There’s still a long way to go before the picture in the final standings becomes crystal clear, but midway through June of the MLB regular season calendar, the Houston Astros and the LA Dodgers have shown the kind of form that makes them the teams to beat, dominating their respective divisions.
The Astros comfortably top American League West thanks to their .667 win percentage and ten more wins than the Texas Rangers. Likewise, the Dodgers are the only team to match that record anywhere else, with their 0.667 win percentage and ten wins advantage above the Colorado Rockies in National League West.
Based on their form at this stage of the 2019 regular season, the Astros and the Dodgers are firm favorites for the 2019 World Series according to the latest MLB odds on bet365, with both teams priced at +280 to reign supreme in the outright futures market. That said, while the Dodgers appear to have a lock on top spot in the National League standings, it’s still anything but certain for the Astros in the American League.
As of June 14, the Minnesota Twins top the American League standings with their 0.672 win percentage, even with two games less played compared to the Astros. If they can maintain their form throughout the month, it’s difficult to rule out the Twins as a solid contender for the World Series this year, and current +750 futures odds will likely be slashed in half, if their steady form continues between now and the post season playoffs.
Winning streaks have been hard to come by in June for all the main contenders. The Dodgers recorded their best and worst streaks in April, losing six straight games, then turning their form around with six wins on the spin. The Astros also hit their best and worst form in April with an impressive winning streak of ten games, before hitting a three-game dip that was only matched by a run of three consecutive defeats in March at the start of the season.
As both teams head towards the business end of the season, making good trades could prove to be all the difference before the deadline at the end of July. Of course, they have to be done with the utmost care and attention and neither the Astros nor the Dodgers will be looking to rock the boat too much, although bleacherreport.com recently highlighted some juicy trades, which could help both teams.
Some rumors suggest that an improvement to first base for the Astros would be Edwin Encarnacion from the Seattle Mariners. The 26-year-old might be considered a veteran, but his 2019 regular season form has been outstanding with .888 OPS and 21 home runs. Meanwhile, the Dodgers might look for an additional hand closing games – no pun intended – by moving for experienced Cleveland Indians pitcher, Brad Hand, rather than putting that responsibility on prospects.
Either way, and whether they choose to make trades or not during the summer, the Astros and the Dodgers remain the teams to topple in the MLS league standings, although there are plenty of other challengers ready to pounce should either side falter.