MLB Teams With Potential to Defy the Odds
The odds makers say the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Detroit Tigers, or the St. Louis Cardinals are the most likely to take Major League Baseball’s top honors this year, but of course nothing is certain in sports. If you really want to see a return on your investment, consider backing one of these underdogs. They might seem like long shots, but these MLB teams have the potential to defy the odds.
San Francisco Giants Could Go Back to Back
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As the reigning champions, the San Francisco Giants might not seem like a long shot, but the official odds tell a different story. The team is currently at 20/1 and looking at scraping through to the finals as a wild card entry. No team has won consecutive titles since the New York Yankees in 1999 and 2000, and despite recent successes the Giants have never achieved the feat. Superstitious baseball fans may also note that the Giants tend to only win on even-numbered years, so a 2015 victory may prove troublesome.
However, the Giants have managed to hang on to most of their 2014 roster. The pitchers might be looking a little long in the tooth, but the formula worked last year. With an extra 12 months working together, the players are likely to perform even more cohesively, which should balance out any aging bones.
Great Recent Performances Give Houston Astros a Chance
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At the start of April, the bookies gave the Houston Astros just a 50/1 chance of claiming the pennant. However, some outstanding performances this season have seen those odds shorten to just 20/1. The team has become one of the biggest surprises of 2015, boasting an impressive record. In 2014, it took the Astros 50 games to chalk up 18 wins. In 2015, they did it in half that time.
The odds of 20/1 are impressive for the Astros, who have made the World Series just once in their 53-year history, but it still means that the bookies don’t give them a real chance of performing on game day. However, with great momentum behind them, they could surprise everybody and win their first title.
The Underrated Pittsburgh Pirates
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The Pittsburgh Pirates odds of 33/1 are a bit lackluster, but there’s no reason to believe that they won’t beat the odds. Admittedly, they’re too cash strapped to make major changes, and their rotation is a bit shaky, but their roster is solid and anchored by Andrew McCutchen, who continues to be one of the best players in the league. Young guns like Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco are assets for the team.
The experience the Pirates gained in the last two playoff series should give them the confidence to shake off the hoodoo that plagued them for two decades before. The odds are against them, but that boost could be enough to take them all the way.
Oakland Athletics Could Be Fourth Time Lucky
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The odds also haven’t been kind to the Oakland Athletics, who have a 33/1 chance of winning the World Series. Perhaps it’s understandable that gamblers have been skeptical of the Athletics’ potential for success. The team has had three consecutive playoff berths, and they’ve choked every time. The odds are also against the Athletics because they lost big names like Cespedes, Lester, and Lowrie.
But surely the experience of making it the playoffs so many years in rapid succession must count for something. Oakland might be depleted, but it didn’t lose its entire roster. The remaining players might not be big names, but they’ve got experience playing the big games. They also know that the stars they once played with are gone, so they’ll need to step up if they’ve got a chance of defying the odds and taking home the title in 2015.
It’s worth studying the odds and daily match up reports at sites like Doc’s or CBS but the odds don’t guarantee that favorites will take home the pennant once the season is through. They might seem like long shots, but don’t be surprised if one of these underdogs takes the World Series this year.