Today is Opening Day for Major League Baseball. It's the day baseball fans wait for with much anticipation. Will this be the year their team wins the World Series?
It's also the earliest start in league history and, for the first time in 50 years, every team is playing their season opener on the same day.
Major League Baseball is, arguably, the most unpredictable sport of the major four in America. In case you were interested in putting some money down -- legally, of course -- here's a rundown of the teams with the best odds to win the 2018 World Series:
1. Houston Astros: 11/2
2. Los Angeles Dodgers: 11/2
3. New York Yankees: 6/1
4. Chicago Cubs: 7/1
5. Cleveland Indians: 7/1
And, here are the teams with the worst odds:
26. Baltimore Orioles: 220/1
27. Cincinnati Reds: 300/1
28. Detroit Tigers: 500/1
29. Kansas City Royals: 500/1
30. Miami Marlins: 500/1 (Coed)
Here's some baseball fun facts:
What It Costs to Be a Die-Hard Fan of Each Team. Everything from season ticket prices to how much hot dogs are, and ranked each team according to how much it costs if you're a DIE-HARD fan.
The Chicago Cubs are the most expensive team for fans this year . . . just under $16,000 if you went to every single home game. And their cross-town rivals are one of the CHEAPEST teams, at just under $5,500. That includes the tickets, parking, food, drinks, and one hat and custom baseball jersey.
The three most expensive teams are the Cubs at $15,723 . . . Red Sox, $12,712 . . . and Yankees, $12,547. The three CHEAPEST are the Angels, $4,521 . . . White Sox, $5,452 . . . and Rays, $5,502. (You can see the prices for all 30 teams here.)
The average for all 30 teams is just under $8,000 to see every home game live . . . and the average ticket price is about $65. The average price of a jersey is $125 . . . a hat, $16 . . . a beer, $5.90 . . . a soda, $4.13 . . . a hot dog, $4.52 . . . and $16 for parking.
Another study looked at all the GIVEAWAYS each team has this year . . . things like free hats and bobbleheads.
The teams giving out the most free stuff are the Cardinals, Dodgers, Cubs, Mets, and Pirates. The bottom five are the Marlins, A's, Diamondbacks, Red Sox, and Phillies.
(Check out those rankings here.)
Above courtesy of PlayNJ.com / FHM / Forbes)
ESPN surveyed 29 of their baseball "experts" to get their predictions for the upcoming baseball season.
Here's what they found . . .
1. 21 think the New York Yankees will take the American League East. The Boston Red Sox got seven votes, and the Baltimore Orioles got one.
2. 27 think the Cleveland Indians will take the American League Central. The Minnesota Twins got the other two votes.
3. All 29 experts think the reigning World Series champions the Houston Astros will win the American League West.
4. All 29 experts think Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals will be coming out of the National League East.
5. 28 think that the Chicago Cubs will win the National League Central, with the Milwaukee Brewers getting the other vote.
6. All 29 experts think the L.A. Dodgers will win the National League West.
7. The ESPN experts project the American League wild cards to be the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins . . . and the National League wild cards to be the Milwaukee Brewers and the Colorado Rockies.
8. 12 experts think the Astros will win the American League. Eight picked the Indians, seven picked the Yankees, and two picked the Red Sox.
9. 11 experts think the Cubs will win the National League. 10 picked the Nationals, and eight picked the Dodgers.
10. It was a tight race selecting the winner of the World Series. Eight ESPN experts think the Astros will win their second straight. If they do, they'll be the first repeat winner since the Yankees won three straight from 1998 to 2000.
Seven experts think the Indians will win their first World Series since 1948. Four think the Cubs will win, three think it'll be the Yankees, two think it'll be the Red Sox, and just one went with the Nationals.
For what it's worth, their FAN vote has the Yankees winning the World Series at 21%. 17% of fans think the Cubs will take it, and 16% voted for the Indians.
What does Vegas think? An online sportsbook has the Astros as the favorite . . . with the Dodgers, Yankees, Indians, Cubs, and Nationals close behind . . . in that order. The LONGEST ODDS are a three-way tie between the Miami Marlins, Detroit Tigers, and Kansas City Royals, which are all 500-to-1.
And of course, there's those tasty ballpark hot dogs.
The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has predicted that Major League Baseball fans will eat more than 19 million hot dogs and 4.6 million sausages this year.
The combined total of meat could stretch across the entire continental United States.
“In a love affair that’s spanned decades, baseball and hot dogs remain inseparable,” NHDSC President Eric Mittenthal said. “Year after year, hot dogs continue to hit it out of the park at the concession stand, even as teams innovate to offer more food choices and inventive creations. There’s simply no replacing the unshakable bond baseball and hot dogs share.”
Last year, Los Angeles Dodgers fans consumed the most hot dogs at 1.2 million. The Milwaukee Brewers are the only team predicted to sell more sausages than hot dogs.
Here's to a new baseball season full of promises!