Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman
- The Houston Astros are +480 to win the World Series, meaning $100 would win you $480.
- According to consensus projections, Houston is the most likely champion, so there's still some value in backing the Astros.
Baseball has hit the pause button on the 2018 season for the All-Star break. But before action resumes on Thursday, let’s take a look at the odds to win the World Series and determine which team is offering bettors the most value.
To determine a team’s probability of winning the World Series, we created a consensus projection using simulations from FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus. To find value, we then compared the model results to the betting odds.
For example, the Boston Red Sox are +445 to win it all. In order for us to feel comfortable wagering on the Red Sox, they need to win it all 18.3% of the time — the math is 100/(445+100). That’s how you calculate implied probability.
But Boston is projected to win the World Series 11.3% of the time, meaning there is no value in placing a bet at +445 odds.
So who is offering value? Let’s take a look below. As always, be sure to shop around to find the best odds before placing a bet.
- Current odds: +480, Implied Probability: 17.2%
- Projections: Astros win the World Series 21.2% of the time
Houston has the best run differential in baseball (+188). The offense is one of five teams averaging five or more runs per game and is top three in Weighted Runs Created Plus (+114), a metric that quantifies total offensive value.
The offense is clicking, but it’s the pitching staff that makes this team special. Last year, the Cleveland Indians finished with the highest pitching WAR total of all time (31.7). The Astros hurlers have 19.2 WAR at the All-Star break, which puts them on pace to flirt with that record. Houston’s 10.49 strikeouts per nine and 28.9% strikeout rate would also top records set by Cleveland a year ago.
The ‘Stros are a lock to make the playoffs (99.9% per the models) and are the most likely team to win the World Series, according to the consensus projections. There hasn’t been a back-to-back champion in baseball since the Yankees won three straight from 1998-2000, but I’m betting the Astros at +480 to pull off the feat.
Other teams offering bettors value: Los Angeles Dodgers (+895) and Cleveland Indians (+1275).
2018 World Series Odds
Below are each team’s odds and projected chance to win the World Series: