World Series Picks
Best 2017 MLB Futures
By Bob Duff
Study these diamond gems and come fall, if you pick the right one, you will be cashing in a winner. Future bet odds offered courtesy of Bovada.lv:
World Series Favorites
Teams don’t repeat anymore. It hasn’t happened in the NHL since 1998, and in the Super Bowl since 2005. The New York Yankees last won consecutive World Series, capturing three in a row from 1998-2000.
But there’s a strong sense that what we saw last year from the Cubs when they won a big-league high 108 games, then rallying from a 3-1 deficit to topple the Cleveland Indians in the World Series was only the beginning of something great, perhaps even the launching of a dynasty.
Consider Chicago’s core, players like 2016 NL MVP Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Wilson Contreras, Javier Baez, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber. This is a young group, who already know how to win. The Cubs’ batting order is lethal and Chicago’s starting rotation may be the best in baseball.
It took the Cubs 108 years to win another World Series. It won’t take nearly as long to win the next one.
The Dodgers have won four successive NL West Division titles and have been right there on the cusp of greatness for some time now.
Injury-riddled last season, the Dodgers need to stay healthy as the can field a deep and talented lineup. With Clayton Kershaw, baseball’s best hurler, ready to take the hill in any big game, you should never count them out.
The Nats have been MLB’s next great team in waiting for a few years now, and perhaps this year will finally be their year.
And +1100 is a fantastic number to get behind a team with a rotation including Max Scherzer, Steven Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez.
Then there’s the team’s superstar Bryce Harper. If the 2015 National League MVP Harper returns to that form and Scherzer continues to pitch like the 2016 NL Cy Young Award winner, the Nationals could prove a sensational bet at this price.
After a stellar off-season of activity, the hype surrounding the BoSox is higher than the Green Monster that hovers over left field at Fenway Park.
Boston added Chris Sale to a rotation that already included David Price and 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello. Boston also led the major leagues in runs (878) last season but how they replace the bat of the retired David Ortiz will go a long way toward determining how far the Red Sox go in the playoffs this season.
Hanley Ramirez, Mitch Moreland and Pablo Sandoval all figure to play a role in that outcome.
The Tribe came within a win of their first World Series title since 1948, despite the loss of 40 percent of their starting rotation (Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazer) and outfielder Michael Brantley to injury.
All of them are back and healthy, and first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, the top available free agent bat, has been to this AL Pennant-winning group.
Cleveland is a run-scoring machine with a deep pitching staff, both in the rotation and the bullpen. In the weak AL Central, it’s a virtual certainty that the Indians will again be part of the postseason picture and a legitimate threat to go all the way.
Two years ago, the Astros appeared to be a team on the rise but 2016 was a very disappointing campaign. This could lead people to overlook the Astros, which would be a mistake.
From George Springer to Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa, youthful talent pervades. Factor in bounce back seasons from closer Ken Giles and 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel and there’s lots to like about the Astros.
The off-season additions of Josh Reddick, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann should provide the youngsters with plenty of veteran leadership, ensuring the collapse of 2016 is not repeated. At +1400, Houston is an intriguing option.
World Series Pick: Chicago Cubs (+450) over Houston Astros