Last year’s World Series consisted of Opening Day long shots to win it all. With Vegas odds for all MLB teams in hand, which clubs are set to surprise this season? Our 2015 World Series predictions eye four clubs with higher than 40/1 odds to win the title. Can they pull off the upset?
I don’t personally care for the Angels this year as making any strides in the postseason, hence why I didn’t even have them making it to the playoffs. However, none of our World Series picks are that outlandish, at least according to current Vegas Insider odds.
The bookmakers currently have the LA Dodgers (my NL pick) and the Nationals (your NL pick) as the two favorites to win the championship at 8/1 each. The Mariners (my AL pick) and Angels (your AL pick) are also both inside the top eight at 15/1 and 18/1 respectively. There’s really no such thing as chalk in baseball terms, but we didn’t stray too far against the grain this season.
Which makes me wonder, are there any long-shot teams you do like to make a postseason run a la the Kansas City Royals (and Giants too I suppose) of last season?
For me, of the squads with 40/1 or greater odds to win the World Series, a few teams jump out at me. The Miami Marlins are a popular pick to go places this season, and at 45/1, the odds make them even more intriguing. The Tampa Bay Rays are also interesting to me at 60/1. They will have a battle on their hands to make it into the postseason, but if they get there, that pitching depth could certainly carry them to a title.
Right now, Alex Cobb, Drew Smyly, Matt Moore and Jake McGee are all on the disabled list. McGee is a tough lefty closer, and the other guys are all top starting pitching talents. Assuming they make it back healthy, which is up in the air specifically for Cobb and Moore, Tampa Bay suddenly has perhaps the best pitching in the American League.
Your long shots to win the World Series places the title firmly in the state of Florida. Interesting. I find Miami intriguing, with a solid shot at one of the NL wildcard spots coming out of an average NL East. But I’m not envisioning any kind of resurgence for the Rays this season.
I guess that’s what makes them long shots, as neither the Royals nor Giants appeared destined for the World Series last year, with San Francisco winning the championship. Looking at the teams with greater than 40/1 odds to win it all in 2015, one team in particular is begging for my money, and gets my first pick.
It both saddens and excites me to see the New York Yankees with 45/1 odds. The ‘Nobody believes in us” factor is in full effect. Yet as an invested fan, I don’t truly believe in these Yankees winning the World Series. But that’s what makes them such a great long shot.
If the Yankees can make the post season, watch out. They will need to fight tooth and nail for a wildcard spot, but once they’re in, they have what it takes to make a run. Tanaka, Pineda, and Sabathia all have superstar ability and can dominate in a short series. Eovaldi in long relief has the power stuff to eat up innings. With veteran experience throughout their lineup, and Alex Rodriguez consistently hitting the timely long ball, New York can get it done.
My second pick is another team that fell just short last season. I like the Milwaukee Brewers this year to surprise people. They are an excellent long shot to win the championship at 70/1 odds.
Coming off an 82 win season in which they barely missed the playoffs, these Brewers are in line to improve.The pitching is there, with Matt Garza and Kyle Lohse leading the way. If closer Jonathan Broxton dominates like he has in the past, they can make waves come October.
Last year’s World Series saw two teams with excellent pitching and consistent hitting. Neither lineup scared opposing teams, but both lineups got it done night after night. That’s what makes these long shot picks so interesting. If the pitching performs up to its full potential, then it doesn’t matter if the lineups are scary or not. They simply need to hit.
Photo credits: kansascity.com, sportslogos.net, and MLB