It has been a challenging week for the AL East-leading Toronto Blue Jays, who enter a crucial four-game weekend series against the New York Yankees as losers in three of their past six games.
However, despite their current struggles the Blue Jays maintain their perch atop the World Series betting odds at 4/1 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Following a record-setting August in which they averaged 6.3 runs per game en route to an impressive 21-6 record, Toronto has struggled to contain opposing offenses, which have tallied double-digit run totals in each of the Blue Jays’ three recent losses.
That includes a pair of defeats this week in Boston against the Red Sox, who handed the club their first series loss in three weeks.
Toronto remains closely trailed on the baseball futures by a quartet of clubs, led by the Kansas City Royals and the Los Angeles Dodgers who enter the weekend deadlocked at 11/2 on the World Series odds at the sportsbooks.
The Royals have kicked off September on a sour note, losers in seven of their last 10 games according to the OddsShark MLB Database, but maintain a comfortable 11-game lead in the AL Central standings as they embark on a 10-game road swing.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, have caught fire in the past two weeks, winning 13 of their last 16 games to move 8.5 games up on the San Francisco Giants in the NL West standings and have passed the St. Louis Cardinals on the NL pennant odds, where they now sit as the +240 favourites.
The Cardinals, who own the best record in the majors, hold steady at 6/1 despite losing five of their last seven games, while the surprising New York Mets continue to exceed expectations with their sweep of the Washington Nationals this week, padding their lead in the NL East standings and sitting with 7/1 World Series odds.
Four teams trail the favourites with 11/1 odds, including the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs, who continue their two-horse race atop the NL wild-card standings, along with the Yankees and the Houston Astros.
The Texas Rangers, who trail the Astros by just two games in the AL West standings, are next at 18/1, well ahead of the Los Angeles Angels and the Minnesota Twins, who each sport 40/1 odds to win the World Series this fall.