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Pennant and World Series odds shift, but Astros still primed for October run

(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

A little more than a week ago I wrote about the Houston Astros odds of winning the American League and World Series according to WynnBet.com. Things have changed.

While the Astros are still favored to win the American League, the odds have narrowed.  As far as the World Series goes, a couple of teams have passed Houston and there’s a bit of weirdness involved.

When we last looked, the Astros were +200 (33.3%) to win the American League, but that’s now dropped to +240 (29.4%).  Right on their heels, as you might have imagined, are the Tampa Bay Rays at +250 (28.6%).  The only other American League team close are the Chicago White Sox at +300 (25%).

Looking at the current World Series odds is a bit perplexing as the Astros (+475/17.4%), who had the second best odds just last week, are now fourth behind the Dodgers (+275), Giants (+400) and Rays (+425).

It may seem counterintuitive for the Astros to have better odds than Tampa to win the American League, especially with Tampa holding the home field advantage, but worse odds than Tampa to win the World Series.

Despite the odds of the Astros winning the American League dropping, the odds of winning the World Series have gotten slightly better over the last 10 days.

This is where we have to remember that the WynnBet.com odds are not driven by an algorithm and history like those on FanGraphs, but rather by the betting market that may or may not buy into the Rays compared to the Astros.

Quite simply, despite the Rays home field advantage, the betting market believes the Astros have the better chance to come out of the American League.  However, given the choice of American League teams to take out the Dodgers or Giants (likely) in the World Series, the Rays are currently the pick, by a slight margin.  Obviously, these odds can, and likely will, shift as the postseason develops.

Speaking of FanGraphs, the current numbers for Houston on that site are 29.5% to win the American League (highest) and 15.9% to win the World Series (second only to Dodgers), while the White Sox have the second best odds at 25.2% to win the AL and 12.8% to win the World Series.  The Rays lag behind both of these teams with 16.5% odds to win the AL and 7.3% odds of winning World Series.

This reinforces that the betting market is influenced by things other than numbers, namely the perception of a team and the belief that they will or won’t win the pennant and World Series, versus the cold, hard numbers of FranGraphs.

One other notable piece of the puzzle is that these two ways of setting odds are based on looking at the entirety of the season and the potential of the team, and are not solely focused on the slightly above .500 record of the last two months. Maybe there’s a lesson in that thought process.

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I mentioned this last go round, but the important takeaway is that whether it’s the analytical/historical numerically driven approach or the betting market based approach, there’s a consensus that this Astros team is primed for an October run.