Article courtesy OddsShark (@OddsShark)
The Los Angeles Dodgers (94-52) will not have too much competition in the National League the rest of the regular season outside of the Atlanta Braves (90-56), who trail them by just four games for the top seed in the senior circuit side of the playoff bracket.
After clinching its seventh NL West title in a row, Los Angeles is only one game back of the Houston Astros (95-51) and New York Yankees (95-51) for home-field advantage throughout the postseason as well, with the team remaining the +300 second choice (bet $100 to win $300) to take home its first World Series title since 1998.
The Astros are still the team to beat at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, sitting as slight +275 favorites over the Dodgers, with the Yankees right behind them at +350. The key for all three top contenders at this point of the season in addition to the others fighting to get into the playoffs is staying healthy and setting up their starting rotations while giving their top pitchers the rest they need to succeed come the postseason.
After seeing reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich fracture his kneecap during the Milwaukee Brewers’ win against the Miami Marlins, it is hard for the teams that have already clinched playoff berths not to think of protecting their best players first and foremost down the stretch.
The Braves look to be next in line to clinch the NL East, and they are currently the fourth choice to win the World Series at +800 odds. Houston and New York have yet to clinch their divisions, but they have already earned playoff spots.
Races to win the Central Divisions of both the American and National Leagues remain competitive, with the consolation prizes potentially being Wild Card berths for teams like the Cleveland Indians (+2500 to win the World Series) and Chicago Cubs (+2500). The St. Louis Cardinals lead the Cubs by 3.5 games in the NL Central, and they are the fifth choice to win the World Series at +1200 on those MLB odds.
The Minnesota Twins have a bigger cushion in the AL Central at 5.5 games over the Indians, and they are right behind the Cardinals on the betting board at +1400. The Wild Card leader in the NL – the Washington Nationals – have the pitching to get to the World Series and sit at +1600 at online betting sites.