Dodgers, Indians Are Betting Favorites In MLB Playoffs

Rangers completely shut out of top jersey sales list

Colorado ended its eight-year playoff drought by being one of the most consistent teams in baseball in 2017. Taking a stab at what it all looks like, let's get into it.

I'd be far from shocked if the Twins win, and feel comfortable enough to bet on them, but think that's a bit more heart than head talking.

The championship won by the Cubs lasted a full year.

Aside from Cleveland, the Houston Astros (9/2 odds) and the Boston Red Sox (8/1) are the American League's top World Series competitors this fall, according to Bovada. The Indians now have the longest Championship drought in baseball, at 69 years.

The Nationals franchise - which started in 1969 - has never won a World Series in Washington or Montreal. I don't know what it is but they're missing some vital feature that allows a team to remember how great they are and continue playing that great in the postseason; thus, the Cubs, who have been there before move on to the NLCS. The Rockies had their eyes on the playoffs from the beginning and quietly crept into the postseason as a wild card.

Anyway, despite the Tigers' protestations, I suspect that the Giants do have the worst record sewn-up already on that tie-breaker (I was going to look it up, but thought better of it), so we are where we are and can enjoy the final day as simply a day of baseball with not much riding on it.

It will be a disappointment if the Indians don't return to the World Series.

How is Max Scherzer's hamstring?

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Growing up just north of Chicago and remembering times when I would go to watch games at Wrigley Field knowing there was a greater chance that I would catch a foul ball than there was of the home team actually winning, I had to pick the Cubs to win it all. They went in a massive funk, and still were able to blindly cruise to both the best record in the game as well as a division title.

Like the American League, we'll be treated to one heck of a Championship series in the NL as well. One of baseball's best making his postseason debut against his pitching nemesis in a do-or-die game? The Houston Astros won 101 games to win the AL West for the second straight year.

The Indians appear to have a dynamic pitching staff, and their ace is Corey Kluber.

The Astros scored more runs than anybody in baseball, and it wasn't particularly close. Not only do the Indians have the best chance of hoisting a World Series trophy this year, but the likability factor of their core players is off the charts.

It creates the potential for other strong teams to get in, such as the Yankees this time around.

As CBS Sports' Dayn Perry wrote in 2014 (summing up what many others were saying at the time), "It would be premature to bid adieu to the 100-win team, but perhaps we should prepare ourselves to be visited much less often by what was no so long ago a familiar kind of excellence". While Cody Bellinger has gotten (and deservedly so) all of the accolades this season, I think there's room for rookie Walker Buehler to shine in the postseason. It became the first defending World Series champion to win its division since the 2009 Philadelphia Phillies. Same for the Dodgers' choice to bring back both Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen and the Astros' decision to remake their lineup.

The narrative of the Astros bringing a World Series home following Hurricane Harvey would be one for the storybooks, and I'm sure that's already being contemplated. As for overtaking the Dodgers, I won't even try to predict that given the uncertainty of the past month. Extra motivation or not, I think this group is just too well assembled and too talented to let this opportunity slip through their grasp.

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