As we gear up for baseball season, thoughts are turning toward which squad will eventually come out on top. One team has emerged as a heavy favorite, a darling of the betting public and an apparently unstoppable juggernaut.
Of course, we are talking about the Chicago Cubs. You know, the team that hasn’t appeared in the World Series since 1945, and hasn’t won it all since the reported deaths of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (that would be in 1908, just to clarify.)
Believe it or not, the Cubs are attracting action in Las Vegas at a pace that far outstrips that of any other MLB team. That would include the Kansas City Royals, who actually won the World Series last season and have made two trips in a row.
What in the name of the Billy Goat is going on here? Well, Chicago did make a playoff appearance last season — its first in seven years — and it has a bounty of talent, and that seems to be leading to all sorts of remarkable optimism.
According to ESPN’s David Purdum, the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas has installed the Cubs as a 4-1 World Series favorite. By comparison, the second-best odds are 10-1, for the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers, with the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets next at 12-1; the Royals are further back at 18-1.
Odds at online sites reflect a similar dynamic. OddsShark has the Cubs at plus-400, while the next-best team, the San Francisco Giants, checks in at plus-800. At Bovada, the Cubs are also listed at plus- 400, but the next-best odds are at plus-1000 (Dodgers, Giants and Mets).