2021 World Series Picks – Top Value Bets
If you’re like most sports bettors, you’ve probably been spending a lot of time watching a lot of basketball this month. But as we wrap up the Elite Eight and get ready for the Final Four, we’ve got another sport getting underway: baseball.
Baseball futures can be a tough way to bet because you’re locking up your money for the better part of six months and can easily watch a bet go down the chute in the first two months of the season. Plus, unlike a division bet, one bad weekend can sink your World Series bet if it comes in the Division Series.
Still, it’s fun to predict the champion, and if you get the right team, you can actually get a really nice return at the end of the campaign. Here are a few bets that I like to possibly claim the World Series in 2021.
Los Angeles Dodgers, +350
I know, I know, the defending champs, so predictable. But that’s the way baseball is these days: there are so few teams who are actually attempting to win that you’ve essentially cut half the field before the season even starts. Plus, even though the Dodgers are the defending champions and nobody has successfully defended their title since the Yankees did it in 2000, Los Angeles isn’t likely to be as overwhelmed by the hangover that comes with being the defending world champions. The Dodgers only had to play 78 games in 2020, not even half a regulation season.
Plus, the Dodgers didn’t sit back and rest on their laurels. They went out and made Clayton Ker-shaw into their No. 3 starter by bringing in Trevor Bauer, who should be a strong No. 2 behind Walker Buehler after putting up great numbers in Cincinnati. The lineup is as fearsome as ever, and the Dodgers no longer have to deal with questions about 1988. This team is simply loaded, and it’ll take something Herculean for Los Angeles to not be in the postseason.
The one worry here is that Los Angeles is likely to face a brutal NLDS with the Padres thanks to baseball’s format of making the wild-card winner the lowest seed. Given that either the Dodg-ers or Padres will be in the wild card game, the NL West winner might be better off tanking a few games and taking their chances with the NL Central champs. But because of the wild card game, both teams are going to have to go all-out. Kickoff your baseball season right by doubling your bankroll by taking advantage of a 100% real cash bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $300 at MyBookie Sportsbook! (must type in bonus code PREDICT100 to receive the special bonus).
San Diego Padres, +800
If the Padres can get past the Dodgers, they’ve got an outstanding shot at claiming the fran-chise’s first world championship. San Diego believes it’s finally ready to compete with Los Ange-les, which has won the NL West eight years running now.
The reason? The Padres went out and bought themselves a rotation, as they now have two proven top-of-the-line starters along with a blossoming starter in Dinelson Lamet. Those two proven starters? A pair of guys you might have heard of named Yu Darvish and Blake Snell. San Diego took advantage of Tampa Bay’s commitment to trading its best players too early and the Cubs’ fire sale and brought both to the southern California border, adding top-quality pitching to a lineup that already included two genuine stars in Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado.
This team is built for the long haul, and it has to be because the Dodgers aren’t slowing down any time soon. San Diego’s only weakness is geography because the Padres are cursed to share their division with baseball’s defending world champion. That means San Diego is almost cer-tain to end up either in the wild card game or earning the top seed and getting an NLDS meet-ing with the Dodgers as their “reward.” To its credit, San Diego isn’t backing down from Los An-geles, but it does make it very hard to put your money on the Padres to win it all.
Atlanta Braves, +1000
This is the bet that I want most because the Braves have every piece of the puzzle, just like the Dodgers and Padres do. The difference is that the Braves play in the NL East. Although that divi-sion doesn’t have a bad team like the bumbling Diamondbacks, Giants, and Rockies of the NL West, it also doesn’t have a second team who can truly rival the Braves for division supremacy.
Atlanta can legitimately think of itself as the favorite in the NL East and doesn’t have a World Series contender chasing it, which means it likely doesn’t have to worry about the wild card game. And truthfully, the Braves’ strong division actually works in their favor here, as Atlanta is likely to get beat up enough in the NL East to finish second in the National League and avoid both Los Angeles and San Diego until the NLCS, where they’ll almost certainly have to beat the survivor from California.
And that’s why I love this bet: Atlanta can beat the Dodgers or the Padres and nearly did it to the Dodgers last year despite not having a healthy pitching staff. This year, the Braves staff is deeper, and they should get Mike Soroka back in mid-April to complement Max Fried and Ian Anderson, which gives them a solid 1-2-3 that rivals Los Angeles and San Diego and a No. 4 that neither of the California teams can match in Charlie Morton. Beyond their pitching, the Braves have good hitters in Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuna and a wealth of experience from going seven with the Dodgers in last year’s NLCS. Atlanta’s not getting enough attention as a World Series threat. Did you know that you could be betting on baseball at discounted odds? Betting on games at reduced juice is better than ANY bonus you could receive because it’s perpetual! It’d be well worth your time to take a minute to read our BetAnySports Review!
Chicago White Sox, +850
There’s a serious lack of American League teams on this list because every AL squad that’s at-tempting to win has major flaws that can and probably will get exposed when they get to the World Series. The Twins don’t have a clue how to win in October, the Astros’ window has closed, the Yankees have no pitching behind Gerrit Cole (we’ll get to them later), the Blue Jays haven’t proven they can pitch, and the Rays and Athletics both lost some key pieces that should sap them of their ability to contend for the AL pennant.
But the White Sox are intriguing. Three of the top seven vote-getters in last year’s AL Cy Young Award race will be wearing the Pale Hose this year, as Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel were excellent for Chicago last year, and Lance Lynn came over in a trade with Texas. Plus, the White Sox have an exciting pitching prospect in Michael Kopech, who could be Rookie of the Year if he’s recovered from Tommy John’s surgery and a COVID opt-out.
And that’s before you get into a terrifying lineup that crushes left-handed pitching and has so much talent that the reigning MVP might change positions before the season is over. Jose Abreu had 19 home runs and 60 RBIs in a 60-game season last year to earn MVP honors, but he’s like-ly to move from first base to designated hitter so the White Sox can make space for 2019 first-round choice Andrew Vaughn, a powerful 21-year-old who could become the South Siders’ best power hitter since Jim Thome. Throw in 2019 AL batting champ Tim Anderson, and this lineup can hit for average and for power, making them the biggest threat the American League has to offer as its most complete team.
St. Louis Cardinals, +2500
In 2006, I watched the Cardinals win the World Series with one of my college roommates, who was a huge Cardinals fan. As St. Louis recorded the final out, the guy expressed amazement that after the 2004 and 2005 Cardinals won 105 and 100 games and then flamed out in the postseason, it was the 83-win Cardinals in 2006 who had managed to bring St. Louis a world championship.
And that’s why the Cardinals are on this list despite being seen as well behind the Dodgers, Braves, and Padres. This is an all-value play because we all know that the best team in baseball is often not the team that wins the World Series. But because of the way the postseason works, all you need is a ticket to the dance to have a shot, and a team that hasn’t had a losing season since 2007 always has a chance to get a ticket, especially in a middling division like the NL Cen-tral.
First, the Cardinals got better in a big way by going out and stealing Nolan Arenado from the not-even-pretending-to-care Rockies. That’d be a big move even in a rock solid division, which the NL Central just isn’t. While the Cardinals were strengthening their lineup and keeping a sol-id pitching staff intact, only the Brewers could arguably say that they got better from a year ago. The Reds mostly stood pat in preparation for 2022, the Cubs folded their hand and went all-in on a rebuild, and the Pirates aren’t even attempting to compete this season. St. Louis is going to pick up a lot of wins off Chicago and Pittsburgh and should win the season series against Milwaukee and Cincinnati.
That spells a likely division championship, and while it probably means an NLDS with the Dodg-ers or Braves, at least the Cardinals should be there in October. Not only that, but they have the pitching and experience to win a short series and take a shot in the NLCS. This team will very likely be there in October, and I will gladly take a shot on a team in that position with these odds.
Teams to Avoid
Unless they’re a runaway favorite, you want no part of the Yankees, and this year, I want no part of the Yankees. Because the Yankees are the most nationalized team in the country, they have fans all over the country, and because 90 percent of Yankees fans expect a World Series at least every other year (even though the Yankees just completed their first decade in franchise history without even winning the pennant), they love to place bets on their team to win it all. That means you’re going to get little to no value on the Bronx Bombers, and at +550, there’s just not enough to get me interested.
The lineup is solid, especially after bringing back D.J. LeMahieu, but Gerrit Cole can’t pitch eve-ry day. Beyond him, the rest of the rotation wouldn’t look entirely out of place at Triple-A Scran-ton. The Yankees have often had to resort to either just outscoring other teams or trying to win with an opener strategy — and New York has neither the bullpen nor the analytics that Tampa Bay does to get away with that trick. To go with this bet means you believe that the Yankees will open the wallet for a big name at the trade deadline, and while you’re probably not wrong, you’ll probably be able to get New York at better odds than that once the Yankees drop a few games because they discover they can’t score ten runs a night.
The Mets aren’t doing it for me either at +1000. They’re flashy because it’s New York, and new owner Steven Cohen has shown he isn’t shy about spending his $14 billion net worth on his baseball team. But the problem here is that they’re still a year away from being a true con-tender, there’s already a powerful side in their division in Atlanta, and Washington knows that its window is almost completely closed and is likely to go all-in this season while it still has Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.
Plus, there’s no easy outs in the NL East like there are in the other two divisions of the National League. The Mets can’t beat up on the Giants or Pirates 19 times a year the way the Padres or Cardinals can, and the lesser teams in the NL East, the Phillies, and Marlins are trying and will be tough outs all season long. The Mets will be a much better bet in 2022 or 2023, but for now, don’t bother. Question: Did you know that you can bet on games live in-progress while they happen? Gone are the days were you have to bet prior to the game. You can jump in anytime now! The best place to do this is Bovada Sportsbook, who offers the best live wagering platform on the planet!