Nearly a quarter of the way through the 2018 MLB season, some teams have surprised, some have played to expectations and some have disappointed.
Among those who have lived up to lofty preseason projections so far are the American League's Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees, who are listed as the top three choices on the odds to win the 2018 World Series at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The defending World Series champion Astros are +500 favorites (bet $100 to win $500) to repeat even with 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel struggling with a 2–5 record and 3.53 ERA. Fortunately, both 2011 AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander (4–1, 1.17 ERA) and new addition Gerrit Cole (4–1, 1.43 ERA) have carried Houston's pitching staff and become top early contenders for this year's award given to the league's top pitcher.
Right behind the Astros though are the Red Sox and Yankees at +600 and +650, respectively, as they continue to battle it out for the AL East lead.
New York has been the hottest team in baseball following a mediocre 9–9 start, taking three of four at Houston after putting together a nine-game winning streak. Meanwhile, Boston has thrived under new manager Alex Cora and Cy Young contender Chris Sale (3–1, 2.02 ERA).
In the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been one of the most disappointing teams and the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies two of the most surprising. The Dodgers continue to reside under the .500 mark despite outscoring opponents, and they have seen their odds drop to +1400 to win the World Series after they were one of the preseason favorites.
The Braves (+1800) and Phillies (+3000) are currently battling it out atop the NL East for the division lead, with the Washington Nationals (+1600) and New York Mets (+2200) not too far behind them.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have the league's best record right now, and their odds have improved to +1000, tied with the Chicago Cubs as the favorites to win the World Series from the NL. Two other teams to watch from the AL that are championship contenders are the Los Angeles Angels (+1200) and Cleveland Indians (+1400).