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2021 Dodgers Favored to Win WS – Yankees Braves and Padres Not Far Behind

March 8, 2021
Kershaw and the Dodgers favored in 2021

The Los Angeles Dodgers are favored to repeat and win the 2021 World Series. A year ago, the Dodgers rolled through the shortened 60-game regular season schedule posting an MLB-best record of 43-17 on the team’s way to the coveted World Series.

The Dodgers’ roster returns virtually intact with a few offseason additions that will only make the team stronger. L.A.’s biggest competition could come from within the NL West – San Diego. Atlanta, which returns NL MVP Freddie Freeman, took the Dodgers to seven games in the NLCS last season.

There will also stiff challenges from the American League. The New York Yankees added to their already strong roster and there may be a sleeping giant in the AL in Chicago. Here’s a preview of the best in MLB in 2021 and a look at the early odds to win the World Series.

The Favorite

The Dodgers were able to re-sign 3B Justin Turner in the offseason, but it was the addition of starting pitcher Trevor Bauer that really put the Boys in Blue in the driver’s seat for another World Series run. L.A. is a +350 favorite at sportsbooks with the absolute best pitching staff in all of baseball.

Bauer won last year’s National League Cy Young award. He’s now the third-best pitcher in Los Angeles. The Dodgers have three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler (14-4 in 2019), Julio Urias, and welcome back another former Cy Young winner in David Price. Price opted out of the 2020 season.

While the pitching is outstanding, the bats aren’t too bad either. The Dodgers have a number of former Rookies of the Year and MVPs like Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager. Turner is a career .292 hitter with 20-plus homers in three of his last five seasons. First baseman Max Muncy hit 35 homers in each of his first two seasons with the Dodgers and don’t forget former AL MVP Mookie Betts in the outfield.

If anyone can take down the Dodgers in 2021 and win the World Series, they will have earned it.

Yankees Rebuild

It wasn’t exactly a rebuild but more of a retool. The Yankees have a batting order that will scare the daylights out of most starting pitchers in MLB. New York’s problem in 2020 was its starting pitching.

Gerrit Cole (7-3 in 2020) is one of the best in the game, but he cannot do it all himself. Cole is 42-13 in his last three seasons with an ERA in the 2.80 range. The Yankees went out in the offseason and added former two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber and picked up Jameson Taillon from Pittsburgh for essentially nothing.

With solid pitching, the Yankees boast a big-hitting lineup that features Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, and Gary Sanchez. All four players have had at least one season with 30-plus home runs. The combination of hitting and pitching is why oddsmakers have given the Yankees the best chance of challenging the Dodgers. New York is listed at +500 at online sportsbooks to win the 2021 World Series.

NL Challengers

The best of the National League besides the Dodgers will be the San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves. The Padres went 37-23 last season and advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. Fernando Tatis Jr. is a favorite to capture this year’s MVP. The Padres also boast Eric Hosmer at first base and Manny Machado at third.

Where San Diego really made a move in the offseason was with their pitching. The Padres added former AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell and last year’s MLB wins leader Yu Darvish, formerly of the Chicago Cubs. The Padres also picked up right-hander Joe Musgrove from Pittsburgh. All three should benefit from pitcher-friendly Petco Park and that’s why San Diego is listed at +850 to win the World Series this year.

The Braves return Freeman who batted .341 with 13 homers and 53 RBI last season. He, along with Ronald Acuna Jr. (.250, 14 HR) and Marcell Ozuna (.338, 18 HR) form one of more deadly offenses in MLB. Atlanta finished the 2020 season with 348 total runs, just one behind the Dodgers. The Braves pitching staff isn’t as deep as L.A., but Atlanta is still given +900 odds to win it all in 2021.

AL Challengers

White Sox World Series OddsThe biggest sleeper of all in MLB might be the Chicago White Sox. Last season, the White Sox went 35-25 and earned the No. 7 seed in the AL playoffs. They lost in three games to Oakland, but Chicago returns quite possibly the best lineup in baseball.

Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada lead an All-Star caliber infield and Adam Eaton and youngster Luis Robert (11 HR, 31 RBI in 2020) make up two-thirds of the outfield. The pitching isn’t all that bad either with former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel among the starting rotation. The White Sox are given the same odds as the NL’s Padres, +850.