This decade, the National League has had the upper hand over the Junior Circuit in winning five of the eight World Series, but thus far in the 2018 season it appears that the American League could be the deeper overall league.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
That’s partly due to the three reigning divisions winners in the Senior Circuit (Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers) all mildly disappointing thus far.
The AL, meanwhile, has what appears to be four very good teams in the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels and defending World Series champion Houston Astros – and the Cleveland Indians figure to catch fire sooner rather than later with all their pitching.
Currently, Houston is the +275 favorite to be the first repeat AL champion since the Kansas City Royals (now a terrible team and +30000 pennant longshots) from 2014-15. The Astros have two Cy Young candidates in Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, both acquired in what appear to be very lopsided trades since late last August.
Houston could be in a dogfight all season in the AL West, though, with the Angels (+800 on the pennant odds). Los Angeles has the best all-around player in baseball in Mike Trout and the sport’s most exciting rookie in Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani.
The Angels haven’t won a pennant since 2002, and Trout has never won a playoff game as the Angels were swept in the 2014 ALDS in his only visit. The postseason would be better with Trout in it. The Seattle Mariners (+2200) could also be a factor in the AL West race. They have the longest playoff drought in baseball, last making it in 2001.
The Red Sox (+325) and Yankees (+350) are likely to be going back-and-forth all season atop the AL East, with whichever team finishes second expected to grab one of the AL’s wild-card spots. Baseball is better when both those big-spending clubs are good because they push each other to add talent at the trade deadline. The Toronto Blue Jays (+1600) also could make a wild-card push.
The AL Central is clearly the worst division in baseball with only the Indians (+550) hanging around .500. The Royals, Detroit Tigers (+6600) and Chicago White Sox (+25000) are all in various stages of rebuild. The Minnesota Twins (+2600) were a wild-card team last year but have disappointed in 2018.