The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals square off later this week in the 2019 World Series. The Astros have been installed as a prohibitive favorite, sitting at -235 to win the World Series at DraftKings Sportsbook. You can get the Nationals at +192.
Houston is the biggest favorite to win the World Series since 2007 when the Boston Red Sox were -240 against the +200 Colorado Rockies, according to Sports Odds History (h/t ESPN’s Dave Purdum). Prior to that, the biggest line came in 1998 when the record-setting New York Yankees squad was -260 before facing the San Diego Padres.
The Astros have been a heavy favorite throughout the playoffs, and were among the favorites dating back to the beginning of the regular season. When you roll out Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, and Wade Miley to go along with Carlos Correa, George Springer, and Jose Altuve, among others, it’s easy to see why you might be a sizable favorite to win it all.
And yet, the Nationals are nothing to sneeze at. Their offense has some inconsistencies, but Anthony Rendon and Howie Kendrick are rolling, and they’re seeing surging performances from Victor Robles and Ryan Zimmerman. But the big reason they have a shot in this series is their pitching rotation. They’ll send our Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, and Anibal Sanchez. Their middle relief can be problematic, but setup man Sean Doolittle and closer Daniel Hudson have been playing better of late.
The Astros are favored for a reason, but as the cliche goes, anything can happen in a short series. If the Nationals get seven strong innings from their starters, they’ll be right in the thick of this series. If they have to go to more of their middle relief, it could get ugly in a hurry.