Buy or Sell: Vegas Odds for 2016 World Series Champion, Where Red Sox Land

By Steve Perrault – Follow on Twitter @Steve_Perrault

Royals World Champs 1

Even though the World Series may have just ended, there is no better time to look into the future and project your 2016 World Series title favorites. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook wasted no time after the final out of the Fall Classic last night (or this morning), and here are their odds for who will take home the Commissioner’s Trophy next fall:

1. Dodgers: 8-1

T-2. Mets: 10-1

T-2. Blue Jays: 10-1

T-2. Cubs: 10-1

______________

10. Yankees: 16-1

T-11. Red Sox: 18-1

T-11. Royals: 18-1

Before breaking down these odds, it must be addressed that these obviously have high potential to change based on offseason additions and subtractions. Having said that, there are so many things to discuss with this list, so let’s start with the 2016 World Series champion favorite, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

1. Dodgers: 8-1

The Dodgers are like that brand new pair of shoes that you just want to show off to all your friends. They’re flashy and cool for a while, but they eventually get worn down and fade into your closet with the rest of your old kicks.

Even though the Dodgers may impress you all regular season, with their ace pitchers and occasional offensive flair (insert a healthy Yasiel Puig here), they don’t have what it takes to win when it really counts, in October.

Simply put, if you’re a gambling man, don’t bet on the Dodgers. They are most likely going to lose potential 2015 Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke to the open market, and will have a first-year manager calling all the shots. A team that has led Major League Baseball in payroll both of the last two seasons, has just a 6-8 playoff record in that span to show for it. Sell on the Dodgers 2016 title hopes.

T-2. Mets: 10-1

Coming off of a World Series that they will most likely remember as “the one that got away” (shout-out Katy Perry), the Mets will look to get right back into the Fall Classic next season.

Giving the Mets the 2nd best World Series odds actually doesn’t bug me, and for good reason. Pitching wins in the playoffs and HOLY GOODNESS do the Mets have pitching. All of New York’s postseason rotation in Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz are either aces or have ace-potential and have an average age of 25 years old. That on top of the fact that 25-year-old righty fireballer Zack Wheeler is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and expected to return mid-season, and you are looking at one of the best starting rotations of ALL TIME. The “of all-time” tag gets thrown around a lot, but it couldn’t be any more appropriate then when discussing what the Mets have currently assembled in Flushing, New York. I am absolutely buying the Mets 2016 World Series odds.

T-2. Blue Jays: 10-1

Here’s one thing I can guarantee you: The Blue Jays title odds have the biggest chance of changing than any other team on this list. Why? Because, well, free agency.

Coming off of their first playoff appearance since winning it all in 1993, the Blue Jays will have a very active offseason, to say the least. Three-fifths of their starting rotation (David Price, Marco Estrada, and Mark Buehrle) are hitting free agency, while Toronto has a club option on knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. It’s very unlikely that the Blue Jays will be able to keep this group together for 2016, so expect that to be the main reason that Toronto won’t stay 10-1 odds to win it all for long.

The offensive dominance of the Blue Jays can’t be denied, but it’s also worth noting that this club may have more attitude throughout their roster than any baseball team has ever seen. Frequently during their playoff run, the Blue Jays were arguing calls with the umpire, and when they weren’t doing that, they were complaining about calls to the media. They seem like a club that has WAY too many emotional highs and lows, and that normally doesn’t bode well when trying to go on a championship run. I am selling on the 2016 Blue Jays World Series odds.

T-2. Cubs: 10-1

If you want to talk about a young and talented bunch, the Cubs are your team. The amount of young talent that the Cubbies have locked down for 2016 alone is well deserving of the 2nd highest World Series title odds in Las Vegas.

While Cubs fans got their hearts ripped out (and stomped on) in an NLCS where Chicago never had a lead (ouch), there is still a lot to for next season. Their Cy Young hopeful Jake Arrieta will be back, as he’s in his 2nd year of arbitration, and young mega-talent Anthony Rizzo is set to make a team-friendly $5 million next year. The only player of much significance that the Cubs may be losing is outfielder Dexter Fowler (.250 Avg, 17 HR, 20 SB) but they have plenty of talent, especially offensively, to make up for his potential loss. I am buying on the boys from the North Side of Chicago, as they have as good a chance as anyone to represent the National League in the World Series next year.

10. Yankees: 16-1

Remember the days when the Yankees were a shoe-in favorite to win the World Series every year? Yea, me neither.

The team that used to scare you up and down the lineup, relied on a 40-year old Alex Rodriguez to lead their offensive “push” this past season. The core of their starting lineup will most likely stay the same, with the majority of this lineup under contract through at least 2017, so there isn’t much wiggle room for New York this offseason.

While their bullpen is one of the best in the American League, that efficiency only has so much value when your starting rotation is average at best. Their starters collective 4.25 ERA and 927.0 IP both ranked in the lower third of Major League Baseball this season. While the Yankees will be on the market for starting pitching help, they don’t have as much flexibility as they might hope. I am selling on the “Bronx Bombers” World Series hopes for 2016.

T-11. Red Sox: 18-1

There are few teams in baseball where you could have less of a clue of how their offseason will go than the Boston Red Sox. New president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has officially been handed the “keys to the car” in Boston, and where he will take that car, only he may currently know.

Dombrowksi has done a great job of keeping his true intentions this offseason a mystery, as he has seemingly only confirmed that pitching is Boston’s top priority. Dombrowski has also found a way to make Hanley Ramirez sound like a viable option as a first baseman, in a miraculous attempt to “sneakily” convince the other 29 MLB teams that Ramirez has any form of value in a potential trade.

Whichever way you cut it, the Red Sox need help heading into 2016. Their youthful core presents promise to the fans in Boston, but they are also the top potential bargaining chips if the Red Sox hope to acquire a big name starting pitcher via trade. Expect the Sox to make a couple splashes in free agency, but don’t be surprised if one of your favorite young players on the club gets dealt in the process. I am buying the Red Sox World Series odds right now, but expect them to change based on the potential additions this offseason.

T-11. Royals: 18-1

In the words of Don Corleone, “What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully?”

The Royals are fresh off their first World Series championship in 30 years, after they were just a few hits away from winning the 2014 World Series as well, and they are only 18-1 to win it all next year?? Hard to say that this one adds up in any way, shape or form.

The only significant players set to hit the free agent market for Kansas City are Johnny Cueto, Ryan Madson, Chris Young, Ben Zobrist and Alex Rios. Left fielder Alex Gordon has a player option for 2016, and if the Royals don’t re-negotiate this contract he could be gone as well. Realistically, Cueto, Gordon, and Madson would be the only potential big loses for this club, as they have arguably the most balanced roster in all of baseball. The Royals had numerous occasions just this postseason where they had a different player provide the spark they needed to overcome adversity. They are the top club in baseball that can truly say they don’t rely on just one or two players to lead them on a nightly basis, as anyone could be their “hero” from game to game.

Until someone steals the crown from baseball’s royalty, than it’s theirs to defend. Giving Kansas City the 11th best odds to win the World Series should already be bulletin board material for a team that’s still trying to get the sting of champagne out of their eyes from the championship celebration that carried on into the wee hours of this morning. I am selling the Royals 2016 World Series odds, as they should have much higher odds to repeat as champions next season.

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