The Rockies are coming off back-to-back post-season appearances for the first time in franchise history.
Given the youthful nature of their core players – including the entire starting rotation – there is a confidence within the organization about what could happen in the 2019 season.
The oddsmakers, however, don’t seem impressed. The Rockies have odds of 25-to-1 to win the World Series, which ranks them 13 among MLB teams.
The top three favorites are the Yankees at 6-to-1, and the Red Sox and Astros at 7-to-1. The Dodgers, looking for a seventh consecutive NL West title, are 9-to-1. They have made 12 post-season appearances since their last world championship -- in 1988, five years before the Rockies fierst game.
But, remember, oddsmakers aren’t looking at analytics. The only stats that get their attention are the amount of money bettors are placing on a team. The goal of the oddsmakers is to create a line that will draw the same amount of money on both sides of a wager.
One of the more interesting teams is Washington, which ranks just ahead of the Rockies, tied with the Braves, Indians and Mets for ninth with odds of 16-to-1.
The Nationals, who were created as the Montreal Expos in 1969, have never advanced to a World Series, but they are a favorite of the betting public. In the last six years they have been the pre-season favorite for a world championship twice – in 2015 and 2013. They finished second in the NL East and did not advance to the post-season either time.
Only twice in the last 10 years have the oddsmakers had a pre-season winner in the world of odds. The Cubs were 4-to-1 favorites in 2016 when they won their first World Series since 1908, and the Yankees were 5-to-2 favorites in 2009 when they won the World Series.
In fairness to bettors, the Rockies have not distinguished themselves. In their first 26 seasons they have advanced to the post-season five times – as a wild-card each time. They reached the World Series once and were swept in four games by the Red Sox in 2007.
The 25-to-1 for 2019 is lower than nine of the last 10 years. They were 18-to-1 in 2011, when they finished in fourth place in the NL West. At the other extreme, they were 200-to-1 in 2016, when they finished in third place in the NL West, and 150-to-1 in 2013, when they finished in last place in the NL West.
The Rockies are, however, coming off a 91-win season, one shy of the club record, and finished 162 games tied with the Dodgers for the NL West title. They, however, lost a Game 163 at Dodger Stadium, and after beating the Cubs in the NL wild-card game, they were swept by the Brewers in the NL Division Series.
The Brewers go into spring training with odds of 14-to-1 to win the World Series, tied with the Cardinals for the seventh lowest odds, just behind the Cubs, who are 12-to-1.
And then there are the Orioles. They not only have the highest odds – at 250-to-1 – but they are far removed from the rest of the MLB teams. The Tigers, Royals and Marlins are just ahead of the Orioles at 150-to-1. Meanwhile, two of the Orioles fellow members of the AL East are at the low end – the Yankees and Red Sox. Tampa Bay is 33-to-1, and the other AL East team, the Toronto, is 66-to-1.
In the NL West, after the Dodgers and the Rockies, the Diamondbacks are 50-to-1, and the Padres and Giants are both 66-to-1.