The 2016 World Series champions the Chicago Cubs enter this season as the MLB betting favorites to repeat but have since been replaced in the minds of people who bet on baseball by the Houston Astros. The Cubs finished April on top of the National League Central Division with a 13-10 record, and then it all went to heck in a hand basket. The Cubbies went 12-16 (Home: 10-6; Away: 2-10). Things got dicey from day one; starter Brett Anderson lasted only 1 1/3 inning in a 10-2 rout by the Philadelphia Phillies on May 1st, and while the Cubs recovered and won that series, they were subsequently swept by the Yankees.
Once more, Anderson lasted only 1/3 of an inning and allowed five runs before being pulled out with soreness in his lower back. The Chicago bullpen, behind 6-0 after the first inning and in need of a starter to go long because of recent use, could not contain the Bombers and the Cubs lost 11-6. The closing game of the series was the longest interleague game in league history and had the most strikeouts (48) in a game in the history of the MLB, which the Cubs lost 5-4 in 18 innings. And so on and so forth. The Cubs wrapped their month of May with a six-game losing streak and getting swept by both Dodgers and Padres. The Cubs are currently one game behind the Milwaukee Brewers.
Meanwhile, the Astros went 22-7 (Home: 11-5; Away: 11-2) in May and have the best record (41-16) in the Majors which course means not only they are the new MLB betting faves to win the 2017 World Series, but are having their bandwagon jumped on by all sorts of fans who kinda like the Golden State Warriors in the NBA. But who can blame them? The Astros are as of this writing in the midst of a 10-game winning streak, sweeping the Orioles, Twins, and Rangers in the process. The handle a broom as well as Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.
Houston’s record is the best after only 57 games since the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who won 116 games that season. Manager A.J. Hinch told T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com that he feels “great.” Hinch added that “obviously, to come into this park and get the sweep, this team continues to show up every single day with a great will to win. I love the makeup of this team.” outfielder George Springer was named American League Player of the Week honors this Monday. Springer had hits in half of his 30 plate appearances and belted out five homers, including his sixth leadoff home run of the season to open the Astros’ 7-2 win over the Rangers on Sunday. Additionally, he also extended his hitting streak to nine straight games. This is the first career PotW award for Springer but not the first award for Houston this season; Carlos Correa and Lance McCullers Jr. recently swept the American League Player and Pitcher of the Month awards for May, and Dallas Keuchel was Pitcher of the Month in April. Wonder what the MLB betting odds of that happening were.