We are less than two months away from the 2021 World Series. It feels like the regular season has flown by, and the Fall Classic will arrive in a blink, so you might as well start preparing now. Let’s take a look at the most likely World Series matchups, according to DraftKings Sportsbook as we enter the final full month of the season.
Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Dodgers +675
Chicago White Sox vs. Los Angeles Dodgers +850
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Los Angeles Dodgers +1100
New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Dodgers +1100
Houston Astros vs. Milwaukee Brewers +1200
It makes me chuckle that a team which may not win its division is viewed so favorably to win the pennant. Of course, it’s all understandable; the Dodgers’ lineup is so deep, Cody Bellinger is commonly batting eighth. I know he’s had a dreadful season, but the threat he provides that far down in the lineup is hard to match. L.A. can go with Max Scherzer, Walker Buehler and Julio Urias in the first three games of a series. The bullpen has been a little sketchy, but if Kenley Jansen is right, this team appears to be unbeatable in a short series.
I see the Astros and the White Sox as equals, so I would take the White Sox vs. the Dodgers as my favorite bet here thanks to the greater payout. I’m not worried about Chicago’s lineup being too right-handed; just give me a team that has a bunch of boppers, and the White Sox definitely check that box. The Astros’ offense, which is second in MLB in runs scored, is better overall, but the gap there isn’t as wide as it is with the starting rotations; the White Sox have the clear edge there. Houston’s starting staff has a little more depth, but Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease and Carlos Rodon are collectively better than what the Astros offer.
Things haven’t worked out very well for the White Sox bullpen ever since Craig Kimbrel came to town — he has allowed nine earned runs in 11.1 innings with the south side of Chicago after giving up only two through 36.2 innings with the Cubs — but he, Michael Kopech and Liam Hendriks are a terrific trifecta in the final innings.
If I had to choose a dark horse matchup, I’d look at White Sox-Brewers at +1600. Obviously, this would take a pretty big upset in the NLCS, but there is definitely a scenario where Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta simply shut down L.A. while Milwaukee’s hit-or-miss offense provides just enough support and the Devin Williams-Josh Hader combo at the back end seals three or four nail-biters. Even though the San Francisco Giants have the best record in the NL entering September, the Milwaukee Brewers are built better to take down the Dodgers in a short series because of their possibly dominant rotation.
By the way, the odds that the Rays and the Giants, the team with the best record in the AL and the NL respectively, meet in the World Series is set at +2500. I can’t consider the Rays to be a true pennant threat with ace Tyler Glasnow done for the year.
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