The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals are set to square off in Game 7 of the World Series tonight at Minute Maid Park, but it's never too early to look ahead towards next year.
According to BetOnline.ag (h/t Rob Bradford of WEEI.radio.com), the Astros are the early 2020 World Series favorites at 5/1. Given that they're in their second World Series in three years, and having racked up three consecutive 1oo-win seasons, this shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody.
Following the Astros, the NL Champion Nationals and the New York Yankees have the second-highest betting odds at 8/1 each. The 2018 World Champion Boston Red Sox and NL juggernaut Los Angeles Dodgers share the third-best odds at 12/1.
The Milwaukee Brewers and the New York Mets carry 14/1 odds, while the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins are listed at 16/1. As for the teams with the lowest odds? The Toronto Blue Jays, Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates all carry 100/1 odds, while the Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles have 150/1 and 250/1 odds, respectively.
Of course, there are a handful of trendy World Series picks that disappoint each year, and a few clubs always emerge as big-time surprises. Few could have predicted that the Red Sox, Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs would miss the postseason this year, for example. And few expected the Tampa Bay Rays and Minnesota Twins to enjoy such strong 2019 seasons.
Both Houston and Washington could see their World Series odds slip between now and the start of next season. The Astros could lose ace pitcher Gerrit Cole in free agency, while the Nationals might not have star slugger Anthony Rendon and stud Stephen Strasburg - who could both hit the open market as well.
Astros Are Rightfully The Favorites
Win or lose on Wednesday, the Astros are still the team to beat for 2020. They have a championship pedigree, a deep lineup and one of baseball's top rotations. All the pieces are there for Houston to win a title next year, even if they don't retain Cole.