For the Pittsburgh Pirates, spring training did not end with either a bloop or a blast, but a 5-5 tie Tuesday, March 27 with the Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida. The Buccos and the rest of Major League Baseball begin the 2018 campaign Thursday, March 29 with the earliest Opening Day in the history of the game.
With the Boys of Summer poised to take the field, the bean counters in Las Vegas and across the internet have their odds ready on who may go to the World Series in October from the National League Central Division.
Fans in the Windy City saw their Cubs go 19-14 during spring training in the Cactus League. The line this month at Odds Shark and Bovada has Chicago at 15/2 to arrive at the Fall Classic, second overall in the NL behind the Los Angeles Dodgers at 11/2. Wrigley Field favorite Kris Bryant is 4/1 to contend for the Most Valuable Player at the end of September, just behind Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals at 3/1. When it comes to the arms race, Yu Darvish is the Cubs contender for Cy Young pitching honors at 20/1.
St. Louis went 17-12 on the Grapefruit Circuit and is next at 22/1. Left fielder Marcell Ozuna, who hit .356 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 59 at-bats during spring training, rates a 40/1 shot in the MVP race while fellow outfielder Tommy Pham is a dark horse candidate at 80/1. Right-hander Carlos Martinez is 18/1 to come off the mound with the Cy Young Award.
Milwaukee finished ahead of the Cubs in the NL overall in spring training with a 19-12 mark in Cactus League action. The prognosticators project the Brewers at 30/1 to end up at the World Series. Righty Chase Anderson checks in at 50/1 in the Cy Young sweepstakes.
Followers of the Jolly Roger saw Clint Hurdle‘s crew wrap up their time in Bradenton at 11-19-1. The odds keepers see the Pirates at 150/1 in setting sail for the seas of the post-season and the Fall Classic.
These players appear to be ready to dock along the river at PNC Park after working out in the Florida sunshine: Francisco Cervelli (.405, four homers, 12 RBI in 37 at-bats); Colin Moran (.362, 0 HR, seven RBI in 58 at-bats); Starling Marte (.340, three home runs, six RBI in 53 at-bats); Adam Frazier (.353, one homer, nine RBI in 51 at-bats); and Gregory Polanco (.327, three home runs, six RBI in 49 at-bats).
When it was their turn on the hill during the spring: Tyler Glasnow struck out 25 over 16 innings pitched; Trevor Williams tallied 18 strikeouts in 15.1 innings; Chad Kuhl put up 14 strikeouts in 17.0 innings; and Jameson Taillon had 12 batters swing and miss in 12.2 innings. None of the Pirates were on the early board of 25 to 30 players making a run at either the MVP or Cy Young prizes.
Cincinnati concluded their run in the Cactus League at 10-19. The betting experts have the Reds at 250/1 in making it to the World Series. The three squads with worst odds are the Kansas City Royals, the Detroit Tigers, and the Miami Marlins, all at 500/1. Joey Votto, who participated in all 162 contests for Cincy, is in the sportsbook at 10/1 to obtain the MVP.
Do you agree with the odds speculators on how the Pirates might fair this season? Share your thoughts on the Boys of Summer in the comments section below.
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