According to the Vegas lines, the current odds for each team to win it all:
As you may have noticed, the top two teams on this list happen to be playing each other. So Vegas gives the AL a 65.6% chance of winning the World Series. I guess BOS would be an even bigger favorite than that over ARI, and CLE would be a lesser favorite over Colorado. Either way, that's kind of amazing.
Before the playoffs began, ESPN had 20 of their guys submit picks. Five picked the Yankees (including Bob Klapisch...shocking), six the Red Sox (incl. Gammons and McAdam), three the Indians (Olney, Neyer, Keri), and three the Angels (including Barry Bonds correspondent Pedro Gomez). THREE PEOPLE picked a NL team to win the World Series. Stark had the Cubs (so did I...oops), and Amy Nelson and Jim Caple took the Rockies.
This is amazing to me. If the Arizona Diamondbacks, who had the NL's best record, advance to the World Series, ESPN's analysts will have been 0/20 in predicting this. In fact, even given the chance for a do over after the NLDS, they will have gone 1/10 (H/T Unfiltered). Which brings me to the series lines (from Bodog):
COL (-135, 55%) @ ARI (+115, 45%)
CLE (+150, 39%) @ BOS (-170, 61%)
ESPN's ALCS picks fall right in line with the odds, as six of the 10 have Boston advancing. The NL picks aren't even close, with a 35% disparity (90% to 55%).
Another way to look at this is the ESPN SportsNation voting. Even with me voting for the Tribe twice, 52% think the Red Sox will advance to the WS. An impressive 71% think the Rockies will in the NLCS. I would like to everyone that as recently as September 14, this same Colorado team was listed at 100:1 to win the NL.
This is amazing to me. It's one thing when a team makes a "Cinderella run" and shocks the world. This is different. The Rockies have gone from having a 1.8% chance of making the playoffs to having 71% of the general public pick them to win the NLCS in about three weeks. Obviously, strange things happen when you win 17 out of 18, but, even given the circumstances, this is pretty incredible.
Anyway, BetUS has also posted lines on who will will win the NLCS MVP:
Eric Byrnes has a better shot at winning the NLCS MVP than Brandon Webb? Really? I was kind of under the impression that if the Diamondbacks advance, it will likely be because Webb shut Colorado down in his two (or possibly three) starts, since the G1 starters are Arizona's clearest advantage.
Other than that, I think these are reasonable, although Chris Young and his .295 OBP seem a little out of place. I guess he could hit .250, not walk once, hit 3 or 4 HRs, and win it.
Pretty cool that Justin Upton, who turned 20 six weeks ago, is even on this list. In 8 PAs against CHC, he went 3/5 with three walks and a stolen base. It wouldn't be completely unprecedented for him to have a big series- in '96, Andruw Jones was only 19 when he hit .400/.500/.750 with two HRs in the WS against the Yankees.
Photos: Yahoo!, Yahoo!, MLB.com.
Completely Unrelated: Welcome [Basketball Prospectus, Sheehan]