- Following a shaky start, the Astros won nine straight to take over top spot in the AL West
- Houston is benefiting from steady pitching and strong starts from Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa
- Preseason World Series favorites, the Yankees have been hobbled by injuries and fallen way behind Houston in the MLB futures market
After storming to the top of the AL West standings with nine wins in their past ten outings, the Houston Astros have emerged as clear favorites in the MLB futures, sporting short +375 odds to win the 2019 World Series at Bovada.
2019 World Series Futures
|Team||Odds to Win 2019 World Series at Bovada|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+700|
|New York Yankees||+750|
|Boston Red Sox||+1100|
*Odds taken on 04/18/19
Astros Rebound Following Shaky Start
The Astros look to have fully recovered since opening the campaign on a shaky 2-5 run, during which they were limited to two or fewer runs on five occasions.
Powered by former AL MVP Jose Altuve and former AL Rookie of the Year Carlos Correa, the Astros have regained their offensive groove, averaging 6.2 runs per game during their current 9-1 run.
Jose Altuve is on???! Altuve understands, he has to FIGHT to get on path with the pitches up. As you can see here, he fights to get his barrrel to the top of the zone, and STAYS at the top of the zone which gives him a lower finish. pic.twitter.com/mfldNY12gj
— 7 Tool Athletics (@7ToolAthletics) April 15, 2019
The club is also receiving solid pitching from its starting rotation, despite the loss of Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton.
Led by 2011 Cy Young-winner (and three-time runner-up) Justin Verlander, Astros starters have combined for a 3.19 ERA (4th in MLB), while Roberto Osuna looks to have regained the touch that enabled him to tally 39 saves with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2017.
He’s a perfect 7/7 in save opportunities this season, heading a Houston bullpen that sits second in the majors in ERA (2.61) and first in xFIP (3.39).
Houston Equally Good on the Road
The Astros have been equally dominant on the road and at home during their current tear, recording back-to-back three-game sweeps over the Oakland A’s and New York Yankees before embarking on their current eight-game road trip, which they have opened on a 4-1 run.
A strong start has been an indicator of season-long success for the Astros in recent years.
A strong start has been an indicator of season-long success for the Astros in recent years. The club has finished the month of April with a record eight games over .500 in three of the past four seasons, with the exception coming in 2016, when they opened on a 7-17 run before finishing out of contention with 84 wins.
— The Crawfish Boxes (@CrawfishBoxes) April 18, 2019
This year, the Astros look poised to dominate the AL West. With each of their four divisional rivals facing considerable obstacles in their quest for the postseason, the Astros are massive -800 favorites to win their third straight divisional pennant.
Yankees, Dodgers Represent Astros’ Stiffest Competition
But while they are currently the hottest team in baseball, stiff completion is inevitable over the course of the long season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have advanced to the World Series in each of the past two seasons, and sit second to the Astros in the World Series odds at +700.
However, it is the injury-hobbled New York Yankees that currently offer the most value at +750.
A WORLD SERIES WALK OFF HOME RUN!!!!
MAX MUNCY'S WALK OFF GAME RUN IN THE 18TH INNING IS EVEN BETTER WITH TITANIC MUSIC!!! WHAT A GAME!!! WHAT A WIN FOR THE @DODGERS!!!!
— TITANIC BASEBALL⚾️?? (@TitanicBaseball) October 27, 2018
Injury Woes Creating Value for Yankees on World Series Odds
The Pinstripes opened the year as +580 favorites and have fallen because of unprecedented injury woes. Among the wounded are Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Hicks, Didi Gregorius, Greg Bird, Miguel Andujar, Troy Tulowitzki, and Luis Severino.
The injury bug has been especially cruel to the Yankees in 2019. pic.twitter.com/vrJHWEcNrk
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) April 13, 2019
However, the Yankees have weathered the injured storm well, and enter their four-game weekend set with the Kansas City Royals with wins in three of four, and an 8-9 record.
New York has also enjoyed a reprieve of sorts with the Boston Red Sox enduring a dismal World Series hangover. With Stanton, Tulowitzki, Hicks, Bird, and possibly Andujar looking towards returning in May, there will likely be plenty of time for the Yankees to reset and prepare for their anticipated run to the Fall Classic
Value Pick: Yankees (+750)
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