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MLB Playoff & Awards Odds

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in News

Aug 31, 2015 · 3:11 PM PDT

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw warming up.
LA Dodgers pitcher running back to the dugout. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr).

Exactly five weeks from now, the MLB regular season will be wrapped up. We’ll know who’s playoff bound, which managers are joining the unemployment line, and who should be winning the league’s biggest hardware.

While we’ll need to wait until Oct. 4 to confirm these results, it’s safe to say we have a pretty good idea of who’s going to finish where.

The St. Louis Cardinals seemed destined to hold onto the top spot in the NL, while the Washington Nationals are playing themselves straight into obscurity. Despite the fact that they’ll be watching the playoffs from home, it will still take something special to knock off Bryce Harper as the favorite for NL MVP; while the AL race has boiled down to a two-horse affair.

The accolade everyone is chasing though, a World Series title, is still a long way from being decided. Having home-field advantage for the finals helps a pair of hot AL teams lead the favorites – although, playing against a weaker playoff field doesn’t hurt the Jays and Royals either.

Here are our odds for who will be winning MLB’s biggest hardware at the end of the season.

2015 MLB Props:

Odds to Win the 2015 AL Pennant:

  • Toronto – 7/4
  • Kansas City – 2/1
  • Houston – 6/1
  • New York Yankees – 7/1
  • Texas – 9/1
  • Los Angeles Angels – 20/1
  • Minnesota – 25/1

If Troy Tulowitzki ever decides to start hitting again, the Blue Jays’ lineup is going to go from scary to ridiculous. Do they have the arms to get it done in the postseason? Cagey vets like Mark Buehrle and RA Dickey, who won’t get rattled by the pressure of October baseball, should help.

David Wright (Photo credit: slgckgc (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)
Odds to Win the 2015 NL Pennant:

  • St Louis – 13/5
  • New York Mets – 7/2
  • Los Angeles Dodgers – 4/1
  • Pittsburgh – 5/1
  • Chicago – 13/2
  • San Francisco – 9/1
  • Washington – 18/1

The Cardinals have been hit hard by injuries this year, yet they just keep on rolling. The Mets have a great starting rotation – and are scoring more runs of late thanks to the addition of Yoenis Cespedes and the return of David Wright – but they’re still a young squad, and the likes of Noah Syndergaard, Jon Niese, and Jacob deGrom aren’t proven postseason performers. The Cards’ staff has been-there-done-that.

Odds to Win the 2015 World Series:

  • Toronto – 9/2
  • Kansas City – 5/1
  • St Louis – 11/2
  • New York Mets – 8/1
  • Los Angeles Dodgers – 9/1
  • Pittsburgh – 12/1
  • Houston – 12/1
  • Chicago – 14/1
  • New York Yankees – 14/1
  • San Francisco – 18/1
  • Texas – 20/1
  • Los Angeles Angels – 30/1
  • Minnesota – 40/1

Odds to Win the …

AL East:

  • Toronto – 1/3
  • NY Yankees – 7/3

NL East:

  • NY Mets – 1/9
  • Washington – 6/1

AL West:

  • Houston – 2/9
  • Texas – 5/1
  • Los Angeles Angels – 12/1

NL Central:

  • St. Louis – 1/8
  • Pittsburgh – 11/2

NL West:

  • Los Angeles Dodgers – 2/9
  • San Francisco – 3/1

Odds on the Following “Crosstown” World Series Match-ups in 2015:

  • Royals-Cardinals – 9/1
  • Yankees-Mets – 20/1
  • Angels-Dodgers – 60/1
  • Baltimore-Washington – 150/1

Odds to win the 2015 NL MVP: 

Bryce Harper (Photo credit: Keith Allison (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode].)
Bryce Harper (Photo credit: Keith Allison (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode].)
  • Bryce Harper – 3/11
  • Paul Goldschmidt – 5/1
  • Buster Posey – 14/1
  • Andrew McCutcheon – 14/1
  • Anthony Rizzo – 18/1
  • FIELD – 20/1

Odds to win the 2015 AL MVP:

  • Josh Donaldson – 5/7
  • Mike Trout – 9/8
  • FIELD – 40/1

Odds that Trout & Donaldson finish 1-2 in MVP Voting (in either order): 1/32.

Yes, the Blue Jays have a batting order replete with beasts – which keeps pitchers from being able to dance around JD. But the Jays should also reach the postseason, while the Angels’ chances of making the playoffs are growing slimmer by the day.

Odds to win the 2015 NL Cy Young:

  • Zack Greinke – 1/7
  • Clayton Kershaw – 10/1
  • Jake Arrieta – 10/1
  • Jacob DeGrom – 16/1
  • Gerritt Cole – 25/1

Odds Greinke/Kershaw finish 1-2 in Cy Young Voting: 1/4.

Arrieta is having a tremendous year for the Cubs – including a recent no-hitter against Greinke and Kershaw’s Dodgers. But the two L.A. hurlers have been a cut above all season, especially Greinke, who made a serious bid for the longest shutout streak ever, reaching 45.2 innings (about 14 shy of Orel Hershiser’s 59-inning scoreless streak back in 1988).

Odds to win the 2015 AL Cy Young:

  • Sonny Gray – 9/4
  • Dallas Keuchel – 13/5
  • David Price – 3/1
  • Chris Archer – 7/1
  • Chris Sale – 12/1
  • Felix Hernandez – 50/1

Odds to win the 2015 NL Rookie of the Year:

  • Kris Bryant – 4/9
  • Matt Duffy – 11/3
  • Noah Syndergaard – 8/1
  • Chris Heston – 10/1
  • Joc Pederson – 23/1

Odds to win the 2015 AL Rookie of the Year:

  • Carlos Correa – 1/3
  • Roberto Osuna – 7/1
  • Nathan Karns – 8/1
  • Billy Burns – 15/1

Odds to win the 2015 AL Comeback Player of the Year:

  • Prince Fielder – 5/2
    Alex Rodriguez (Photo credit: By Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)
    Alex Rodriguez (Photo credit: Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)
  • Ryan Madson – 4/1
  • Alex Rodriguez – 5/1
  • Jose Iglesias – 13/2
  • Kendrys Morales – 13/2
  • Jason Kipness – 10/1
  • Mark Texeira – 10/1
  • Albert Pujols – 20/1

The AL Comeback Player of the Year (CPY) is going to be one of the most interesting awards. There are a handful of worthy candidates, but no one is really distancing themselves from the pack. Fielder, who’s coming back from a serious neck injury (similar to Peyton Manning’s), is batting .317 and has 71 RBIs for a surging Rangers team. He’s a DH, which hurts his case; but, if he stays solid down the stretch and Texas makes the playoffs, voters are likely to reward him.

Madson should be getting more love than he is. The 35-year-old righty is coming back from dreaded Tommy John surgery and hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2011. He’s posted a 2.45 ERA in 55 appearances for the Royals out of the pen. He’s being rested a bit late in the year, which doesn’t help his chances. But, given what he’s doing at age 35 after three full years on the shelf, a lot of voters ought to be swayed.

Then, of course, there’s A-Rod. He’s arguably having as good a season as Fielder. His average (.256) isn’t quite there, but his power numbers are (26 homers, 71 RBIs, and a .489 slugging percentage) and the Yanks are an offensive juggernaut thanks, in part, to his play at the plate. He’s a DH, like Fielder, so there’s no separating the two there. But he’s not coming back from an injury. He’s coming back from what a lot of people will see as self-imposed exile. Just like when it comes time for A-Rod’s Hall of Fame vote, some CPY voters won’t tick the A-Rod box because of his history.

As far as Kipness and Teixeira, they’re having tremendous seasons – unlike last year – but they haven’t overcome as much as the others. The CPY rewards adversity.

Comeback Player of the Year NL

  • Matt Harvey – 2/5
  • Joey Votto – 6/1
  • Carlos Gonzalez – 6/1
  • FIELD – 15/1

Unlike in the AL, this is a one-horse race. Perhaps we should call it a “one-knight fight,” because Matt “the Dark Knight” Harvey (11-7, 2.48 ERA) has all-but vanquished the competition. Returning from 2013 TJ surgery, Harvey started the year en fuego before cooling off a bit midseason. He, like the entire Mets team, is once again hot-to-the-touch, though; Harvey has a 3-1 record and a sparkling 1.11 ERA over his last seven as the Mets hurtle towards a surprise NL East title.

Unfortunately for surprise Canadian Joey Votto, Harvey’s epic comeback (in a massive baseball market) has overshadowed his own resurgence in Cincinnati. After a couple leg injuries ended his 2014 season after just 62 games, the first-baseman has returned with a vengeance, batting .312 (a couple points up on his other-worldly .310 career average) and clocking 26 homers to date (already his highest total since hitting 29 dingers in 2011).

Votto’s 5.1 OWAR is also by far the best on a Reds team that struggles for offense. Like Jose Iglesias with the Tigers in the AL, though, the fact that the Reds are nowhere near the playoff chase won’t help his chances, nor will the fact that he had a half-decent half-season last year.

Up in Denver, Carlos Gonzalez has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball since the All-Star Break. He only managed to play 70 games last year due to knee surgery, and hit a dreadful .238 (including just 11 home runs in the rarefied air of Coors Field). But he’s upped those totals to .278 and 31 homers through 120 games this season and has made the Rockies’ brass look real clever for holding onto him at the deadline.

Next MLB Manager Fired

  • Matt Williams – 3/1
  • Brian Price – 7/2
  • Lloyd McClendon – 7/2
  • Robin Ventura – 7/2
  • Walt Weiss – 14/1
  • Dan Jennings – 20/1
  • Mike Scioscia – 25/1
  • Don Mattingly – 25/1
  • FIELD – 9/1

The only reason Matt Williams doesn’t have better odds is because we can’t figure out how the hell he still has a job. If the Nats haven’t fired him yet, what’s it going to take? Yes, the Nationals have had injuries this year. But they have the best pitching staff in baseball, on paper, and were preseason World Series favorites. And they’ve been healthy for a while now.

With about 40 games left in the year, Washington is a long shot to even make the playoffs (see above), and Williams’ poor managing has certainly played a role in the team’s decline.

Price, McClendon, and Ventura are three more managers whose teams haven’t lived up to expectations. The Reds were a playoff team in 2010 and 2012, but have regressed to last in the NL Central. Meanwhile, the Mariners, a popular preseason pick to come out of the AL, are nine games under .500 and eight back in the AL Wild Card race. The White Sox aren’t much better, sitting seven back in the Wild Card.

If the Nats don’t move on Williams, any of those three is equally likely to get the ax next. And they’d all, quite frankly, deserve it.

Given the tailspin that the Angels are in, rumors should be swirling around Mike Scioscia. But the man is a legend and ownership loves him, so don’t expect Droopy Dog to be the next to go. That said, you can only get this little production out of a lineup that includes both Mike Trout and Albert Pujols before paying the ultimate price.

(Photo credit: Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA (Clayton Kershaw  Uploaded by Muboshgu) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)

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