Analytics and intelligent decision-making are driving championship teams in Major League Baseball more than ever.
The Houston Astros embody this like no other, employing cutting-edge analytics in their front office while also engaging in the kind of smart macro-level decision making that we're seeing other teams adopt of late. A few years back, the Astros tore it all down and committed to losing badly for a few years in exchange for the chance of building it back up as a powerhouse. This, of course, culminated in a World Series title in 2017.
As more and more teams adopt this approach, we see a stratification in baseball. An elite crop of seven teams stand an excellent chance of making the playoffs and have a relatively even chance of winning once there. Then, there is a truly horrible crop of teams that have absolutely no chance of getting there. This makes betting the World Series champion a particularly tricky endeavor because the odds on the teams you really want to bet -- that elite crop -- don't tend to offer much edge.
As a result, the most edge this year seems to be found with some of the mid-tier teams that are hoping to launch themselves into the elite class (or at least snag a wild-card spot and embrace the variance of the postseason) and with a few bottom-of-the-barrel teams that have redeeming qualities.
Here's a look at the best value bets for the 2018 World Series champion.
Note: All odds courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, as of March 28. Suggested bets are out of a total $100 amount.