The weather is getting warmer, birds are chirping, plants are turning green and this all means one thing: Baseball is almost here. To get you started on the 2021 MLB season, Max Smotritskiy brings his MLB betting futures picks for the World Series participants and winner. Awesemo’s OddsShopper tool is the optimal way to find the best MLB odds across the sports betting markets, as well as track your bets.
MLB Odds + Betting Picks: World Series Champion Futures
According to OddsShopper, the Yankees are a consensus +550 to win the World Series, by far the best odds of any team in the American League. But with an injury-prone core of hitters as well as a myriad question marks in the starting rotation, it is hard to envision enough going the Yankees’ way this year for them to capture their 28th title. Gerrit Cole is the best pitcher in the American League, and the Yankees took chances on Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon coming back from long layoffs in the offseason. They also have Domingo German coming back from a long suspension, although it is unclear if the strained relationship with his teammates ever being fully repaired. As far as their lineup is concerned, in the postseason the Yankees were shut down by hard-throwing righties with good sliders. The lineup still destroys southpaws with all their right handed power, but it is susceptible to getting dominated by the likes of Shane Bieber, Lucas Giolito and Jose Berrios.
The best advice is to take a shot at one of the teams with longer odds such as the White Sox, Twins and Blue Jays. The preferred choice of these teams would be the White Sox, who come in at +1000 according to OddsShopper. This team has the core to be competing at the highest levels for the next decade. Some say their younger pieces are still a year or two away from their peaks, but it seems that they think their time is now, with the signing of Lance Lynn to shore up their rotation. Carlos Rodon is having a dominant spring and hopes to finally fulfill his potential, and Giolito looks as overpowering as ever. Eloy Jimenez getting hurt in spring training is not ideal, but there is a good chance top prospect Andrew Vaughn can fill in admirably until Jimenez returns.
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The National League is very deep this year. The Dodgers are the cream of the crop and the favorites to win the World Series again, at +350. They have no weaknesses and signed a top-five pitcher in in Trevor Bauer in the offseason. Walker Buehler did not have a good season last year, with a really low BABIP inflating his results. However, Clayton Kershaw looked revitalized, posting his best strikeout numbers in three years. Even if those two have down seasons, the Dodgers have a wealth of talent behind them in Julio Urias, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin and Josiah Gray. David Price is not what he once was, but he can still competently navigate weaker lineups. Their core of young hitters took further steps last year to become the best lineup in baseball. Corey Seager, Max Muncy, Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger return and can be even better than they were last year. They lost Enrique Hernandez and Joc Pederson to free agency, but that just gives Matt Beaty, Gavin Lux and Edwin Rios more playing time to prove themselves.
It is very hard to pick against the Dodgers, but the one team that can outlast them is the Padres. San Diego comes in at +900 in OddsShopper, and this seems like a bargain. They signed Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove and Blake Snell in the offseason and still have Dinelson Lamet and Chris Paddack in their young core of pitchers. Snell is especially important, as he matches up really well with the Dodgers’ core of lefties. Their lineup is probably the best the league has to offer this year. Fernando Tatis Jr. is poised to contend for MVP, and Manny Machado is not far behind. They are also one of the few teams that utilize their speed on top of their power, with Trent Grisham and Tommy Pham wreaking havoc on the bases. Their offseason signing of Ha-Seong Kim from the KBO is a big wildcard in helping an already potent lineup take the next step.