No team has repeated as World Series champion since the New York Yankees won three straight Fall Classics from 1998-2000. That hasn’t scared off oddsmakers from installing the 2018 champion Boston Red Sox as the +650 favorites to win another title next year. They finished off the Los Angeles Dodgers in five on Sunday.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
This year’s Red Sox team has to go on any short list of the best ever with 119 total victories and just one road playoff loss. It was the Sox’s fourth championship this century, most of any MLB team. Of course, before 2004 the Red Sox hadn’t won a World Series since 1918.
Boston should be loaded again next year. Every key member of the offense is under contract; that offense led the majors in nearly every major category. The main free-agents-to-be are second baseman Ian Kinsler (he was acquired during the season, and the Sox should have a healthy Dustin Pedroia to return to second in 2019), World Series MVP Steve Pearce (a platoon guy), starting pitchers Nathan Eovaldi and Drew Pomeranz, and closer Craig Kimbrel.
David Price can opt out of his massive contract but isn’t expected to do that. This is simply a well-run organization with a strong farm system and money to burn. It will be a contender for years.
The Houston Astros, who lost in five games in the ALCS to Boston in their attempt to repeat as world champions, are +700 second-favorites for 2019. The Astros’ key free agents are DH Evan Gattis, outfielder/infielder Marwin Gonzalez, and starting pitchers Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton. Houston also has an excellent farm system and money to spend.
The Los Angeles Dodgers came up short for the second straight World Series to end their title drought that dates to 1988 but are +800 third-favorites for 2019 with the New York Yankees. Los Angeles has two mega-free agents in Clayton Kershaw and Manny Machado. Some believe the team might make a change at manager. The Yankees were third in the majors with 100 wins but lost to Boston in four in the ALDS.
Playoff teams from this year are the top eight favorites for 2019. The non-playoff team with the shortest odds is the St. Louis Cardinals at +1800. An interesting club is the Philadelphia Phillies at +2000 as there are rumors the Phillies will try and sign both Machado and Bryce Harper. The longest shots are the Baltimore Orioles at +35000.