The 2014 Major League Baseball season may be over, but that doesn't mean the restrained puritans down in Vegas aren't ready to figure out how to win or lose a bunch of money by determining next year's World Series odds before free agency has even started.
You know the drill--the odds are set by a bunch of old-timey bookies conspiring together while playing cards in a smoke filled room. There are half-empty bottles of whiskey, some mob boss looking uninterested in the corner, and some guy named Fingers who always wants to disagree with everything. They consider a whole bunch of factors including but not limited to last year's standings, strength of roster, and probably some other things that I don't really understand but will affirm simply by appealing to authority.
In other words, its all very serious stuff you should not take lightly.
So on Thursday, the folks over at Bovada Sportsbook compiled their list of odds for the 2015 World Series, and the top 10 includes all the teams you would expect in or around exactly the position you would expect them to be: The Dodgers top off the list, followed by high appearances from 2014's AL-best Angels, the reigning World Series Champion Giants, and the 87-75 Seattle Mariners. Wait, what?
Yes, according to this list the Seattle Mariners have the eighth-best odds to win the 2015 World Series, better than the Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Boston Red Sox. Their 18/1 chances tie them with the Kansas City Royals, who were a dinger away from the trophy two days ago. This means that the Mariners are a dinger away from the 2015 World Series trophy today, so you should probably get on board with everything.
All joking aside, it seems that last season was really the big surprise for the league. While the M's are far from being taken too seriously, they can rest on the laurels of not only last season's winning record, but also a roster likely to change only in a few areas of needed improvement--probably a big reason for such uncertainty surrounding the Athletics 2015 season. And keep in mind that these odds have been set before free agency has even started. What they are, essentially, are votes of confidence resulting from last season's performance rather than actual likely odds of winning the championship.
Still, 18/1. Just let that sink in. The Mariners have 18/1 odds to win the World Series. What is less likely to happen than the Mariners winning the World Series next year?
- Notre Dame going to the 2014/15 College Football Championship: 20/1
- The Portland Trailblazers winning the 2015 NBA Title: 33/1
- Your death from unintentional poisoning by and exposure to noxious substances: 119/1
- You writing a book that lands on the New York Times bestseller list: 220/1
- Seeing a no-hitter in person: 806/1
- You finding a five-leaf clover: 10,000/1
- Getting injured by your toilet sometime during the next calendar year: 10,000/1
- An asteroid colliding with Earth sometime in the next 100 years and wiping out all life as we know it: 500,000/1
- Getting struck by lightning: 700,000/1
- You being beatified by the Pope: 20,000,000/1
- Winning the lottery: 175,000,000/1
So...in conclusion...buy your tickets now. The Mariners are going to--and winning--the 2015 World Series. Unless any of these things happen between now and then, and if so, well, we will know who to blame.