Finding the Best World Series Bets Based on Our Projections

With a month and a half left in the season, which teams have the best odds to win it all in 2018?

So much can change in the span of a week.

One hot week by a contender can allow themselves to establish distance between them and the teams chasing them in the standings, or can allow an upstart to suddenly get back into the pennant race. One bad week can knock a team off its perch atop the division and suddenly leave it scrambling to stay alive in the playoff picture.

At this time of year, baseball becomes a sprint, and Las Vegas is watching these teams run. Bovada is out with their latest betting lines to win the World Series, so which teams match up with numberFire's odds to win it all? Which are radically different?

The Odds

First, let's take a look at the latest Bovada futures and compare them to numberFire's odds to win it all, each teams' records and their run differential.

TeamOdds to WinnF Champs %RecordRun Differential
Boston Red Sox35017.3 (2)86-35214
Houston Astros40022.4 (1)73-47191
Los Angeles Dodgers6007.4 (6)64-5792
New York Yankees7008.2 (4)75-44140
Chicago Cubs9507.6 (5)68-5086
Cleveland Indians120011.9 (3)68-51130
Atlanta Braves15006.8 (7)67-5194
Milwaukee Brewers16004.8 (8)68-5433
Philadelphia Phillies16001.7 (12)65-5328
Arizona Diamondbacks18004.0 (9)66-5572
Oakland Athletics20003.6 (10)72-4867
Washington Nationals26000.8 (12)60-6067
Seattle Mariners30000.5 (T-13)69-52-24
Colorado Rockies40000.5 (T-13)64-55-13
St. Louis Cardinals45002.5 (11)65-5548
Pittsburgh Pirates50000.1 (15)61-593
San Francisco Giants80000.0 (T-16)61-60-33

For much of the season, the Houston Astros were the favorites to win it all, and according to our projections, they still are (22.4% chance). But Bovada now has the Boston Red Sox as the favorites (+350), which makes sense given they have the best record in baseball and the league's best run differential. We have Boston projected as a 17.3% chance to win the Fall Classic, 2nd behind the 'Stros.

Best Buys

Based on our projections, the Cleveland Indians have the third-best chance to win the World Series this year (11.9%) and yet Bovada has them with the 6th-best odds (+1200). They are guaranteed to win the AL Central and have the 4th-best run differential in the Majors.

The Atlanta Braves would appear to be the National League team to place a wager on right now. A four-game winning streak has them on top of the NL East by two games over the Philadelphia Phillies, and they are now a whopping 8 games up on the Washington Nationals. They boast the NL's best run differential as well (+94), and yet, they sit behind the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers on Bovada's boards.

And if you're looking for a team with longer odds, it's hard to find a hotter team right now than the Oakland Athletics, who have moved to within one game of the Houston Astros in the AL West. Oakland has a 72-48 record and has been the hottest team in baseball for the last six weeks. Yet, Bovada has them at +2000, 11th-highest among MLB teams.

Stay Away

There are a number of teams at the top of Bovada's odds that you should stay away from right now.

First, the Dodgers are having all kinds of bullpen issues with Kenley Jansen potentially out for the rest of the regular season. They have lost five in a row and sit in 3rd place in the NL West, 2 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks and 1 game behind the Colorado Rockies. numberFire's projections give L.A. the 6th-best odds to win it all (7.4%), yet Bovada has them with the 3rd-highest odds (+600).

The Philadelphia Phillies are also a team trending in the wrong direction. They're still very much in the hunt in the NL East, but after leading the division for more than a month, they've suddenly fallen 2 games behind the red-hot Braves and have a run differential of +28 that is only the 8th-best in the National League. Bovada has them tied with the Milwaukee Brewers at +1600, but our projections give Milwaukee a 4.8% chance to win the Series, compared to a 1.7% chance for the Phils. The Brewers also have a slightly better run differential of +33. At that price, Milwaukee is the better team to wager on.

In the American League, the New York Yankees have almost certainly been relegated to the AL wild card game as they sit 10 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East. They hold a 3.5 game lead on the A's for the top wild card spot, and are 7 games up on the Seattle Mariners for the second spot. New York will have to play in a one-game wild card playoff, a risky proposition that could result in the Bronx Bombers being out of the postseason after just one game. Yet, New York has the 4th-highest odds to win it all, according to Bovada (+700).


The National League is a jumbled mess, and with so many divisional games on the schedule for September, most of these races will be decided then. The American League playoff field appears to be mostly set, although a tightening AL West could shake up the wild card picture a bit.

Your best bets are to go with the Indians and Braves, with the A's making a great long-shot buy, and you probably want to stay away from the Dodgers, Phillies and Yankees at the moment.