The Dodgers may be the favourites going into the post-season but their National League counterparts the Nationals could make life difficult for them say Accuscore...
"While the Dodgers are likeliest to make it from the NL with a probability of 14% [7.1], there’s more value in the Washington Nationals – if only slightly. Their odds based on our predictions are [8.3] compared to the Exchange [9.2]"
The MLB regular season has run its course and it's time for the games that really matter. The post-season starts with the Wild Card matches played on Tuesday and Wednesday. Betfair is offering updated outright odds for the World Series Winner and according to Accuscore there are a couple of great value bets.
The regular season was filled with record breaking efforts both individually and collectively. In the American League, the Cleveland Indians broke the record for consecutive wins with 22 straight towards the end of the season. In the National League it was the LA Dodgers season, who recorded the best 50-game stretch since 1912 with a record of 43-7. They then slumped to lose 16 out of 17 games, but still managed to take the MLB top spot with 104 wins.
The American League West was dominated by the Houston Astros, who scored the most runs in the MLB - and the most since the 2009 Yankees. The Astros finished with 101 wins, only one behind the AL winning Indians. The Boston Red Sox followed suit, taking the AL East with 93 wins before their arch-rivals, the New York Yankees, with 91. The last Wild Card spot went to Minnesota, who surprised many by winning 85 games.
The National League race was somewhat closer behind the Dodgers. Washington took the Eastern division with 97 wins, while the reigning champs, the Cubs, motored towards the end of the season and won their division despite a low-key start. The NL West saw three teams enter the post-season as both Arizona and Colorado booked their tickets along with the Dodgers.
The Betfair Exchange currently rates the Cleveland Indians [4.7], and the Los Angeles Dodgers [5.1] as the most likely teams to make it to the Word Series. The runners-up are slated to be the Houston Astros at [6.2], and the Washington Nationals at [9.2].
The odds predict an extremely close race, with only the Wild Card teams receiving offers of more than [10.0]. Reigning champions Chicago are valued at [9.0] and Boston Red Sox at [9.6]. The highest odds are reserved for the unexpected playoff-teams - Arizona Diamondbacks at [20.0], Colorado Rockies at [32.0], and Minnesota Twins at [36.0].
Accuscore has simulated all of the scenarios for the 2017 post-season and ended up with the most likely prediction of things to come. While the playoff battle is as close as ever, there are a couple of discrepancies compared to the odds on offer.
In Accuscore simulations it is not the Indians, but Houston who are the most likely AL representatives in the World Series. Accuscore's probability for the World Series for them is 18% [5.6]. The Astros are also undervalued by the Exchange, so the smart money should be flowing for Houston.
While the Dodgers are likeliest to make it from the NL with a probability of 14% [7.1], there's more value in the Washington Nationals - if only slightly. Their odds based on our predictions are [8.3] compared to the Exchange [9.2].
Looking back to past seasons, it's rarely been the favorites that lift the Commissioner's Trophy. Last season the Cubs were an exception to the rule, but the runners up Cleveland were only ranked 7th most likely to win, with odds of [14.0]. And they were up 3-1 in the finals going into Game Five... In 2015 the Royals were ranked third in the betting and in 2014 the Giants took everyone by surprise, being the least likely team going into the post-season to win it all - with odds of [15.0].
That being said, there's some value with the Yankees - who are, according to simulations, set to pose a serious challenge to the Indians in the first round by proceeding with almost a 50% likelihood - the Yankees probability to go all the way is 8.8% [11.4].
Long shots have paid off in the past and stranger things have happened... so it's worth noting the Rockies win probability per Accuscore is 5% which equates to odds of 20. As Betfair currently gives odds of , it may be worth chancing Colorado to spring a surprise this year.