World Series betting: Astros favored, but Braves have beaten the odds all postseason
The Atlanta Braves were +1000 to win the World Series before the season started. By the time the regular season was done, their odds had gotten worse.
At the beginning of the playoffs, the Braves were +1100 to win it all. They'd lost Ronald Acuna Jr., one of baseball's best players, to a torn ACL back in July. They were 88-73 and held on to win a bad NL East. There was no real reason to think they were heading to the World Series.
The Braves upset the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS to advance to the World Series. They'll face the Houston Astros, and the Astros are -145 favorites at BetMGM.
That's OK in Atlanta, because the Braves are used to being underdogs.
Braves have won twice as underdogs
The Braves were underdogs against the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS, and they won that series in four games. They were underdogs in five of six games of the NLCS against the Dodgers (both teams were -110 in Game 1), and they dominated most of the series.
The Braves don't have a big weakness. Their infield is great, and one reason they were one of the best defensive teams in baseball. They have a powerful lineup, having finished third in MLB in home runs during the regular season. They don't have a true ace but their rotation is fine. They don't have a great closer but the bullpen is solid all around.
The Astros are the better team in the World Series. They scored the most runs in baseball. They won 95 games, seven more than the Braves. They outscored opponents by 205 runs, a run differential 71 runs better than the Braves.
There's a good reason the Astros are favored in the World Series. But the Braves are strong underdogs to back, because they're above average in all ways and won't take themselves out of games.
Astros without key pitcher
The Astros come into the World Series without a key player. Pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. was the Astros' best pitcher this season, but he has tightness in his forearm and is very unlikely to be on the World Series roster.
The Astros overcame the loss of McCullers in the NLCS, but it doesn't exactly help their chances to beat the Braves. It's another reason to believe the Braves can beat the odds in a third straight postseason series.
The Braves have been through plenty of playoff disappointment, but most of that has nothing to do with this particular team. This team has shown resiliency and the ability to beat a Dodgers team that might have been injured but still won 106 games in the regular season.
Given the Astros' cheating scandal of a few years ago, most neutral baseball fans will likely be rooting for the Braves. And they have a reasonable chance of pulling off yet another upset.