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Yankees' World Series odds continue to improve as the season goes on

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The most recent update has the Yankees odds of winning the World Series at 20/1.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees are quickly approaching the halfway point in the season, and Bovada has released their latest World Series odds. Back in January, at the midway point of the offseason, the Yankees odds were 25/1 and they were roughly in the middle of the pack. In early June, their chances had improved to 22/1. Even though the season has been a rollercoaster ride of mediocrity, with splashes of brilliance shown here or there, their chances actually improved slightly over the past month, with the latest update putting the Yankees odds of winning the World Series at 20/1. Here's the full list:

Cardinals 7/1
Nationals 7/1
Royals 8/1
Dodgers 8/1
Giants 10/1
Pirates 14/1
Cubs 16/1
Tigers 16/1
Astros 16/1
Orioles 20/1
Yankees 20/1
Blue Jays 20/1
Angels 25/1
Mets 25/1
Rays 25/1
Rangers 25/1
Red Sox 28/1
Indians 33/1
Twins 33/1
Padres 40/1
Athletics 50/1
Mariners 50/1
White Sox 66/1
Braves 75/1
Diamondbacks 150/1
Reds 150/1
Marlins 150/1
Rockies 200/1
Brewers 1000/1
Phillies 1000/1

These odds don't take team performance into account, because they're based on whether people would place money on each team to win the World Series. Still, it's interesting to see how public perception has changed. Back in January, the Red Sox, Orioles and Blue Jays all had better odds than the Yankees. That there is now a three-way tie between the Yankees, Orioles and Blue Jays really points to how bunched up everyone in the AL East is. Even the last place Red Sox are only six games back.

The AL East has been a close race all season, so it's not hard to imagine the Yankees making their way into the playoffs (and possibly to the World Series) if no team separates from the pack. The Yankees record was 15-12 in June, even though they lost key players to injuries. The month started off strong with back-to-back sweeps of the Mariners and Angels, but the only other series that the Yankees won after that was the one against the Tigers. The offense has been hit or miss all season, but if Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Brett Gardner can continue to hit, there is hope that some of the players who have been struggling the most will come around. Carlos Beltran was heating up before his injury, and Stephen Drew has been so terrible that it's hard to imagine him not improving in some way (or being replaced altogether). Jacoby Ellsbury was one of the Yankees best hitters before he landed on the disabled list, and his return will be a huge boost to the lineup. Likewise, Yankees' closer, Andrew Miller, spent most of June on the DL, and the bullpen will be immensely better when he returns.

There is still a lot of room for improvement, and with the trade deadline approaching, the Yankees have a chance to address some key concerns and make the team even better. Their number one focus should probably be the offense, considering the team just scored three runs in three games, but they should also consider moving around the rotation and the bullpen. World Series odds may not mean a whole lot, but it's fun to see the team creeping up in the standings, and it's not hard to imagine this team making it's way deep into the playoffs if they make the right moves.

Do you think this team has a chance to make it to the World Series? Any odds that seem way off to you?