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Updated 2021 World Series Odds

June 24, 2021
Bauer of the Dodgers are still favored

As the Major League Baseball season approaches the end of its first half, the Los Angeles Dodgers are still the favorite to repeat as World Series champions. There is, however, one team that has seen its odds shorten dramatically since the beginning of the season. It’s one of the 2021 season’s great surprises, and there have been a few. Here’s a look at how the 2021 World Series futures market is shaping up.

Still the One

The Dodgers opened the season as the overall favorite to repeat as World Series champ. In the offseason, L.A. was able to add Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer to what was already considered to be the best pitching rotation in baseball. The Dodgers were also able to keep 3B Justin Turner giving the team a monster lineup that includes former Rookies of the Year Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger, who also has an MVP to his name.

From top to bottom, the Dodgers roster is just loaded with talent. Their weak spots are strengths on other teams in the majors. The Dodgers started the season with 13 wins in their first 15 games, but some injuries started to take the wheels off the Dodgers bus. In their next 13 games, L.A. won just twice.

Still, the Dodgers are deserving of the “favorite” title. They are currently second in the NL West and four games out of first place. The Dodgers have the second-highest run differential (+96) in the National League and they are second in MLB in scoring (5.14 runs per game). That is why they are listed at +325 to win it all again.

Giants Surprise

The team ahead of the Dodgers in the NL West and the team with the highest run differential (+101) in the National League is San Francisco. The Giants have been a huge surprise in 2021 as they have been in control of the NL West for most of the season.

The big reason for the Giants’ success is its pitching. All five starters sport a winning record led by Kevin Gausman (8-1) and Anthony DeSclafani (8-2). The Giants starters are the best rotation in baseball. Including the bullpen, which is no slouch, the Giants combined ERA is 3.27. That ties the mighty Dodgers for third-best in MLB.

The San Francisco offense has been outstanding as well. The Giants are fourth in runs per game (5.03) and over a recent seven-day stretch from June 16 to 22 the Giants had the best batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS in the majors. It’s no wonder that the Giants are now given +1200 odds to win the 2021 World Series. They opened the season at closer to +3000.

Don’t You Forget About Me

The popular 80s Simple Minds song couldn’t have been referring to the San Diego Padres, or could it? San Diego is in third place in the NL West behind San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Padres are currently 4.5 games out of first place. 

The Padres have arguably the best young player in baseball in Fernando Tatis Jr. who is hitting .281 with a team-high 22 homers and 50 RBIs. Don’t forget Manny Machado, Tommy Pham, and 2B Jake Cronenworth who is hitting .284.

Plus, San Diego’s pitchers have the best ERA in MLB. Collectively, the Padres pitchers have a 3.04 ERA, just ahead of the Mets at 3.11. Offseason acquisition Yu Darvish is the ace of the staff with a 7-2 record and a 2.50 ERA. Joe Musgrove sports a 2.22 ERA, but he has had to battle to get to 4-6. The Padres also went out to pick up former Cy Young winner Blake Snell in the offseason. Snell has been so-so with a 3-3 record and an uncharacteristically high ERA of 5.29.

Despite some issues, this Padres team is still capable of winning it all. They are 7-3 against the Dodgers this season and just swept three games from L.A. at home. At +800 to win, there is some value on the Padres if they work out some of their kinks.

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Hot in Houston

Is there an offense in baseball better than the Astros? Probably not. Houston has won 10 straight and scored 81 runs in the process. The Astros scored fewer than six runs just twice in that 10-game span. They lead MLB in scoring (5.74 runs per game) and several other offensive categories. 

Despite not having Justin Verlander, the pitching staff is equally capable. Zack Greinke is 8-2 and Jose Urquidy is 6-3. Lance McCullers Jr. (4-1) and Framber Valdez (4-0) have had strong outings as has Luis Garcia (5-4). Houston’s odds to win the World Series are now +1000 and the Astros appear to be gaining steam heading into the All-Star break.

Other Contenders

Oakland (+1000) led the NL West for much of the season before the Astros recent streak. The Mets (+850) look to be in control of a weak NL East. The Braves (+2800) have fallen back to third place in the division behind longshot Washington (+8000), which had a recent streak of nine wins in ten games to move into second.

The White Sox (+650) continue to plug away in the AL Central. Chicago is a top ten scoring team and the pitching staff is fifth in overall ERA (3.37). The White Sox lead Cleveland (+4000) in the division. The Indians just learned that ace Aaron Civale (10-2) will be out for four to five weeks.

Milwaukee (+1800) leads the NL Central with Brandon Woodruff (1.89) and Freddy Peralta (2.11) among the top five pitchers in ERA. The Cubs (+3300) are second in the division but lack consistency.

 

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