Only 20 to 25 games remain on the schedules of major league baseball clubs. Crunch time is upon them as they attempt to win a division title or qualify for a postseason wildcard spot.
On opening day of this season, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Detroit Tigers were popular picks to reach the World Series. Detroit, behind Triple Crown Winner Miguel Cabrera, was listed in books, such as Bovada, topbet and betonline, as the World Series favorites at 6 to 1.
Los Angeles started the regular season at 8 to 1, behind the Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals at 7 to 1.
Through most of the season, the Tigers have played like a World Series contender. Detroit has led the American League Central nearly the entire season and currently owns a 6½ game lead over the second place Cleveland Indians.
Because of that, Detroit has stayed near or at the top all season with regard to the odds for the World Series. The Tigers odds to win an AL Pennant have dropped to just 7 to 4. Cabrera has helped to make those odds fall for the Tigers with his consistent hitting even though he has had nagging injuries of late. The Tigers pitching staff is leading the majors in strikeouts.
While Detroit has played a consistently high level of baseball for almost the entire season, the Dodgers have taken the circuitous route from top to bottom to top again.
The Dodgers are currently sitting atop the National League West division with a 13-game lead over the Arizona Diamondback.
However, in late June, the Dodgers were in the cellar of the NL West and odds were being taken as to how long manager Don Mattingly would keep his job.
All that changed once the Dodgers found their way. With the way their pitching staff is performing and their batting order coming through with timely hitting, the Dodgers have moved back to the top of the league for World Series odds.
Many baseball experts believe Los Angeles still has not even reached their full potential, which makes it even scarier since they are already playing so well.
If Matt Kemp can ever become completely healthy and return to his form of two seasons ago and if Hanley Ramirez can shake the nagging injuries, the Dodgers will be nearly unstoppable.
As the season winds down, it seems odd makers have the Dodgers on top with the Tigers in second for World Series futures, which means they expect a opening game of the World Series that will feature Max Scherzer versus Clayton Kershaw.