The Toronto Blue Jays, bolstered by their myriad of off-season acquisitions, were supposed to take advantage of an old New York Yankees and a discombobulated Boston Red Sox to win the AL East this season, on their way to the World Series.
The Washington Nationals, after winning 98 games last season, most in the Majors, were supposed to take the next step this season and win a playoff series or three.
And the Los Angeles Angels and Dodgers had Southern California baseball fans dreaming of an I-5 World Series.
Collections of talent do not always make for World Series champions. That's why they design a team on paper, but it has to perform on the field and that's why daily MLB odds and World Series futures alike have soured on some top teams.
Toronto, after going 73-89 last year, added a bunch of talent this off-season, including Jose Reyes, RA Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and Melky Cabrera.
With that in mind many sportsbooks sent the Jays off this year at odds of right around 8/1 on their World Series betting boards. But Toronto got off to a very slow start, lost Reyes to a nasty ankle injury and as June approached found itself in last place in the AL East.
Many online sportsbooks are doubting the Jays will recover; as of earlier this week Bovada had bumped its World Series odds on Toronto to 25/1.
Pitching-rich Washington experienced some sudden success last season, and was expected to continue along that path this season. The Nats went off this Spring also getting around 8/1 to win the Series.
But thanks to some injuries and an ineffective offensive attack Washington is off to a ho-hum start; if the playoffs started this week the Nationals would be on the outside looking in.
Bovada, though, still thinks Washington has a chance, offering the Nats at 10/1 to win the Series.
Finally, we come to maybe the two most disappointing teams in baseball so far this season, the Angels and Dodgers. The Angels didn't think they'd spent enough last year, so they added Josh Hamilton for this year.
And the Dodgers, thinking along similar lines, brought in Zack Greinke. Oddsmakers certainly though those upgrades might help, sending both teams off at odds of around 8/1 to win the World Series this season.
Instead, as May neared its end, neither team was even at .500; the Angels recently won eight games in a row just to get within four games of break-even, and the Dodgers were seven games under .500 and in last place in the NL West.
Bettors who think either of the two LA teams can recover and go all the way can now get the Angels at 18/1, the Dodgers at 22/1 on Bovada's World Series betting board.
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