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October 24, 2017

MLB Playoffs: Who's going to win the World Series? (Plus some actual wacky prop bets)

Do you remember where you were on this date nine years ago?

All of the baseball world descended on Citizens Bank Park on Oct. 24, 2008, on the day before the beautiful, five-year-old baseball-only stadium hosted its first World Series game. The Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays worked out at the ballpark that Friday night before taking the field for Game 3 on Saturday.

Some rain followed that week. Well, a lot of rain. But we all know how it ended.

Flash forward nine years later and it’s been 2,210 days since the Phillies last played in a postseason game.

That might sound like a long drought for some (and there admittedly has been a lot of tough baseball to watch in the last six seasons) but it’s all relative, particularly if you grew up as a baseball fan in Philadelphia in the mid-80s and went off to college in the late 90s. During the 24-year period from 1984 to 2006, the Phillies made the postseason just once.

But here we are in 2017, the end of the third season since the organization committed to a rebuild and a year that’ll see two National League teams square off in the World Series, the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Oh, right, Houston is in the American League these days. (Why didn’t they just send the Diamondbacks or Brewers to the A.L., anyway?). But we can hardly complain as the ’17 Series looks like a helluva matchup on paper, with two 100-plus win teams squaring off, beginning tonight at Dodger Stadium (my second favorite ballpark in baseball).

In fact, the Astros and Dodgers are our last two preseason World Series picks (in 2016, and, in 2017). 

The World Series is hardly the Super Bowl when it comes to prop bets. But there are some pretty funny ones that came across in my email in the last 24 hours or so, so it only felt right to pass them along.

We should mention, of course, that gambling is illegal at Bushwood. From the folks at

Odds to win the World Series:

     Dodgers: 4/5

     Astros: 5/4

Odds to return to 2018 World Series:

     Dodgers: 9/2

     Astros: 6/1

Odds that next year’s World Series is a re-match: 38/1

Odds to win World Series MVP:

     Justin Turner (Dodgers): 7/2

     Jose Altuve (Astros): 9/2

     Yasiel Puig (Dodgers): 6/1

     Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers): 9/1

     Justin Verlander (Astros): 15/1

     Carlos Correa (Astros): 20/1

 Odds a game ends on a walk-off home run: 13/2

 If there is a walk-off homer, odds it’s hit by …

     Cody Bellinger (Dodgers): 11/1

     Yasiel Puig (Dodgers): 13/1

     George Springer (Astros): 13/1

     Jose Altuve (Astros): 19/1

     Carlos Correa (Astros): 19/1

     Justin Turner (Dodgers): 20/1

Odds to be ejected from a game:

     Yasiel Puig (Dodgers): 70/1

     Marwin Gonzalez (Astros): 75/1

     Justin Turner (Dodgers): 105/1

     Brian McCann (Astros): 105/1

Odds the dugouts empty onto the field: 149/1

Over/under on stolen bases:

     Dodgers: 2.5

     Astros: 1.5

     Combined: 4.0 

Over/under on home runs:

     Dodgers: 6.5

     Astros: 5.5

     Combined: 12.0

Odds to hit the first home run:

     Cody Bellinger (Dodgers): 6/1

     Jose Altuve (Astros): 7/1

     George Springer (Astros): 7/1

     Yasiel Puig (Dodgers): 8/1

     Justin Turner (Dodgers): 9/1

     Carlos Correa (Astros): 9/1

Odds to hit the most home runs

     Cody Bellinger (Dodgers): 6/1

     Yasiel Puig (Dodgers): 7/1

     Jose Altuve (Astros): 8/1

     George Springer (Astros): 8/1

     Carlos Correa (Astros): 10/1

     Justin Turner (Dodgers): 10/1

Odds anyone pitches a no-hitter: 849/1

Odds anyone pitches a perfect game: 11,000/1

If there is a no-hitter/perfect game, odds it’s by …

     Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers): 3/2

     Justin Verlander (Astros): 3/1

     Dallas Keuchel (Astros): 6/1

     Yu Darvish (Dodgers): 10/1

     Rich Hill (Dodgers): 15/1

     Charlie Morton (Astros): 25/1

 Odds it snows during the World Series: 500/1

 Which crowd is more likely to throw a home run ball back onto the field:

     Astros: 9/10

     Dodgers: 10/9

Which crowd is more likely to boo its own team:

     Dodgers: 3/4

     Astros: 4/3

 Odds on the first player booed in the batter’s box by own fans

     Curtis Granderson (Dodgers): 5/2

     Brian McCann (Astros): 4/1

     Yasiel Puig (Dodgers): 6/1

     Marwin Gonzalez (Astros): 8/1

     Chase Utley (Dodgers): 10/1

     Justin Turner (Dodgers): 15/1

     FIELD: 8/1

Odds a fan…

     Runs onto the field: 10/1

     Streaks the field: 150/1

     Parachutes into the stadium: 2,500/1

     Arrives naked via parachute: 7,500/1

Odds a fan falls onto the field reaching for a ball: 299/1

Over/under on the number of times Fox shows [insert baseball legend] during World Series broadcasts:

     Tommy Lasorda: 2.5

     Nolan Ryan: 2.5

     Kirk Gibson: 1.5

     Jeff Bagwell: 1.5

     Craig Biggio: 0.5

 Over/under number of times Fox shows [insert celebrity fan] during World Series broadcasts:

     President George H.W. Bush: 3.5

     Alyssa Milano: 2.5

     Bryan Cranston: 1.5

     Ice Cube: 0.5

     Matthew McConaughey: 0.5

Over/Under number of times Joe Buck comments on a player’s hair: 2.5

Over/under on the number of times the broadcast cuts to shots of fans in costume on Halloween: 8.5

My Picks

The gut says Astros but the brain says Dodgers. Houston showed a lot of fortitude in rallying back from a 3-2 series deficit to beat the Yankees in the American League Championship Series, and I think budding young superstar Carlos Correa has the talent to have a breakout series to solidify his status among the game’s great players.

But he has to get through Clayton Kershaw first. Really, the starting pitching seems about even since the Astros have another Hall of Fame-caliber, former league MVP headed to the mound in Game 2 in Justin Verlander.

We’ll say the difference in the next week will be Corey Seager’s return to the lineup (the unanimous 2016 Rookie of the Year didn’t play in the National League Championship Series) and the fact that the Dodgers’ pen has been far more consistent than their Astros counterpart this month. Dodgers in 6.


 • Clayton Kershaw will win the World Series MVP and Yasiel Puig will hit the Series' first home run.

 Curtis Grandson will not be booed by his own fans (in part because he didn’t make the World Series roster). Chase Utley, despite being hitless in his last 11 postseason games (29 plate appearances) dating back to last year, will also not be booed. And how is Justin Turner even listed among players who could be booed? Crazy.

 • Waaaay over on the number of times Kirk Gibson is mentioned on the broadcast. 

 • No one will throw a perfect game or arrive into the ballpark naked via parachute. 

 • And how the heck isn’t supermodel Kate Upton (Verlander’s fiance) listed among the celebrity fans Fox could show on the broadcast? Upton will beat out former president Bush (41) when Fox shows her at least a half-dozen times during the Series, and perhaps that many times Wednesday night during Verlander’s start.

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @ryanlawrence21

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