The 2018 MLB season may be just a week old, but the defending World Series champion Houston Astros are off to another strong start and now top the betting board to repeat their title run from a year ago.
The Astros are now listed as the +425 favorites (bet $100 to win $425) on the odds to win the 2018 World Series at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark after winning six of their first seven games to begin the new year.
Houston will take a five-game winning streak into this weekend’s interleague series against the San Diego Padres, outscoring opponents by an American League-best 21 runs overall so far. Meanwhile, the defending AL Central champion Cleveland Indians have headed in the opposite direction, dropping two in a row en route to a disappointing 2-4 start, yet they remain one of the top contenders from the AL at +750 to win it all.
Two more AL East teams that were listed among the favorites to win the World Series in the preseason have also impressed early on. The defending division champion Boston Red Sox brought a five-game winning streak into their home opener against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, and the New York Yankees won five of their first seven games.
Boston is the +1200 seventh choice to win the World Series right now, with New York ahead of both the Red Sox and Indians on the board as the +650 third choice.
In between the Astros and Yankees are the Los Angeles Dodgers at +500 despite a disappointing start that has them near the cellar in the National League West. The defending NL champion Dodgers have still outscored opponents by three runs overall through their first seven games, but a three-game sweep by the Arizona Diamondbacks has them sitting below the .500 mark and 3.5 games behind them for the division lead.
The Diamondbacks are +3000 to win the World Series, and they lead the NL West after winning five of their first six games and outscoring opponents by 15 runs. Only the NL East’s Atlanta Braves have been better in the league at plus-21, as they sit tied for second in the division with the Washington Nationals, a half-game behind the New York Mets.
The Nationals are +900 on the 2018 World Series odds, with the Mets coming in at +2500 and the Braves way back at +17500, one of the 10 biggest long shots on the board.
In the NL Central, the Pittsburgh Pirates lead the division, as they started the season at a surprising 4-0 before suffering their first loss on Wednesday. The Pirates are just ahead of the Mets at +15000 to win the World Series, with the Chicago Cubs (+750), St. Louis Cardinals (+2000) and Milwaukee Brewers (+3000) all expected to surpass them in the standings soon.
The Cubs will need their offense to get going in order to win their third straight division crown, as they were hitting .204 as of Thursday, the third-lowest in the league. The Dodgers (.202) and Philadelphia Phillies (.183) have been worse.
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