MLB Second Half Begins with Dodgers and Astros Favored

The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros are the top two teams favored to win the 2017 World Series by odds makers, as the season restarts following its annual All-Star Game break.

The Dodgers have the best odds at 3 to 1 to win this season’s World Series while the Astros are close behind at 9 to 2. Following them are the Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals and Cleveland Indians.

The reigning World Series champion Chicago Cubs began this season as the odds on favorites to win a second straight title, but the Cubs have been average for the first half of the season and have dropped down the odds board.

Nevertheless, the Cubs did trade for a new starting pitcher on Thursday. Chicago acquired Jose Quintana a southpaw starter from cross-city rivals the Chicago White Sox in exchange for four minor leaguers, including two top prospects.

Chicago is just 43-45 as it opens its first series following the All-Star break on Friday against Baltimore. Quintana is scheduled to debut for the Cubs on Sunday. The Cubs must make up a 5 ½-game deficit to the first place Milwaukee Brewers to reach the postseason.

Odds makers have not yet given up on the Cubs. Thus far in 88 games, the Cubs have only been the underdogs 14 times, which means odds makers still belief the talent base is present.

Bettors are still staying with the Cubs as there has been more money bet on the Cubs to win another World Series this season than on any other MLB team.

The Dodgers started the season with odds of 10 to 1 to win the Fall Classic, but are the current favorites. The National League West leaders are 61-29 at the break which is the best record in baseball.

The Dodgers have a strong starting rotation headlined by three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and their batting order has come to life led by rookie sensation Cody Bellinger.

Other surprises during the first half of the season include the Arizona Diamondbacks that were longshots at the start of the season.

New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge has breathed new life into the Bronx Bombers and if their pitching can hold up, they could give the Red Sox a run for their money in the second half. Judge leads the majors in home runs with 30.

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