The Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers are the two best teams in baseball at the All-Star break, but will either club play in World Series?
Oddsmakers see this as the most likely Fall Classic matchup, priced at +750 to clash in the World Series, with the Dodgers (+400 to win) and Astros (+450) at the top the futures book. It got us wondering, how often the best teams at the break end up representing their respective leagues in the World Series?
Looking back over the last 15 years, we found the National League teams with the best record won the pennant just once (6.66 percent win rate). The American League, on the other hand, sent its best team from the break to the World Series four times over the last 15 years.
The average winning percentage at the break from AL World Series representatives is .587 while the NL is at .550.
Speaking about winning percentages, this year's Dodgers and Astros own the two highest win percentages (.678, .674) at the break over the last 16 seasons. Only one other team ever cracked .670 at the midseason mark in the sample size (Detroit Tigers 2007).
We also wanted to know what the average price at the All-Star break was for the teams who ended up winning the World Series.
You can see the average preseason price on the eventual World Series champion sits at +2,070 and the average price at the All-Star break is about +1,332. Only one of the last nine MLB champions had the best record in its league at the break (2013 Red Sox).
The 2016 Chicago Cubs became just the fifth team since 1995 to finish with the best regular season record and win the World Series.
So, if you think either the Astros or Dodgers are going to win the World Series this year, it might make sense to wait for either club to cool off a bit before placing your futures bet. It wouldn't hurt either to examine a few other teams above .500 but playing below their full potential.
Remember, four of the last eight World Series champions were priced at 10/1 or better on September 1. The 2011 St. Louis Cardinals were 999/1 to win the World Series at MGM Resorts sportsbooks in Las Vegas on September 12 when they were 4.5 games out of playoff position. One lucky bettor grabbed them and won over $375,000 on two separate bets.