We’re well into the second half of the 2019 Major League Baseball regular season, and there are some teams pulling away with their divisions (Houston, the N.Y. Yankees and the L.A. Dodgers), some teams fading from early promise (Philadelphia), some teams putting together surges (Cleveland and Washington), and other teams that look like the race will stay tight to the wire (Milwaukee and the Chicago Cubs). We’ve gone to the Xbet page to pull World Series odds from some matchups for this year’s Fall Classic, and we have some thoughts about the likelihood of those matchups coming to fruition.
Possible 2019 World Series Matchups Odds
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) July 19, 2019
Houston Astros vs Los Angeles Dodgers
- 2019 World Series Odds: +440
This would be a rematch from two years ago, when the Astros beat the Dodgers in an epic seven-game series, thanks in large part to not one, but two terrible outings from Dodgers starter Yu Darvish. The Dodgers are getting a decent season out of ace Clayton Kershaw, but it is the emergence of Hyun-Jin Ryu as a credible second ace in the Dodgers’ rotation that has played a major role in the team’s consistency in the West. They also are enjoying the return of Corey Seager, A.J. Pollock and David Freese back to the lineup after some lengthy injuries.
Houston started the second half by dropping a couple of games in Texas, but then they won the last two to split the series, including a dominant victory by Justin Verlander on Sunday, who moved to 11-4 with a 2.98 ERA for the season. Yuli Gurriel had 11 home runs in 15 games through Sunday, elevating his slugging percentage from .389 to .493. The Astros don’t have to do much to hold off Oakland and Texas in the American League West, and with that combination of starting pitching and offense, they look poised to make a deep playoff run.
New York Yankees vs Los Angeles Dodgers
- 2019 World Series Odds: +400
Aaron Judge missed two months with issues surrounding his oblique muscles, but since his return on June 21, he has gotten better and better. In his first 11 at-bats after the All-Star break, he got seven base hits, and he is even raking when he hits ground balls. Last Saturday, he had four ground-ball singles, each of which was scooting at more than 100 mph off his bat. Add that to a gritty starting rotation that has four legitimate postseason winners, and you have a Yankees team that could also push deep into the postseason, as the Baby Bombers are growing up.
New York Yankees vs Chicago Cubs
- 2019 World Series Odds: +2400
This is a sleeper pick that would thrill old-school fans of the game while also delivering some fantastic value. The Cubs swept Pittsburgh the weekend after the All-Star break, getting six hits from Jason Heyward, including a home run that delivered an 8-3 win on Sunday. His baserunning and defense have remained outstanding, and his .310 batting average in July could be the start of a second-half surge by Chicago. Could the Cubs get by the Dodgers? We have seen the Dodgers collapse the last two seasons in the playoffs, and this year a hot Cubs team could get the edge if Los Angeles loses confidence. Remember — the Cubs have Craig Kimbrel, the closer who shut down the Dodgers in the 2018 World Series.
Cleveland Indians vs Atlanta Braves
- 2019 World Series Odds: +5000
Here’s a real dark horse that has some potential. The Tribe needs a big second half from infielder Jose Ramirez, but even with him barely hitting over .200, they have trimmed an 11-game lead to 5 ½ games in just over three weeks. Starter Carlos Carrasco is dealing with a leukemia diagnosis, and ace Corey Kluber (fractured ulna) is scheduled to come back in the middle of August. If the Twins keep sliding, Cleveland could win the division — or at last snag a wild card.
Atlanta is rolling in a National League East that no one else seems to want to win, and they opened the second half by sweeping the Padres in San Diego. Mike Soroka is 10-1 with a 2.24 ERA this season, on pace for 165 innings. The Braves need to add an arm or two to their rotation as the trade deadline approaches, but they are quietly building momentum and could be a postseason surprise.