Giants. In fact, the Giants not only have the best record in the National League at 50-27, but they have the best record in all of baseball.
The team has gotten it done on both offense and defense thus far. They are currently fourth in runs per game (5.00) and third in runs allowed per game (3.63).
Despite their early success, oddsmakers still like the other two more as the Giants are just +450 to win the division and +2200 to win the World Series, but their success certainly has them on the rise as a favorite to find postseason success.
Boston Red Sox
Last season, the Boston Red Sox finished dead last in the A.L. East, 16 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in a shortened season. This year, as we approach the halfway point, the Red Sox are leading the division by a half-game over those same Rays.
This success has them +2000 to win the World Series this year.
Surprisingly, the New York Yankees (+1300) and Rays (+1400) are still getting more love when it comes to odds to win it all, but the Red Sox have proven they are for real. The Yankees are especially surprising in their odds as they now trail Boston by 6.5 games in the AL East standings.
Boston has found their success with a combination of solid offense (rank fifth averaging 4.96 runs per game) and a respectable pitching staff (4.12 staff earned run average).
In a division that seemed relatively quiet during the offseason, it was the St. Louis Cardinals that were seen as the odds on favorites to win the division after they traded for Nolan Arenado.
Through the first half of the season, though, it is the Milwaukee Brewers who have been the most impressive team and their current World Series odds that prove it.
Now 45-33, they lead the N.L. Central by three games over the Chicago Cubs. This success has them now registering at -115 to win the division and +1800 to win it all.
Milwaukee’s success is surprising as they rank 21st in runs per game at 4.08. With a dynamite bullpen and a rotation led by Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes, they get it done with their defense and their pitching’s 3.66 earned run average.
It is hard to say that a team that has been to two of the last four World Series and was a game away from another last season was a longshot, but many thought the Houston Astros were going to slide this season.
After having gone on a tear lately, however, the Astros have moved into first in the A.L. West and have jumped up the board in terms of best odds to win the World Series.
They currently are tied for second in terms of best odds to win it all at +700 (tied with the White Sox and trailing the Dodgers).
This jump is in large part due to one of the best offenses in baseball. The Astros currently rank first in runs per game, hits per game, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and batting average.
One major flaw they need to address is their bullpen, but they certainly have the pieces to make another run at a World Series championship.