Sports books are predicting that the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros, who met in the 2017 World Series, will win the most games during the regular season.
The South Point Casino has the two winning 97 games, while an internet betting site has the pair[s victory total at 96.5.
The defending champions captured 101 games last year in the American League West. The Dodgers had a league-leading 104 victories. Three teams follow with a line of 94.5; the New York Yankees, the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians.
LA Manager Dave Roberts, who was in Glendale, AZ for the first day of Spring Training on Tuesday, said his team is about set and the goal is to pace players to avoid fatigue.
“If you look at one through 30, we’re pretty similar (to last year),” he said. “To have the abbreviated Spring Training and incorporate rest, there’s already a buy-in from the guys. You’ve got to give a little bit, sacrifice a little bit. But it’s a hungry group. The nucleus and depth we have, I’ll take this club over anyone’s.”
World Series Odds Favor Yankees
The Dodgers are a 6/1 pick, along with the Astros, to win the Fall Classic. They were the favorites when the odds were initially posted in November, but the Yankees have taken the top spot at 5/1.
The reason for New York’s move is the offseason acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins. Stanton was the National League MVP last year, as well as the home run champ. He joins American League Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge, who finished second in homers.
It will be the fourth time in MLB history that the two leagues home run leaders played for the same team the following season. It will also be the second time that two teammates who hit 50 or more dingers in the previous season are playing together. The other was another pair of Yankees, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris in 1962.
New Manager Aaron Boone realizes they are the favorites to win in October and has no problem with the prediction, saying the team has embraced it.
“We understand the expectations,” he said on Tuesday. “Last year was great, but one of the things that stands out about being in that room right now is that each guy I’ve spoken to, that hunger is there. There’s no satisfaction in what they accomplished last year.”
Houston Ready to Defend Crown
The desire is also there with the Astros, who are set to begin their World Series defense. General Manager Jeff Luhnow told the Associated Press on Tuesday that multiple championships was always the goal.
“These guys are not satisfied with what happened and they want to take a great team and make it legendary,” he said. “We’re a great team, with great accomplishments. We’re not legendary yet and I think they all desire to be legendary.”
Chicago is another team that could easily be battling for their second title in three years. The Cubs added former Dodger pitcher Yu Darvish to their rotation to try and make a deep run in the playoffs. They are 10/1 to win.