The defending World Series champion Houston Astros are back at it again in 2018 and have the look of a team that is going to either repeat as back-to-back champs or comes very close to it. While the runner-up Los Angeles Dodgers have struggled mightily out of the gate this season, they could also get back into playoff contention by the time fall rolls around, increasing their 2018 World Series Odds.
The home run-bashing New York Yankees, pitching-rich Washington Nationals, 2016 champion Chicago Cubs and the 100-plus winning Cleveland Indians are all also looking like viable picks to make deep playoff runs that challenge for a berth in the 2018 World Series.
But what about the handful of teams that have surprised out of the gate in 2018 and are no shaking up the MLB futures odds to win it all this season? How many of these teams will be able to keep up their win-producing ways as the summer continues to heat and the real contenders start to separate themselves from the mediocre contenders and flat-out pretenders?
Thanks to this expert look at the surprise teams that are shaking up the MLB future odds, you’re going to have a great idea!
MLB teams that are shaking up the 2018 World Series Odds
Boston Red Sox
- 2018 World Series Odds: 6/1
The BoSox (46-22) are currently tied with the Yankees for first place in the AL East after it was generally assumed that they would finish a solid second to a New York team that many expected to reach the ALCS at the very least for the second straight year. Boston is clearly way past the stage where they’ve gotten off to a ‘fluke’ start. Boston is ranked second in scoring (5.13 RPG), first in team batting average (.262), second in OPS (.786) and second in home runs (97) so they’re clearly getting it done on offense for first-year manager Alex Cora. Offseason free-agent acquisition J.D. Martinez has been nothing short of phenomenal with a .313 batting average, 54 RBI and 21 home runs and Mookie Betts is also playing excellent baseball (.354, 17 HR, 37 RBI).
Boston has been almost as good defensively in ranking fourth in team ERA (3.62), second in strikeouts (668) and fourth in quality starts (34). Staff ace left-hander Chris Sale (5-4, 2.83 ERA) has been rock-solid even if his record doesn’t show it and veteran right-hander Rick Porcello (8-3, 3.54 ERA) has been outstanding.
- 2018 World Series Odds: 16/1
The M’s (43-24) are currently in first place in the AL West by a half-game ahead of Houston, but I just can’t see them holding on as the season moves along, simply because they’re ranked an identically modest 13th in scoring (4.40 RPG) and team ERA (3.82).
Then again, Seattle is ranked in the top 10 in team batting average, OPS, home runs, and stolen bases while also ranking sixth in quality starts. Right now, they’ve shown no signs of faltering whatsoever.
- 2018 World Series Odds: 18/1
The Braves (38-28) have been arguably the biggest surprise in all of baseball this season as they currently sit in first place in the NL East one game ahead of Washington. Right now, Atlanta also looks very legitimate as they rank a stupendous third in scoring (5.00 RPG), third in team batting average (.261), third in OPS and solid 13th in home runs (78). Atlanta has also been solid defensively in ranking ninth in team ERA (3.64).
First baseman Freddie Freeman (.341), outfielder Nick Markakis (.333) and young second baseman Ozzie Albies (16 HR), are playing phenomenal baseball this season.
- 2018 World Series Odds: 14/1
The Brewers (40-27) have also been one f the most pleasant surprises in the early going of the 2018 regular season as they sit in first place in the NL Central a half-game ahead of Chicago. The Brew Crew are bashing the baseball with 83 dingers to rank seventh in home runs even though they rank a modest 16th in scoring (4.33 RPG).
What’s been most surprising about the Brewers is their fantastic pitching which ranks fifth in team ERA (3.47), thanks mostly to starter Jhoulys Chacin (5-1, 3.58 ERA) and a bullpen that features a bunch of lights-out hurlers like Jeremy Jeffress (5-0, 0.55 ERA) Josh Hader (2-0, 1.22 ERA) and Wade Miley (1-0, 1.42 ERA).