The Houston Astros are the 2017 World Series Champions! The Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in 7 games in what many are calling one of the greatest World Series in history. This was the first World Series Championship for the Astros, as they won Wednesday Night by the score of 5-1.
Houston Astros Outfielder George Springer was named the series MVP, putting the Astros up 5-0 with a 2 run home run in the 2nd inning. Springer hit a total of 5 home runs in the World Series, tying Chase Utley in 2009 and Reggie Jackson in 1977. Springer hit home runs in 4 consecutive games and ended the series with 8 extra bases hits, which measured out at 3 doubles and 5 home runs. Springer set a World Series record for total bases with 29, beating out Reggie Jackson in 1977 and Willie Stargell in 1979, who had 25 total bases.
The secondary story of game 7 was how good the Astros bullpen was after playing the first 6 games of the World Series horribly. The Astros were the 3rd worst bullpen coming into game 7 with a 7.29 ERA. They have been bad for the first 6 games but game 7 was an entirely different story.
Starting Pitcher Lance McCullers was taken out of the game in the third inning and the game was left in the hands of the bullpen. Four Astros Relievers took over the game, allowing the Dodgers to collect just 3 hits and 1 earned run, over 6 ⅔ innings. The bullpen walked 4 batters and struck out 6.
2018 World Series
Immediately following the World Series, the odds for 2018 were released and the Astros have opened up at 6/1. They are not the favorite, which is odd figuring they just won the World Series and in most sports, the champion is normally the favorite for the following year. The Astros will do a nice job in keeping their starting lineup in place, as they do not have any starters from their starting lineup that will come up for free agency this year.
The favorite for next year is the team that lost in the world series this year, the LA Dodgers. The Dodgers have opened up as a 5/1 favorite, followed by the Astros and the Cleveland Indians at 6/1. Part of the Dodgers success this year, weighed heavily on three time Cy Young Award Winner Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw was his normal self this year and crushed opposition all year but he will now come into free agency. Kershaw can fortunately write his own ticket and go wherever he wants. It is highly unlikely that the Dodgers will let him walk away.
The Dodgers also stand to lose to free agency Yu Darvish, Curtis Granderson, Franklin Gutierrez, Brandon Morrow, Chase Utley and Tony Watson. That is a significant amount of players for a team that oddsmakers have already listed as the favorite to win the 2018 World Series.
There were only 5 teams this year with single digit return numbers, including the Dodgers, Astros, Indians, Washington Nationals at 7/1 and the New York Yankees at 8/1. The Nationals are another team that will be highly dependant on free agency signings. Their star player, Bryce Harper, will enter free agency and he is going to attract a big market! There is a huge payday in store for Mr. Harper, whether it is in the Nation’s Capital is another story!
The American League East Champions, Boston Red Sox come in at 10/1. The Red Sox will contend again as they do each year with one of the best pitchers in the game, Chris Sale. The Chicago Cubs also come into next year at 10/1. The Cubs won the National League Central Division over the Milwaukee Brewers, who are currently 30/1.
One of the surprises that caught a few people off guard was the Arizona Diamondbacks, winners of the National League Wild Card, coming in at a inflated 20/1. The Diamondbacks will return a decent amount of players on their team and should contend again next year, with a decent return on your investment.
The other National League Wild Card team, the Colorado Rockies, are an even larger number in odds at 40/1 but we must take into consideration that free agency hit they are about to take. The Rockies could lose Carlos Gonzalez, Jonathan Lucroy, Mark Reynolds and there are rumors circulating that the Rockies could part ways with Charlie Blackmon.
Bet On the Underdog
The biggest longshot for the 2018 World Series are the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers are a whopping 300/1, which is nearly 4 times the next largest longshot, which is a combination of 8 teams including Miami Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Minnesota Twins, KC Royals, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres, all of which are 80/1.