The Chicago Cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908 or even played in the Fall Classic since 1945. Many Cubs fans say they could finally die happy if their Lovable Losers were to finally bring home a title. The Cubbies opened the season as World Series favorites on sports betting odds and they are still there at +325. As they should be with the best record in MLB and the largest division lead in the league.
Taking a Look at the Updated MLB Betting Odds To Win The World Series
The Cubs are nearly on pace to set the major-league record of 116 regular-season wins, which was set by the 1906 Cubs and 2001 Seattle Mariners. It should be noted that neither of those teams won the World Series. The Mariners didn’t even make it there. On June 6, 2001, the Mariners had a .793 winning percentage but finished with a .716 mark. Monday was June 6 and the Cubs entered the day with a .709 winning percentage. The 1998 New York Yankees won 114 games for a .704 percentage but were winning at a .768 clip at this point in the season. FanGraphs projects the Cubs’ winning pace will slow down to .590 the rest of the way, giving them about 103 wins for the season.
The Cubs are thriving at home. Prior to Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the D-backs, Cubs starting pitchers had a 1.28 ERA over 13 home games. The rotation this season is pitching to a 2.38 ERA, the lowest in the National League by a wide margin — the next lowest is the Mets at 3.17. The Cubs’ run differential entering Monday is a whopping plus-141, way years ahead of the second-most productive team in this category — the Red Sox, who are plus-69.
The San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox are both +900 second-favorites to win the World Series. Those two open an interesting two-game interleague series on Tuesday night in San Francisco. The Giants have lost one of their best hitters, outfielder Hunter Pence, for perhaps two months to a torn hamstring. He will have surgery on Thursday. The 33-year-old Pence is batting .298 with seven home runs and a team-leading 36 RBIs. Pence said he was told he had a 50-50 chance of returning if he skipped surgery and just did rehabilitation work. But if he did that and reinjured himself, the recovery time would be longer. The Giants are typically not very good without Pence — from 2015 to present, they have a .633 winning percentage when he plays and a .467 when he doesn’t.
The Red Sox have the majors’ best offense. Time will tell how long Boston can sustain itself with a spotty pitching staff (the rotation’s 4.75 ERA is the fifth highest in the AL). Boston has given up 58 earned runs since May 27, the fifth-highest total in MLB over that stretch. Expect the Sox to trade for a starting pitcher by the July 31 trade deadline. James Shields is no longer an option after he was trade from San Diego to the White Sox. Rich Hill is having an excellent year in Oakland and will be the pitcher most teams compete for. Hill rejuvenated his career last year with Boston. Atlanta’s Julio Teheran is another who will be in demand, but he will be costly.