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With the first half of baseball officially in our rear view mirror, we’ve seen some players switch teams and some odds move, but the cream is still at the top.

Clearly, the hottest teams in the National League are the Dodgers and Cubs. Los Angeles just acquired All-Star SS Manny Machado, who has immediately impacted the team on both sides of the field. However, just as last season, the NL West is the most competitive Division in baseball, with four winning teams.

And the remainder of the season, we see these teams playing several series among each other, making it tougher for each to gain any serious ground overall in the NL. As far as Chicago goes, they just happen to be winning the same time Milwaukee is losing. The Cubs are also having issues winning away from Wrigley, which will again be their demise come the post-season.

Say what you will but none of the teams in the NL match up against the Big 3 in the AL – Boston, New York, and Houston. All three have been winning since Opening Day and have what it takes to go all the way. There’s an argument that the Astros are the most complete team, but to me the real showdown is the inevitable matchup between the Red Sox and Yankees.

Here are the updated odds to win the World Series, listing the top 7 teams, courtesy of our friends at the Orleans sportsbook: Yankees 3/1; Astros 3/1; Nationals 5/1; Red Sox 5/1; Dodgers 6/1; Indians 6/1; Cubs 7/1.

For the 7th straight week I swept the board as the AL got you paid in the All-Star Game. That brings my Best Bets season record up to 24-6. Here are this week’s selections (all stats/starting pitchers and trends subject to change).

Wednesday – Take Boston RL over Baltimore: The Red Sox have dominated just about every team they have faced, particularly the Orioles. Boston has taken 9 of the 10 meetings with all 9 by more than one run. These two teams aren’t just at opposite ends of the Division. The Red Sox own the best record (70-31), while the Orioles possess the worst (28-72) in baseball.

LH David Price is 11-6 with a 4.17 ERA and 114 K’s in 114.1 IP. Righty Dylan Bundy is 6-9 with a 4.57 ERA, yielding 106 hits in 108.1 IP. The Red Sox are 60-41 on the run line while the O’s are 40-60. Boston is 12-1 in the last 13 overall vs. Baltimore and 18-6 at Camden Yards.

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