The Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series, but both division-leading squads are on the verge of a rematch in October. The Houston Astros are the overall betting favorite to win the World Series at 2/1 odds, while the LA Dodgers are 5/2 odds to win the championship according to William Hill.

LA Dodgers Justin Turner
LA Dodgers 2B Max Muncy congratulates 3B Justin Turner after a victory over the Atlanta Braves. (Image: Brett Davis/USA Today Sports)

The Dodgers represented the National League the last two seasons. In 2017, Dave Roberts’ squad lost to the Houston Astros in a full seven-game series. Last season, the Boston Red Sox scorched the Dodgers in five games.

2019 WORLD SERIES ODDS (As of 8/16/19):
Houston Astros 2/1
LA Dodgers 5/2
NY Yankees 4/1
Atlanta Braves 8/1
Chicago Cubs 16/1

The Astros and Dodgers are the consensus top two teams on the board in Las Vegas and offshore. The Dodgers held the best record in the National League since early in the season. They locked up the division before the All-Star Break.

The Astros saw their World Series betting odds improve to 2/1 after a major trade deadline acquisition. The Arizona Diamondbacks shipped out Zack Greinke to the Houston Astros. The Yankees were in desperate need of a starter, but Greinke had a no-trade clause specifically for the Yankees. Houston landed another ace to their already deadly starting rotation that includes Justin Verlander (15-4), Gerrit Cole (14-5), and Wade Miley (11-4).

Mission Control Houston

The Houston Astros suffered a World Series hangover last season. This season, the Astros got off to a good start. They established themselves as one of the teams to beat in the American League with a simple mission: win a second World Series in the last three years.

The Red Sox suffered their own World Series hangover compounded by burned out pitchers and Fortnite addictions in the locker room. Despite injuries to several starters, the Yankees somehow kept pace with the Astros. With the AL East locked up for the Bronx Bombers, the Yankees (82-42) are now focused on winning home-field advantage in the playoffs.

The Astros boast the best home record in the league at 43-15, which is another huge reason they’d like to lock up home-field advantage.

The Astros are in the middle of a rare losing streak. They dropped four straight and allowed the Oakland A’s to get back in the AL Wild Card hunt. The Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians are jockeying for first place in the AL Central. The second-place team might bubble the Wild Card if the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A’s finish out the season on a strong note.

Fading History

Last October, the LA Dodgers became the ninth team in MLB history to lose the World Series in consecutive seasons. The Dodgers were inexperienced when they faced the Houston Astros and lost in 2017. Last season, the Dodgers ran into a red-hot Boston Red Sox squad and ended up as the runner-up.

The 1923 NY Yankees are the lone team that lost back-to-back World Series but won the championship in the third year. The Yanks lost in 1921 and 1922, but finally won the title in 1923. The Dodgers are trying to add their name to the history books after losses in 2017 and 2018.

The Dodgers are beating teams with a lethal offense along with quality pitching. Cody Bellinger will not win the Triple Crown, but he’s put up strong stats across the board hitting .319 with 41 home runs and 94 RBI.

Hyun-Jin Ryu and Clayton Kershaw both hold a 12-2 record. Ryu has been lights out all season with a 0.93 WHIP and 1.45 ERA. Walker Buehler is 10-3 with a 1.03 WHIP and 3.31 ERA. Rookie Dustin May is 1-1 in three starts with a 2.65 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. The Dodgers will now see what May can do coming out of the bullpen. The Dodgers are betting on May to help increase their chances at a World Series victory.

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