2015 MLB Playoff Odds: Can a Sleeper Sneak in?
The 2015 MLB playoffs could be quite interesting, as we have several powerhouse teams and could even get a couple of teams sneaking in at the last minute.
The Toronto Blue Jays might be the most impressive MLB team at the moment, as they’ve used their second 11-game winning streak of the year to jump ahead of the New York Yankees for the AL East lead. That division is still very much up for grabs (especially with the Orioles and Rays 5 and 5.5 games back, respectively), while the AL West, NL East, NL Central and NL West are all far from decided (first leads by six games or less in each division).
With division races not yet cemented in five of six MLB divisions, the race is still very much on when it comes to who can get into the playoffs. Some teams would need historic runs to pull it off and others are already dead in the water, but if the 2015 MLB season up to this point has shown us anything, it’s that it’s never over until it’s over.
World Series Favorites
The favorites to win this year’s World Series haven’t changed much, although a new face is near the top: Toronto. Thanks to adding Troy Tulowitzki and David Price, the Jays now have the second best World Series odds, tied with the L.A. Dodgers (15/1). Atop the entire league are the Kansas City Royals (9/2) who added Ben Zobrist and Johnny Cueto and will soon have Alex Gordon (groin) back.
While these teams look nasty and are all leading their respective divisions, they must obviously pay mind to the Cardinals (17/2) and Astros (8/1), who help round out the top five. From there, the Mets, Yankees and Nats are tied with 10/1 odds, followed by the defending champion Giants (12/1) and the Pirates (15/1). The last team with better than 25/1 odds to win it all this year? The Cubbies, who gets a solid shot with 18/1 odds to go the distance.
Winning it all is great, but what about simply getting to the World Series? The Royals are the top pick to win it all, so it shouldn’t shock anyone that they lead the way for the AL (8/5 odds), but right behind them are the Jays and Astros (4/1 odds, each). On the other side the St. Louis Cardinals lead the way with 5/2 odds, with the Dodgers (3/1), Nats (4/1) and Mets (5/1) all close behind.
You’re Saying There’s a Chance
In the vain of Lloyd Christmas, there are a litany of MLB playoff hopefuls right now and with around 50 games to go (depending on the team), there are still a huge amount of teams that could see a wild run in August and September turn into an otherwise unlikely trip to post-season play.
The leading “unlikely” candidates are the Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres. All of these teams look to be dead in the water, but mathematically could still heat up playoff talk if they went on crazy runs. All are no more than 13 games out of first place inside their division, too, making a wild post-season run unlikely but not impossible.
Right on the brink of giving up and making a historic run are teams like the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians. Teams like the Milwaukee Brewers, Colorado Rockies and Philadelphia Phillies are probably gone, but the Reds and Indians arguably have the talent in place to heat up and aren’t quite dead just yet.
Todd Frazier, Jay Bruce and Joey Votto headline a very explosive Reds offense and if their young pitchers can step up, this could be a fun team to watch over the next two months. Cincy is still a whopping 21.5 games out of the NL Central lead, but if the Pirates, Cubs, Angels and Giants could suffer even minor collapses and Cincinnati puts everything together, they could gain the necessary momentum to change their current 0% playoff probability to something much greater.
The same goes for Cleveland, who has a very potent offense and at least on paper has a loaded pitching staff. The two rarely work together seamlessly at the same time, but if they could find a way to do that starting in August, the Indians could crawl out of a 14.5 game hole and give the Kansas City Royals a run for their money. That’s the least likely of their playoff scenarios, though, with giving the Yankees and Angels a push seeming far more plausible.
For the most part, the craziness is being contained as we approach the season’s stretch run. The elite teams are largely who we thought they’d be and teams like the Cubs, Blue Jays, Astros and Mets are no longer teases – but legit threats. How it plays out is anyone’s guess, but it’s sure to be one wild ride.
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