The Oakland A’s and Minnesota Twins top the American League with identical 20-10 records. Both teams saw their championship odds improve as they reached the season’s midway mark. The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas listed the Twins at 12/1 odds and the A’s are 14/1 odds to win the World Series.
The LA Dodgers, the best team in the National League, lead the majors with a 22-8 record. They were the first team to pass the 20-win mark. The Westgate still has the Dodgers as the favorites to win the World Series at 3/1 odds.
The pandemic-shortened MLB season reached its midpoint with most of the league playing 30 games, aside from the teams that had coronavirus infections or postponements. Only three teams have reached 20 wins: the Dodgers, Twins, and A’s.
2020 WORLD SERIES ODDS (Thru 8/25/20)
LA Dodgers (22-8) 3/1
Minnesota Twins (20-10) 4/1
NY Yankees (16-9) 4/1
Oakland A’s (20-10) 14/1
Tampa Bay Rays (19-11) 14/1
Chicago Cubs (18-10) 14/1
San Diego Padres (18-12) 18/1
Atlanta Braves (16-12) 18/1
Chicago White Sox (17-12) 20/1
The San Diego Padres are the third-best team in the NL. They saw their title odds make one of the biggest moves from 50/1 before the season began to 18/1 now. The home run-happy Fernando Tatis, Jr. quickly became one of the most exhilarating players in the MLB. His enthusiasm for the game rubbed off on his Padres’ teammates.
The first-place Oakland A’s hold a 3.5-game lead over the second-place Houston Astros. The scary thing is that they have yet to achieve their A-game, but keeping posting wins as they chug along this season.
“Honestly, we haven’t been playing the baseball we know we can play,” said starting pitcher Frankie Montas. “Which may be a frightening thought for the rest of the AL.”
The A’s boast a top-notch pitching staff this season, despite lacking a bona fide ace. They are ranked #5 with a 3.54 ERA thanks to a moneyball-mashup of starters and relievers.
Starting pitcher Chris Bassitt is 2-1 with a 2.97 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Closer Liam Hendricks has been lights out with nine saves, plus a 1.17 ERA and 0.72 WHIP. The rest of the bullpen has also posted strong numbers. Joakim Soria (2-1) has a 1.32 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. Jake Diekman has yet to allow an earned run in 11 innings, with a 0.00 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.
“I have to give a shout out to the bullpen because they keep shutting the door with that new runner-on-second, nobody-out rule,” said CF Mark Canha. “When you do that, that’s huge. Knowing we can go into the bottom half needing to get just one to win the game just takes the pressure off the offense a little bit and just makes the job a little bit easier.”
Great pitching and timely hitting wins ball games. The A’s have been coming from behind to win games in late innings. They also don’t freak out during crunch time. The A’s are 5-0 in extra innings this season.
The Oakland A’s saw their World Series odds move from 30/1 to 14/1 odds.
Yanks Injuries and Slump
The Yankees haven’t really seen much change in their World Series odds despite the rash of injuries and their recent losing streak. Just like last season, the Yankees have a “next-man-up” mentality, and the reserves rose to the occasion.
“When anyone goes down with something, I feel for the individual,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “We’ll find a way to make do, and it creates an opportunity in their absence.”
Oddsmakers believe the deep Yanks will be able to survive the current streak of bad luck in the injury department.
Several of their top players are currently on the IL, including DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, and Zack Britton.
“It’s crazy that this is happening again,” said first baseman Luke Voit said. “But we’re going to fight through it.”
Slugger Aaron Judge (.290 AVG, 9 HR, 20 RBI) recently returned to the lineup after a short stint on the IL with a calf strain.
The Tampa Bay Rays swept the Yankees and took over first place in the AL East. The World Series odds for the Rays improved slightly to 14/1.