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October 24, 2016

MLB Playoffs: Cubs favored to win World Series (and other wacky prop bets)

The Cubs clinched their first trip to the World Series since 1945 on Saturday and that series begins on Tuesday.

Thankfully Major League Baseball does not drag out its signature championship event of the season for more than a week, (as some other sports do) allowing things other than the games themselves to become stories. Sure, there was a media day at Progressive Field on Monday, but it was an actual media day – and not a made-for-reality-TV event.

With that said, there is enough time for news outlets to swing and miss as they jump into trying to give coverage to the World Series.

And there’s plenty of time for other ridiculousness, too. Thankfully baseball isn’t a sport driven by gambling and gambling alone, but that doesn’t mean the zany folks in Vegas are going to ignore the World Series, either.

Two emails reached by inbox this afternoon to alert me that the 103-win Chicago Cubs are the favorites to win the World Series. Shocking, right?

But as long as you keep your distance from Arnold Rothstein, you can put some money down on a number of other prop bets before Game 1 gets underway on Tuesday night in Cleveland. One of them even allows you to bet on the Phillies (but, sadly, none involve former Phillie Michael Martinez).

Here are some of the odds the analysts at posted. We’ll begin with a few of vanilla ones but we surely will not exclude some of the off-the-wall prop bets, either.

Odds to win World Series MVP

Corey Kluber: 4/1
Kris Bryant: 11/2
Anthony Rizzo: 7/1
Jon Lester: 8/1
Francisco Lindor: 8/1
Andrew Miller: 10/1
Javier Baez: 14/1
Kyle Hendricks: 14/1
Jose Ramirez: 20/1
Dexter Fowler: 25/1

Miller feels a little low on this list – has anyone watched the first two rounds of the playoffs? The most random name on here is easily Ramirez. He has better odds than Addison Russell or Jake Arrieta

Odds the World Series is won …

... in a sweep: 7/1
... in a sweep by Chicago: 10/1
... in a sweep by Cleveland: 25/1

The last World Series sweep came back in 2012, with the Giants cruising over the Tigers. 

Odds a team comes back from 0-3 to win the World Series: 60/1

Seems like it should be more like 600-1. Only once in the history of MLB's postseason has a team rallied back from a 0-3 deficit: the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS. (Terry Francona and Theo Epstein were both there, though!)

Odds a pitcher throws a no-hitter: 75/1

Last postseason no-hitter? Roy Halladay's playoff debut, in 2010 at Citizens Bank Park.

Odds a pitcher throws a perfect game: 800/1

Earlier this month was the 60th anniversary of Don Larsen's perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series – the only postseason perfect game in MLB history.

Odds someone ties/breaks the record for most home runs: 30/1

Chase Utley tied Reggie Jackson's Series record with five home runs in the '09 World Series against the Yankees.

Odds on the first player to aggressively flip his bat after a home run:

Javier Baez: 6/1
Carlos Santana: 10/1
Mike Napoli: 12/1

Odds on the first player to commit an aggressive take-out slide:

Javier Baez: 7/1
Francisco Lindor: 12/1
Tyler Naquin: 12/1
Dexter Fowler: 14/1
Anthony Rizzo: 20/1

Sheesh, Vegas really thinks Javy Baez is a little high strung, huh?

Over/under longest running time for a game: 3 Hours 51 Minutes

Over. Way over.

Odds a national anthem singer forgets words: 20/1

It happens. Nerves. 

Odds national anthem singers suffers a 'wardrobe malfunction': 100/1

Someone please make sure Alice Cooper is properly clothed! 

Odds a fight breaks out in the stands: 10/1

Ever been to a night game at Wrigley? Easy money. 

Odds a fan parachutes into a stadium: 15/1

If by "fan" they mean "someone doing a military tribute," sure. Otherwise: who parachutes into a stadium??

Odds a fan runs onto the field: 4/1

Ever been to a night game at Wrigley? Easy money.

Odds it snows during a game: 12/1

A possible Game 7 in Cleveland in November? 

Odds Rod Blagojevich goes back to jail after he’s released: 50/1

The folks in Vegas are really grasping at straws at this point, eh?

Odds Dan Gilbert (Cavaliers owner) writes a nasty open letter: 300/1


Odds to be fired first:

Terry Francona: 3/2
Joe Maddon: 3/1

Before the end of the Series??

Odds Terry Francona makes the National Baseball Hall of Fame: 1/1

Sounds right. If the Indians win (and he's not fired before the end of the series) Francona will have three rings as a World Series-winning manager. And, yes: he started his managerial career in Philadelphia.

Odds Joe Maddon makes the National Baseball Hall of Fame: 3/1


Odds on an increase in babies named 'Tito' next year: 1/10

As with "Chase" in 2008, I'm going to say more puppies than babies. Then again, Michael Jackson has a brother named Tito.

Odds on which team Theo Epstein will take to the World Series next (as GM)

Yankees: 5/1
Dodgers: 8/1
Phillies: 25/1
Tokyo Giants: 500/1
Las Vegas: 500/1

Congratulations, Phillies, Vegas still thinks your franchise needs a lot of help. Also: are there MLB teams in Tokyo and Vegas that I'm not aware of?

Odds Steve Bartman throws out the first pitch at Wrigley during the World Series: 15/1

Sheesh. Let the man watch the games alone in peace. 

Odds LeBron James throws out a first pitch in Cleveland: 1/4

Sounds like a no-brainer. But will he wear a Yankees hat?

Odds Bill Murray throws out a first pitch: 2/5

Just a warning: this whole section from is dedicated to Carl Spackler.

Odds Bill Murray sings a national anthem: 100/1

Seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley seems more likely.

Odds Bill Murray is ever elected as mayor of Chicago: 250/1

I used to live in Chicago. I'd be cool with this.

Odds Bill Murray is elected president: 999/1

How about in two weeks?

Odds Bill Murray gets into the National Baseball Hall of Fame: 1,000/1

Go home Vegas, you're drunk. (Yes, he has a better chance at becoming President!)

Over/Under number of times Bill Murray is on camera during the World Series: 14

So you went from "elected to President" to "number of times on camera?" Finish stronger next time, Vegas. 

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @ryanlawrence21