The 2021 MLB season is fast approaching, with Spring Training getting underway next week. Opening Day is April 1, which gives us just under two months to figure out answers to some of the biggest storylines coming out of an unprecedented offseason.
Earlier this week, Baseball Prospectus released their annual PECOTA standings projections for the coming season. The list includes four new division winners, with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins as the only projected repeat champs in 2021.
If track PECOTA or any of the numerous advanced stats out there, they provide some helpful insight as you are figuring out your wagering options. DraftKings Sportsbook has posted odds for each 2021 division winner, and if PECOTA is your go-to, there is some value to be had.
The biggest value could come in the NL Central. PECOTA projects the Milwaukee Brewers to win the division, with 88.8 wins over the Chicago Cubs and their projected 85.1 wins. PECOTA projects the St. Louis Cardinals in third at 80.6 wins. If you are looking at wagering opportunities, the book is offering the Brewers as fourth in divisional odds at +375. The Cardinals are installed as favorites at +120, followed by the Cincinnati Reds at +275.
The Twins could offer some value in the AL Central. Although they are the fairly clear favorites at PECOTA, Draftkings is offering them at +175 behind the -130 Chicago White Sox. Similarly, the Houston Astros are projected to win the AL West, but have the second best odds at DraftKings at +160 behind the Oakland Athletics at +125.
PECOTA is far from a sure thing, but it provides some relevant insight that could help you profit from some inefficiencies in the market. Injuries, breakout performances, and negative regressions can all change things in a hurry. And of course, the COVID-19 pandemic is a significant wild card for how this season will actually unfold. But for now, you can find some potential value.
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