If you followed our other articles on who we like to win the National League and American League pennants, you would know that we expect a commissioner’s dream World Series: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. the New York Yankees. Below is our best bet to win the 2019 World Series, as well as a value bet with great odds.
Here are the odds to win the 2019 World Series (odds courtesy of FanDuel)
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+290|
|New York Yankees||+460|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+1900|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+2900|
Best Bet: Los Angeles Dodgers (+290)
In a Dodgers-Yankees World Series, the Dodgers would have to be favorites. Los Angeles would have home-field in the World Series over everyone but the Astros. If the Yankees formula is to mash home runs and outslug teams on their way to a title, pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium is not the best place to employ this strategy. Not only that, but the Dodgers allowed the fewest walks and home runs all year. The Dodgers led the National League in both home and road ERA. The Yankees lineup would be at a disadvantage from not having the designated hitter for four out of the seven games of the series. The Dodgers would also hold a huge edge in starting pitching with Kershaw, Ryu, Buehler, and Hill. The Yankees meanwhile would likely be aiming to get anywhere from 15 to 18 outs from their vaunted bullpen each game.
Though a lot of teams would cave under the pressure of making it to the World Series three consecutive years and coming away empty-handed, I believe the Dodgers would relish this opportunity. Most of their players are under contract, with Hyun-Jin Ryu being the biggest possible free agent. Given that this team is likely to stay intact for the coming years, there is not as much urgency as one would think to win the World Series this year. Instead of treating these playoffs as pressure-filled, look for the Dodgers to use their experience to their benefit, and take home their first World Series crown since 1988.
Best Sleeper Bet: St. Louis Cardinals (+1900)
For a sleeper team, it is wiser to look through the National League field than the American League, given that an American League team would have to navigate through the loaded Astros and/or Yankees. The Dodgers are every bit as good as those teams, but the National League path still looks more navigable.
In a year where home runs are all the talk offensively, the St. Louis Cardinals still play the game a different way. The Cardinals ranked just 12th in the NL in home runs and 11th in batting average. Instead, they built their lineup and roster more around defense and run prevention. They come into the playoffs with the hottest pitching in the league, as their rotation finished September with the best overall ERA. They were pushed to the brink in their division by two teams that had playoff aspirations (the Cubs missed the playoffs but the Brewers made it as a Wild Card). I love the fact that the Cardinals played playoff-intensity games during the last weekend of the season, as this should make them sharper than their opponents. That, coupled with their contrarian approach to the game makes them awfully dangerous, and a great value at +1900.