World Series odds update: All aboard on the Astros?
One of the hottest teams in baseball just over one week into the 2021 season is the Houston Astros, winners of six of their first eight games. As a result, oddsmakers have had to adjust their World Series futures, knocking the Astros down from +2200 on Opening Day to +1400 as of April 10.
Is this smart money, or are fools rushing in with Houston? Let’s start finding out.
World Series 2021
Tue, November 2 2021, 11:00 PM
Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Yankees
San Diego Padres
New York Mets
Chicago White Sox
St. Louis Cardinals
Toronto Blue Jays
Astros’ offense firing on all cylinders
In the wake of their sign-stealing scandal, the Astros went from scoring 5.51 runs per game in 2019 (fourth in the majors) to 4.67 runs per game in 2020 (13th). Many were bearish on Houston’s offense going into 2021 with George Springer having left in free agency, but so far, the predictions have been way off.
The ‘Stros are second behind only the Cincinnati Reds in runs per game this year, pushing 6.62 per game across the plate. Carlos Correa has been a major catalyst, going 11-for-32 with two homers and five RBI early on. He’s tied for the team lead in total bases (20) with Yordan Alvarez, who has two homers and eight RBI through 34 at-bats.
Yuli Gurriel, Jose Altuve, and Alex Bregman are all batting .310 or better at this point in the campaign.
Starting pitching has been par excellence
Not having Justin Verlander has not been a problem for Houston thus far.
Zack Greinke, Lance McCullers Jr., and Cristian Javier have combined to allow only six earned runs over 31 2/3 innings in 2021 (1.71 ERA). The trio has combined for 32 strikeouts compared to just nine walks.
Are the Astros good, or are the A’s bad?
The Oakland A’s figured to take a step backward in 2021 following the departure of Marcus Semien and Liam Hendriks, but not even the most pessimistic A’s fan could have anticipated how poorly their team would perform during opening weekend.
Houston handed Oakland their lunch at the Coliseum, sweeping a four-game series while outscoring their AL West rivals 35-9. The Astros also beat the A’s in their home opener before conceding a game on Friday night. Houston was tied 1-1 with Oakland before an eighth-inning Matt Olson homer broke that affair open.
Value to be had on White Sox
If you’re not putting all that much weight on Houston’s trouncing of Oakland, the Chicago White Sox could be a better bet at +1100. Their odds have actually risen from +850 since the start of the season.
The South Siders have started a modest 4-4, but it’s way too early to raise any red flags. Jose Abreu – last year’s AL MVP – is batting just .212, but leads the club with nine RBI.
Dallas Keuchel’s 7.00 ERA is concerning, but that’s counteracted by Lance Lynn’s 13 2/3 shutout innings to kick off the campaign. It’s so early in 2021, that Hendriks hasn’t even faced a save situation yet.
Not yet mentioned is catcher Yermin Mercedes, who came from nowhere to produce a 1.460 OPS through eight games.
If you didn’t commit to Chicago before the season, you might want to now before their odds drop back down.