Baseball is measured by balls and strikes, but a team’s fate is often determined by the health of its players. A major injury this late in the season can send a franchise into a tailspin and turn a contender into a pretender.
Here are five key injuries you should keep an eye on along with each team’s odds of winning the World Series. This website has several odds and props on the remainder of the 2017 season.
Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
The Nationa League MVP candidate missed Monday night’s showdown with the Dodgers due to an ongoing elbow injury, but team officials are confident he’ll be back belting homers later this week. That’s great news for the team, which has opened up a substantial lead in the Wild Card race and is riding a 13-game win streak.
Odds the Diamondbacks win the 2017 World Series: 30/1
David Price, Boston Red Sox
The former Cy Young winner threw a bullpen session on Monday and is scheduled to throw a couple of simulated games before he rejoins the Sox for the stretch. Opposing batters — and Dennis Eckersley — had better beware, unless it’s the playoffs.
Odds the Red Sox win the 2017 World Series: 7/1
Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are reportedly being “super, super cautious” with Corey Seager’s inflamed elbow, and are trying to buy him a little time before the playoffs begin. He’s listed as day-to-day (aren’t we all?), but L.A. could use him back soon as the team is 10-12 without their two-time All-Star in the lineup.
Odds the Dodgers win the 2017 World Series: 11/5
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
The Nats have a comfortable lead in the NL East, but they need Bryce Harper if they want to put their postseason struggles in the past. The 2015 MVP has already missed 3.5 weeks after slipping on a base on August 12 , and is still weeks away from contributing.
Odds the Nationals win the 2017 World Series: 15/2
Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was hitting .361 during the month of August before being sidelined with a strained hamstring. His injury briefly took the wind out of the Cubs’ sails, but it appears he could be back very soon after completing a minor league rehab assignment. That’s huge for Chicago, which only holds a 3.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.
Odds the Cubs win the 2017 World Series: 15/2