Like many sports, the 2020 MLB season has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with a condensed version of the season having begun last month, while 16 teams will compete in a restructured postseason beginning in September.
In-form Dodgers to be Avoided
The team that have started the season most impressively are the LA Dodgers, as they have the best win percentage of any team having triumphed in 22 of their 30 games to date.
That run includes 11 wins from their last 12, as well as three successive victories over the Colorado Rockies, culminating in Sunday’s 11-3 triumph at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers have not won the World Series since 1988 but they have come close on a number of occasions since manager Dave Roberts took over in 2016, having twice fallen in the best-of-seven Championship Series during that time, and they are priced at
7/2 to go one better this time around.
Athletics Could Come Good in Final Straight
Nobody has won more games than the Dodgers during the regular season, although the only other team to have claimed 20-plus wins are Oakland Athletics, who currently top the American League West.
The Athletics started August with nine-straight wins, with the form of pitcher Liam Hendriks particularly catching the eye and although their form has tailed off slightly of late, they still remain a shrewd
10/31 bet to win their division.
Other teams that have started the season strongly include Tampa Bay Rays and Minnesota Twins, who have both registered 19 wins apiece, while New York Yankees are also in good form, despite having played less games than their rivals.
Nationals With Work to Do If They Are to Retain Crown
Washington Nationals defied the odds to claim their first World Series last year, defeating Houston Astros in a decisive seventh game, but things have not been going so smoothly for the defending champions in 2020.
The Nationals still have Dave Martinez as manager while star pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who was named MVP for last year’s World Series, remains part of the team.
Despite that, the reigning champions have only won 11 of their 25 games to date and they need a big improvement.
That leaves the Nationals fourth and some way off the pace in the National League East standings and they have their work cut out just to make it into the extended postseason.
Its a similar story for 2018 World Series winners Boston Red Sox, as they currently sit bottom of the American League East having won just nine of their 29 games to date, although they did recently snap a nine-game losing streak to perhaps signal an upturn in form.
However, a tilt at the postseason seems unlikely, with the Red Sox currently being priced at
100/1 to win a competitive division that also contains the Rays and the Yankees.
*All odds correct at time of writing