Cubs, Indians biggest betting favorites on MLB division title odds
The Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians met each other in a memorable World Series matchup last October, and each of them has a favorable outlook in their divisions for the upcoming MLB season, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
In fact, the defending World Series champion Cubs are the biggest favorites of any team at -500 (bet $500 to win $100) to take home consecutive National League Central titles, something they have done only once previously.
Former manager Lou Piniella’s Chicago squad accomplished that feat in 2007 and 2008 but was unable to win a playoff series. Current skipper Joe Maddon has won four playoff series in his first two years on the job, winning the NL Central for the first time in 2016 after his team earned a Wild Card berth the previous year.
The main competition figures to again be the St. Louis Cardinals (+550) and Pittsburgh Pirates (+850).
Meanwhile, the Indians are listed as -400 favorites to win the American League Central, something they have done eight times dating back to the creation of the new alignment in 1994. They last won back-to-back division titles in 1999, the last of a five-year streak. Cleveland made two World Series appearances during that stretch, but like last season came up a bit short both times.
The Detroit Tigers (+550) and Kansas City Royals (+675) are the other contenders in the AL Central, and they combined to win the previous five division titles before the Indians finished first in 2016.
The other four division races are expected to be closer in the eyes of oddsmakers, with the AL West arguably the most competitive. The Houston Astros have never won a division title since moving to the AL, but they are +140 favorites (bet $100 to win $140) to win the AL West this year over the Seattle Mariners (+250) and two-time defending champion Texas Rangers (+250).
The Los Angeles Angels (+900) are also in the mix behind two-time league MVP Mike Trout along with the Oakland Athletics (+1400).
In addition, the Boston Red Sox are -175 favorites on the odds to win the AL East, the Los Angeles Dodgers are -250 to win the NL West, and the Washington Nationals are -140 to win the NL East. The Red Sox, Dodgers and Nationals all won their divisions last season too.