The longest drought of winning the World Series in Major League Baseball belongs to the snake-bitten Cleveland Indians, whose last title was in 1948. The Tribe were oh-so close to ending that in 2016 as they took a 3-1 lead on the Chicago Cubs in the Fall Classic but lost an epic Game 7 at home as the Cubs ended an even longer championship drought.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
Cleveland opened this season as a heavy favorite to win a fourth straight AL Central title, but even reaching the postseason could be a challenge now that ace pitcher Corey Kluber is out indefinitely. He suffered a broken right (pitching) forearm last week when he took a line drive off it on a batted ball (estimated at 102 mph) by the Marlins’ Brian Anderson.
True, Kluber was struggling this year with a 2-3 record and 5.80 ERA, but he’s a two-time Cy Young winner and leads all American League pitchers in wins over the past five seasons. It’s the last thing the Indians need because they already are without fellow starting pitcher Mike Clevinger until perhaps July with a back injury, and the team isn’t hitting a lick. The Indians are built to win with their pitching. They are now +2000 to win the World Series.
While Bryce Harper is struggling with his new team, the Philadelphia Phillies (+1000 to win the World Series), his former team the Washington Nationals clearly misses the former NL MVP. The Nats are well below .500 and below average offensively.
A drop offensively might have been expected, but the pitching staff looked to be one of the best in baseball with three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and the free-agent addition of former Arizona Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin. However, the Nats’ team ERA is among the worst in the National League. Scherzer has not looked like himself. Pitching coach Derek Lilliquist was made an early scapegoat, fired last week. Washington is +3500 to win the first World Series in franchise history.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros are the World Series favorites at +500. The Dodgers are mashing the ball, led by early NL MVP favorite Cody Bellinger, who had a historic April at the plate and was named NL Player of the Month. Los Angeles did just lose outfielder A.J. Pollock for several weeks to elbow surgery, however.