The Houston Astros are the reigning World Series champions and are currently tied with Boston in betting markets as the most likely team to win the World Series this year. Everyone knows the Astros are great, and they've been first or tied for first in this regard pretty much all season. Vegas gives them a 62 percent chance of making it past Cleveland and into the ALCS, but I'm far less convinced that they deserve a number this high. In fact, there's a lot of reason to believe that this series ought to be priced more like a pick 'em.
Here's my betting preview for the Indians-Astros ALDS.
Houston Astros (-160) vs. Cleveland Indians (+140)
Game 1 odds: Indians (Kluber) +132 at Astros (Verlander) -142
Game 1 over/under: 6.5 (O -125)
In almost all respects apart from reputation and winning the 2017 World Series, the Indians and Astros are evenly matched. Houston, which was once the best offense in baseball, took quite a few hits this year. Alex Bregman got better, but Jose Altuve, George Springer and Carlos Correa all got significantly worse. Correa has been bad enough where we have to wonder if he's actually healthy or if something is legitimately wrong with him. Marwin Gonzalez wasn't able to repeat his lucky 2017 stat line, and they didn't add anybody to the mix. They posted a 110 wRC+ this season, which wasn't too much above Cleveland's 105 mark.
When you consider