The Yankees and Dodgers are the prohibitive and respective favorites to win the World Series, but at barely over 3:1 it isn’t necessarily a great idea to let a sportsbook hold money for six months, or more. However, there are a couple of longer shots that may be worth a small bite. Remember, these teams don’t have to win, just put us in a position to hedge something later in the season.
The Cincinnati Reds are 30:1, or have better odds than the Red Sox and Brewers, who were a playoff team just a year ago. The first question I ask myself is if the Reds can win their division, obviously putting them in the playoffs, and the answer is yes.
Only the Cardinals in the NL Central have better World Series odds, and I suspect many people are overlooking what Cincinnati has done this off season. First, they added pitching. Bringing in Sonny Gray and Trevor Bauer will have an immediate impact, the reason being not that they both have huge upsides, but that in the National League where teams haven’t seen them and a league without a DH will bolster their stats.
I’m not a Wade Miley fan. Well, I am but not in this park, which is small and he is a flyball pitcher. We can’t have everything.
Signing Shogo Akiyama from the Japanese League has gone largely unnoticed. But, he’s a talented player with speed and some power, and he’s old enough to not be intimidated. Mike Moustakas brings experience another left handed bat to protect Votto. Freddie Galvis is a baller and has been successful wherever he’s been.
Nick Castellanos will put up better numbers in this lineup than he did in Detroit, where there was literally nobody in the Tigers’ lineup to be concerned about.
Raisel Iglesias is a proven closer, and the Reds added depth to their bullpen with Pedro Strop.
Although the jury is out on David Bell, he did guide the Reds to their best season since 2014 and in what was considered a rebuilding year. Lastly, they won 75 games last year and their season win total this season is set at 84.5, which I don’t think is an unreasonable number to reach. That would be barely over .500 and in a division that’s heading in the wrong direction, save maybe the Cardinals.
So, I am high on the Reds this season and will have some money invested in my opinion as well as looking hard at them in a game-by-game basis early in the season, before books adjust.