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World Series betting odds (As of Aug 9):
Boston Red Sox: 4.90
Houston Astros: 5.10
Los Angeles Dodgers: 6.75
New York Yankees: 6.75
Cleveland Indians: 12.00
The Major League Baseball trade deadline has come and gone. We will soon be emerging from the dog days of summer into the September stretch drive.
It has been a time of big moves in baseball, with a number of clubs acquiring key players in hopes of making the playoffs followed by a significant run in October. Other teams - specifically the Seattle Mariners -- have fallen off the pace they set earlier in the year, while other teams - specifically the Oakland Athletics - have suddenly emerged into the thick of the playoff race.
Here is a look at the current World Series odds, betting percentages, and how the Mariners and Athletics have essentially switched places in the division standings.
MLB Betting Breakdown:
New York Yankees
World Series odds: 6.75
It has been an up-and-down month of August so far for the Yankees, yet they lead World Series outright betting with 19.5 per cent of the money wagered on them to win it all.
They started the month with five straight losses, including a four-game sweep at the hands of the rival Red Sox, which has put New York nine games back in the race for top spot in the AL East Division. But alas, good fortune has come to the Yankees, who followed up four straight losses to Boston with a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox, who have a record of 41-73.
No surprise, but the Yankees won three straight in Chicago and now face the Texas Rangers at home. There is a greater opportunity for New York to gain ground on the Red Sox.
The Yankees have 22 games remaining this month - none of which are against teams currently holding down a playoff spot.
Los Angeles Dodgers
World Series odds: 6.75
The Los Angeles Dodgers made a splash at the MLB trade deadline, acquiring all-star short stop Manny Machado from Baltimore and second baseman Brian Dozier from Minnesota.
Those are two huge additions to the Dodgers lineup, but L.A. has fallen half a game back of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West Division as of Thursday morning, and they also sit a game back of the final Wild Card spot currently held by the Atlanta Braves.
Entering their game with the Colorado Rockies on Thursday, the Dodgers had World Series outright odds of 6.75, but they were also second in outright betting behind only the Yankees with 18.1 per cent of the money on L.A. to win it all.
Boston Red Sox
World Series odds: 4.90
The Toronto Blue Jays no doubt pleased tens of thousands of Canadian baseball fans that made the trip to Seattle last weekend to see the Jays play the Mariners and win three of four games.
But the return home to Toronto came with a dose of reality for the Blue Jays, and it has been served up by the Boston Red Sox, the current World Series favourites with the best record in Major League Baseball.
Not only did the Red Sox sweep the Yankees last weekend, but they've gone into Toronto for a three-game series (the third game is Thursday evening) and took the first two games, scoring 10 runs in each contest. Better news for the Red Sox? Left-handed pitcher Chris Sale - and All-Star Game starter - is about to come off the disabled list reportedly to pitch Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles.
Sale has an 11-4 record, with a 2.04 earned-run average this season.
Meanwhile, only 9.4 per cent of the money is on the Red Sox to win the World Series this year.
World Series odds: 28.00
In June, we asked if the Seattle Mariners would be cozying up to the World Series favourites when the stretch drive hits in September. Because it was still the middle of June, we also cautioned that with the simple fact that plenty of baseball remained on the schedule, despite Seattle's promising - and certainly surprising - start to the season.
Well, not even two months later, the Mariners have fallen off their pace set earlier in the year.
In the middle of June, their World Series odds had shifted all the way to 11.00, as they challenged Houston for the AL West Division.
As of Thursday, those betting odds had fallen back to 28.00.
The Mariners have just three wins in their last 10 games. They dropped three of four at home to the Blue Jays, and then lost two of three to the Texas Rangers. Both the Blue Jays and Rangers are well out of the playoff fight, and Seattle faces a pivotal stretch of games to close out the month.
They have seven more games against the Astros this month, including a four-game series that begins Thursday. They follow that series up with a three-game set against the Oakland Athletics, who have surpassed Seattle for second in the division. They also face the aforementioned Dodgers, and the Arizona Diamondbacks, leaders in the NL West.
A sudden turnaround would have the Mariners back in the right direction for the playoff chase. Sounds simple enough until you look at their upcoming schedule.
World Series odds: 24.00
As mentioned, the Athletics have vaulted over the Mariners into second in the AL West, with seven wins in their last 10 games.
First place in the division may be too far out of their reach (five games back of Houston), but Oakland has settled into the second Wild Card spot with a three-game lead on the Mariners.
In April, the Athletics were long shots to win the World Series, with odds of 175.00 at PlayNow.com. A month ago, the Athletics were six games back of Seattle for the Wild Card, but they were red-hot at the time with eight wins in a 10-game stretch, and threatening to move up. No longer is this a threat. It's reality.
The Athletics' current outright odds have obviously coincided with their climb up the standings. On July 12, their odds to win the World Series were 70.00. On Thursday, they were 24.00.