2021 World Series Picks – All-Star Break Update
Los Angeles Dodgers, +375
The value isn’t ever going to be great with the Dodgers, but the pitching staff is so loaded that it might not matter. You’re still getting almost four times your original bet to take the Dodgers to win, and unlike most teams, the Dodgers really don’t have a weakness.
When it comes to pitching, nobody does it better than Los Angeles. The Dodgers lead the majors in quality starts and rarely allow teams to get into their bullpens. They don’t allow a lot of baserunners, as opposing hitters bat just .213 against Los Angeles, and the only team that’s struck out more hitters is Milwaukee. The Dodgers are second to the Astros in RBIs, and while they don’t get a lot of hits, they lead the majors in walks and are more than willing to get on base via free pass if that’s what it takes for them to win.
The biggest questions with the Dodgers are complacency and the road back that is the NL West gauntlet. It’s clear that Los Angeles is fighting with San Francisco and San Diego for the top spot, with the other two teams likely stuck with the wild card. If the Dodgers do end up in that game, not only will they have to face a coin flip in the wild card, but they’ll have to burn one of their best pitchers and forfeit the edge they have in a short series. If you’re going to bet the Dodgers, you need to be pretty confident that they can catch up to the Giants and win the NL West, because if they end up coming through the back door in the wild card, it’s going to be much harder for the Dodgers to repeat as champions. Bet the Dodgers to win the World Series for FREE by taking advantage of a 100% REAL CASH bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $300 at MyBookie Sportsbook! (Must use bonus code PREDICT100 to receive the extra bonus dollars!)
Houston Astros, +550
If the Astros can keep opponents from scoring, there’s plenty of opportunity here for them to claim another American League pennant. Houston put the rest of the AL on notice last season when they overcame a losing record to come within one game of the World Series, and they’re still plenty experienced this season. Prior to the pandemic, the Astros won 100+ games three years running, and very little that this team hasn’t seen during its run at the top.
The big thing the Astros have going for them is their offense, as they lead the majors in both batting average and RBIs. Unlike a lot of teams, Houston isn’t afraid to play small ball, and the Astros have no qualms driving in a run or two here and there and winning the game that way. In the postseason, that’s often the way that you have to win games, because home runs just aren’t likely to come all that often against better pitchers. Houston doesn’t care how it gets wins as long as it does get wins, which is often dangerous for opponents to face.
The worry, of course, is how well the Astros will handle the crowds as stadiums return to normal. The public has essentially been waiting two years to boo the Astros after the sign-stealing scandal, and many baseball fans haven’t forgotten the way they felt in 2019 when the details came out. Houston’s shown a solid mental toughness ever since the scandal broke, and the Astros will have to continue that in order to claim the title.
San Diego Padres, +800
In the era of bad baserunning, the Padres stand out as a team that does the little things and can manufacture enough runs to win games. San Diego leads the majors in steals by a mile with 82, and the Padres rank third in baseball in walks, which means they can manufacture runs better than just about anyone in the majors. The Padres can’t afford to build their team to hit runs in pitcher-friendly Petco Park, so they almost have to make sure they do the little things in order to manufacture wins.
Unfortunately, there are two reasons why the Padres should give you some pause: the NL West and the rotation. San Diego’s pitching as a whole has been outstanding all season long, as the Padres boast a 3.41 ERA. But they’ve only gotten 24 quality starts (read: six innings with three runs or fewer conceded) out of 93 for the entire season, as opposed to 51 for the Dodgers and 40 for the Giants. Of the other teams that rank in the bottom 10 in quality starts, the others are all American League teams, who don’t have to worry about pitchers batting, or the Diamondbacks, who have been the biggest disaster in the majors. In the NLDS and NLCS, the Padres could find themselves going deeper into their bullpen than their opponents, and that’s not an ideal thing against a team as talented as the Dodgers.
Speaking of the Dodgers, that’s the other big reason that you might want to hesitate on the Padres: they’ve likely got a nightmarish road ahead in the playoffs. Unless the Padres can somehow nose out Los Angeles and San Francisco, they’re going to have to beat one of them in the NL wild card game and then beat another in the NLDS, and that’s before they even get to the NLCS. This is decent value, but be sure that you’re aware of the risk.
New York Mets, +900
Nobody can doubt the Mets’ pitching, which ranks fourth in the majors in ERA. The big problem for New York is that its lineup has really struggled to stay healthy, which is why they’ve only scored 327 runs in 87 games, ahead of only Pittsburgh.
However, there are two big reasons to believe in the Mets: the improving health of the offense, the wallet of Steven Cohen and the struggles of the rest of the NL East. The Mets put up 24 runs in four games against Pittsburgh in their final series before the All-Star break and battered the Yankees twice in their most recent road series. If they can avoid injuries over the remaining 75 games of the campaign, they’re likely going to start scoring a lot more runs.
If they can’t, Cohen is likely to fix things. The Mets’ new owner is flush with cash and has no qualms about spending it, and as long as someone is willing to offer a big bat or another arm, he’s willing to pay top dollar to get them in Queens. Given that cash advantage, there’s every reason to believe that the Mets are likely to be a lot better in the second half of the season than they were in the first half.
Finally, the lack of competition from the NL East means that the Mets aren’t going to have to worry about beating more than one of the three NL West titans on their way to the World Series. Unless the Brewers go on a big run, the Mets will almost certainly be facing the NL Central champions, and they’ve already shown that they can handle Milwaukee in a series. There’s a good amount of value in taking them to survive Milwaukee and then outpitch the NL West survivor. Find the highest paying MLB futures at BetAnySports Sportsbook!
Milwaukee Brewers, +1300
The Brewers aren’t getting a lot of respect either, mainly because their hitting just is not up to par with the other top teams in the National League. Unlike the Mets, Milwaukee doesn’t appear to have help coming from players getting healthy or from their front office bringing in a little extra help.
But what the Brewers do have going for them is a great pitching staff and a rather comfortable setup in the NL Central. The Cubs and Cardinals seem to be falling apart and the Reds don’t look like they’re capable of challenging for the division title, so the Brewers aren’t likely to get pushed much over the final stretch of the season. As such, Milwaukee doesn’t have to worry about getting caught by a lesser opponent and can likely focus on preparing to play the NL East champions before only getting one of the NL West titans in the NLCS.
If this bet is going to hit, it’s going to be because of the Brewers’ ability to miss bats. Milwaukee leads the majors in strikeouts, and in this era of three true outcomes, that could be a major point in the Brewers’ favor as long as they come up against the right opponent. I don’t like Milwaukee’s chances against a patient team like the Padres or Dodgers, but against the Giants, they’d have a good shot to get through and make it to the World Series. For these odds, that’s all you can ask for.
Tampa Bay Rays, +1400
Yes, everyone’s sour on the Rays after the way they overmanaged the World Series and blew their shot at forcing a seventh game last season. But Tampa Bay is still an incredibly talented team and is about to face off with a rather soft schedule over the remaining portion of the schedule. The Rays are plus-85 in run differential and lead the American League in ERA, and they’re about to face the Orioles 13 times over the final 72 games of the year, which could help them nose out Boston for the AL East crown.
If they do beat out the Red Sox, they’ll be in excellent shape as far as the playoffs go, because only the Astros can match them in terms of experience. The White Sox have received plenty of attention this season, but they’re short on playoff experience and could be in a lot of trouble if they have to play a long, drawn-out series against Tampa Bay. As long as the Rays can stay out of that No. 3 seed, get home-field advantage against at least one of Houston or Chicago and avoid overmanaging in tight situations, they’ve got a good shot to get back to the World Series and give themselves a shot at a title.
San Francisco Giants, +1600
Why is the team with the best record in baseball sitting at such low odds to win the title? Simple: the public expects that the bottom is going to fall out for the Giants when they come up against tougher opponents. San Francisco has lived a pretty charmed life through the first 90 games of the schedule, as they haven’t seen either the Mets or the Brewers yet and still have 10 more games each against both the Dodgers and the Padres. That also doesn’t include two trips to Denver, where the Rockies have been one of the best home teams in the majors.
Add it up, and you’ve got a team that’s going to be facing a tough task in at least 40 of their remaining 72 contests, which doesn’t exactly bode well for a team that’s come out of nowhere to get itself into this position. If the Giants are going to prove that they’re for real, they’ve got to do it by riding their pitching staff and continuing to prevent runs. The Giants’ big strength is that they don’t give up many walks, as they’ve only allowed 232 free passes in 89 contests, a large reason why they’ve recorded the second-best ERA in the majors. But the big questions here are similar to that of the Dodgers and Padres: they’re going to have to go through at least one and possibly two of the other NL West titans. That’s not really conducive to a long run for a team that wasn’t supposed to be part of the playoffs in the first place. Bet the rest of your July MLB picks FREE by scoring a huge 100% bonus where you can deposit up to $1000 and get $1000 added to your account as a welcoming bonus! Find this killer offer at BetNow Sportsbook!
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