Our Pledge To You

MLB

Cubs given 6th-best World Series odds; Reds favored as most improved team

Kris Bryant hits a home run during spring training. | John Antonoff/For the Sun-Times

Only five teams have a stronger chance to win the 2019 World Series than the Cubs, according to the latest MLB odds from SportsBettingDime.com. The Cubs are listed at 15/1 to win their second championship in four years, just ahead of the rival Cardinals, who are listed at 16/1.

The Astros are considered the favorites to win the World Series with 7/1 odds, followed by the Yankees (8/1), Dodgers (10/1), Red Sox (10/1) and Phillies (14/1). It appears that signing outfielder Bryce Harper paid off for Philadelphia in terms of boosting its perception as a contender entering the season.

The oddsmakers also like what the Reds and Padres did to their rosters over the winter. Cincinnati is listed as the favorite for most improved team with 5/1 odds. San Diego, which beat out the White Sox to add Manny Machado, is right behind at 11/2.

The White Sox, who didn’t sign Machado but can expect the arrival of Eloy Jimenez soon, are given 9/1 odds for most improved team. They’re also given 175/1 odds to win the World Series, tied for 22nd-best in the game with the Blue Jays and Giants. That might not seem great, but hey, at least they’re not the Orioles, who come in with brutal 5,000/1 odds to win it all after a 47-115 season.

When can Sox fans expect Jimenez to make his debut on the South Side? The oddsmakers are listing April 15 as the over/under date among their prop bets.

Another prop bet that’ll interest Chicago fans: Who will be the Cubs’ home run leader in 2019?

Kris Bryant is listed as the favorite for dinger champ with 5/2 odds, ahead of Anthony Rizzo (3/1), Javier Baez (7/2) and Kyle Schwarber (9/2). If you’re expecting big things from Willson Contreras or Ian Happ, the field comes in at 15/1.

Oh, and the chances of a Cubs-White Sox crosstown World Series? 660/1. The dream is alive!