Major League Baseball has endured a Covid-19 crisis and plenty of internal money and labor disputes to put its product on the field in 2020. This will be – without a doubt – the strangest MLB season we have ever seen and here is a quick look at some of the teams that will be best placed to compete for the title at the sharp end of the campaign.
Baseball is back and the condensed regular season of 60 games – as opposed to the normal total of 162 – will make for a quick sprint to the finish, unlike anything we have seen from the MLB before. Another change will be to the playoffs which see 16 teams enter the knockout rounds instead of the 10 that would have made it pre-pandemic. This means the winner and runner up in each of the six divisions will move on to compete for a spot in the World Series alongside the four best third-placed squads.
Now that we are a little way into the restart – and we can see who has opted out and which teams just aren’t playing well – we can look at BetXChange to see some of the potential best bets as division and conference winners:
East – Hard to look past the Yankees here as they have blasted out of the gates with a four-game lead in the division. They are no value at 0.16 but it is unlikely they will be run down in such a short season.
Central – The Twins are the team that are setting the pace here with a 2.5 game lead over the Indians and 3.0 over the White Sox. While the Twins could run the table (0.60) I wouldn’t be shocked to see the White Sox (3.30) run them down later in the season as their pitching depth catches them up.
West – Oakland has a 2.5 game lead on the Astros and is the only team in the division above .500. They are relatively long at 0.95 to hold that lead however as the defending World Series Champion team from Houston (1.05) is still very much a force to be reckoned with.
Conference – The Yankees (1.55) are the clear favorites here and it is easy to see why based on their dominance and the seeming lack of challengers to them. Take the Astros (6.25) for a little more value as in a one-off series they have the horses to beat the Yanks.
East – Hard one to call here as the Marlins (20.00) shot out of the blocks to a 6-1 start before Covid-19 shut them down. How they get the rest of their games in and play at their peak is hard to fathom The Braves (1.20) are 9-5 and just a game behind them (technically) in a division that is already a two-horse race.
West – The Rockies (5.50) might be the surprise team in the entire MLB as they lead the heavily favored Dodgers (0.25) by 0.5 games. They have to be worth a punt but the Dodgers should have what it takes to run them down with their insane pitching staff.
Conference – Has to be the Dodgers (1.55). Their rotation depth and their bats make them the class of the National League. The Braves (4.50) should outlast the Marlins in the East to put up some resistance, but the Dodgers are the clear favorites and best bet here.
World Series – A Yankees (3.25) vs. Dodgers (3.50) World Series would be exactly what the MLB execs would want with their two biggest markets competing for the crown. I like the Dodgers to win that matchup but don’t sleep on the Braves (10.25) to get involved as an outside bet.