A month ago, the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers had the best odds to win the World Series at +450. Since then, they’ve signed the best free-agent pitcher left on the market in Trevor Bauer to a three-year deal. Outside of Los Angeles, we’ve seen some movement on the betting lines for a few teams that have caught our eyes as potential sleeper and long shot options.
We are going to tell you who they are and why they might be worth putting a bet down on before 2021 Opening Day on April 1.
World Series odds: +350
It should not come as a surprise to see the defending World Series champions with the best odds to win it again. The Dodgers are bringing back most of their key players from last season’s team and added Bauer last week. Along those same lines, Los Angeles has a star-studded rotation, which features Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, David Price, and Julio Urias.
And not to mention, the Dodgers still have Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, and could still bring back Justin Turner. However, while everything looks good on paper, it’s tough for a team to repeat as World Series champions. The last time we saw that was in the late 90s with the Yankees.
World Series odds: +550
Out of the American League, the Yankees have the second-best odds to win the 2021 World Series. When we last checked the odds in January, the Yankees’ odds were at +550, so there has been no movement either way.
Just like the Dodgers, New York is bringing back most of their players this season. They are also hoping that they can get healthy seasons from both Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.
This offseason, the Yankees did not make many major splashes in free-agency except re-signing DJ LeMahieu. The second baseman signed a six-year, $90 million deal to stay with the Bronx Bombers. But the bigger question that remains about New York is their starting rotation. They are only in line to bring back three starters from last season, including Gerrit Cole.
World Series odds: +800
The last time we looked at the World Series odds, the Padres had a +900 chance to win the entire thing. However, their odds have improved as they are a sleeper in the National League.
A lot of people will point to the Mets or Braves based on their roster and what they’ve done this offseason. The Padres made sure to put their hat in the ring as they acquired both Blake Snell and Yu Darvish. Both starting pitchers, who have been aces in their respective careers, make San Diego a legit threat to the Dodgers in the NL West. This season, the Padres will not have Mike Clevinger because of Tommy John surgery, but having him for 2022 is a scary thought for many teams in the National League.
World Series odds: +850
Another sleeper team to keep an eye out for is the Chicago White Sox. Unlike the other teams on this list, the White Sox have not made a lot of noise this offseason. But they did not need too, based on who they already had on their roster.
They have a quality starting rotation, which features Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, and young arm Dylan Cease. They made a notable additional to their bullpen, signing Liam Hendriks to a three-year deal. Then when you look at their batting order, they have José Abreu (AL MVP), Tim Anderson, Eloy Jimenez, and Luis Robert. Their competition in the AL Central isn’t necessarily steep as they only have to worry about is the Minnesota Twins.
World Series odds: +2000
The Cardinals are not considered a technical long shot — that would belong to the Pittsburgh Pirates at +15000. However, for this exercise, we are going to put the Cards in this category with their addition of Nolan Arenado.
Last season, the Cardinals snuck into the playoffs with a record of 30-28, thanks to little to no offense. Their best offensive player was Paul Goldschmidt, who slashed .304/.417/.466 with six home runs and 21 RBI. Now, they will be able to provide Goldy with some protection in the lineup thanks to the addition of Arenado.
The former Colorado Rockies third baseman slugged .253/.303/.434 with eight home runs and 26 RBI last season. However, Arenado is better than what happened last season as he’s been named to the All-Star game five times. And he’s been one of the best defensive third basemen in baseball.
World Series odds: +2500
Just like with the Cardinals, it would be easy to point out the Kansas City Royals as long shots to win the World Series (+10000), but the Blue Jays are a long shot in a loaded American League.
The Blue Jays snuck into the playoffs last season as a wild card team with a record of 32-28. Toronto made one of the bigger splashes in the offseason, signing outfielder George Springer to a six-year, $150 million contract. He’s a nice addition for a young Blue Jays’ team that is on the cusp of making noise in the AL East.
But before the Jays can move up in the odds, they have to figure out what to do with their starting rotation. As of right now, Toronto does not have a clear cut No. 2 starter behind Hyun Jin Ryu.
2021 World Series odds, Feb 8
|CHI White Sox||+850|
|TOR Blue Jays||+2500|
|BOS Red Sox||+5000|
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/MI/PA/WV), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA) or Call or Text the TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789. 21+ (18+ NH). NJ/PA/WV/IA/IN/CO/IL/TN/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.