Here’s our analysis of 2021 World Series Futures Bets, including Kev Mahserejian’s 2021 World Series Best and Worst Bet — and sleepers for World Series Champion. Odds courtesy of PointsBet, current as of Wednesday, Feb. 10.
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2021 World Series Futures Bets: Top Picks & Sleepers For MLB Champion
2021 World Series Champion Odds: The Top 10
- Los Angeles Dodgers (+350)
- New York Yankees (+550)
- San Diego Padres (+800)
- Chicago White Sox (+900)
- Atlanta Braves (+950)
- New York Mets (+1050)
- Minnesota Twins (+2000)
- Oakland Athletics (+2000)
- St. Louis Cardinals (+2200)
- Tampa Bay Rays (+2200)
Best Bet: Los Angeles Dodgers (+350)
This could prove cheap as we get closer to the season and the Dodgers continue to assert themselves. The Dodgers are the incumbent winners and just signed last year’s National League Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer. While Bauer may be erratic and has proven to bust in recent history, the Dodgers have arguably the best pitching development in the MLB and can help him if need be. Bauer may not be elite next season but he surely should be enough to boost this already potent pitching staff that bolsters two in-house aces in Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler; a seasoned risk-reward vet in David Price; and plenty of rising youngsters to fill the back end in Julio Urias, Dustin May, and Tony Gonsolin.
This Bauer signing comes a year after trading for superstar Mookie Betts who re-signed in LA for the next decade. With MVP-caliber bats Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger also in the lineup, the Dodgers have plenty of dominant players who can take over games night-in and night-out.
Bellinger is probably the least reliable at the moment given that he is coming off of shoulder surgery and still has not swung a bat. Nevertheless, even if Bellinger isn’t 100% by season’s start. With a full season of baseball to play, the Dodgers can let him rehab as long as necessary to contribute as much as possible come October.
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger underwent surgery Tuesday to repair the right shoulder he dislocated celebrating a home run in Game 7 of the NLCS, sources tell ESPN.
Bellinger is expected to miss 10 weeks, which would put him on track to return by spring training.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 17, 2020
The Dodgers also solidified their bullpen by re-signing Blake Treinen and bringing in former closer Corey Knebel. If something were to happen to an already declining Kenley Jansen, there are relief options who have handled 9th-inning duties in the past to cover for him.
On top of adding external options, the Dodgers have guys who did not contribute on the field in 2020 that are under control for 2021. Top-5 prospect and second baseman of the future Gavin Lux is still waiting in the wings but needs more seasoning as he is only 23 with 151 plate appearances under his belt.
SP Josiah Gray, a top-100 prospect who has risen up the ranks recently, is also ready to contribute if necessary. Not to mention former ace David Price, who opted out of 2020 due to health and safety concerns, is under contract for 2021 and can be considered a potential crucial starter throughout the season.
No team has repeated as World Series champs since the 1998-2000 Yankees, but this Dodgers team has as good a shot as any to break that streak and run things back.
Worst Bet: Minnesota Twins (+2000)
The Twins had an opportunity to make winning moves this offseason and stuck with doing just enough to get by. They re-signed slugger Nelson Cruz and signed reliever Alex Colome, but aside from that … crickets.
While the White Sox loaded up with front-line starter Lance Lynn and elite closer Liam Hendriks, the Twins stood pat. They could have signed Marcell Ozuna or gone out to get George Springer after letting go of Eddie Rosario, but nope. They are content with good enough and that won’t win a World Series.
While playoff baseball is the biggest crap-shoot with each respective team possessing the best odds of any sport to win it all, the Twins can safely qualify as the team given the highest odds with the worst chance to win.
Josh Donaldson‘s days as a superstar are behind him as the team opts to provide consistent rest days as to not aggravate his lower-body. The signing of Andrelton Simmons is admirable to boost their infield defense, but that won’t be enough to cover the pitching deficiencies after the top-two of their rotation.
J.A. Happ is far from the picture of health, and Michael Pineda is the definition of unrealized upside. Randy Dobnak might be the biggest beneficiary, but it would be interesting to see how he plays over the course of a full MLB season as a starter. The Twins have Jhoan Duran in Triple-A and Jordan Balazovic in Double-A, but it’s unclear how much they will be involved (or capable of contributing) this season.
The Twins will need to heavily rely on young Alex Kiriloff‘s bat to play up close to its potential for the team to perform similarly to last season. Royce Lewis or Brent Rooker becoming a contributing piece would help as well if they hope to crack the upper-tier of offenses.
Still, Minnesota has too many roster issues to deserve your betting units for World Series champ.
2021 World Series Champion Odds: The Rest
- Toronto Blue Jays (+2200)
- Houston Astros (+2500)
- Cincinnati Reds (+3000)
- Washington Nationals (+3000)
- Chicago Cubs (+3500)
- Cleveland Indians (+3500)
- Los Angeles Angels (+4000)
- Philadelphia Phillies (+4000)
- Milwaukee Brewers (+4500)
- Boston Red Sox (+5000)
- Miami Marlins (+6000)
- Seattle Mariners (+8000)
- Baltimore Orioles (+8500)
- San Francisco Giants (+8500)
- Arizona Diamondbacks (+10000)
- Colorado Rockies (+10000)
- Detroit Tigers (+10000)
- Kansas City Royals (+10000)
- Texas Rangers (+10000)
- Pittsburgh Pirates (+20000)
2021 World Series Champion Futures: Sleepers
Toronto Blue Jays (+2200)
The Blue Jays might be EVERYONE’S “sleeper" after they just pulled off acquiring George Springer along with Marcus Semien and Kirby Yates this offseason (and might not be finished).
They are a young, potent team full of potential and recent production. Bats like Cavan Biggio, Teoscar Hernandez, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. have room to grow after already proving themselves. Former top prospects Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette present massive upside in the heart of the order with solid floors to buoy themselves in case their ceiling is unrealized this year.
There is little to doubt with the Blue Jays’ offense, which will likely end up top-10 on the year. The pitching staff, however, is where these odds become awry.
While Hyun Jin Ryu is as close to an ace that this staff could ask, the rest of the rotation leaves a lot more to be desired. The murky rotation features Mets castoff Steven Matz, and Nate Pearson, despite possessing high-end velocity, has had trouble creating striking outs between his ascension to AA and the MLB while seeing a troublesome walk issue in his trimmed 2020.
Pearson is going to be relied upon to step up along with Robbie Ray, who is notorious in the fantasy baseball community for his tantalizing upside that remains unrealized year-in and year-out. His peripherals such as xFIP and SIERA often misdirected us to believe that Ray was better than his ERA, but the high walk and home run-rates run him more often than not. =
Matz is in a similar boat with solid peripherals that could take a step forward in a new environment. Both will be key cogs if all goes right in 2021.
Luckily, the Blue Jays have relief options Ross Stripling and Tyler Chatwood, who have respectively started in the past and could take on spots or pitch extended innings in relief of a failed starter.
Not to mention the end of the bullpen is quite strong for Toronto with a 7th-through-9th-inning set of Rafael Dolis, Jordan Romano, and the recently signed Yates.
Romano experienced trouble in his middle finger last year but had corrective surgery. Yates dealt with bone spurs but also remedied them with surgery. Assuming both are fully healthy for this season, holding a lead should be no problem.
The Phillies, Blue Jays and Red Sox are among a half-dozen teams interested in free-agent infielder Marwin Gonzalez. The 31-year-old could be valuable utility player for contending teams.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) February 8, 2021
The Jays are seemingly still looking to add this offseason, and if their regular season starts well, midseason additions via trade could also be made to bolster this already talented roster.
Tampa Bay Rays (+2200)
The team that JUST played in a World Series is +2200. Incredible.
Yes, the Rays did trade their Cy Young-winning ace Blake Snell away for prospects, but the harsh truth is that Snell might not be fully healthy, and this trade might end up a win despite how lopsided it seems on the surface.
The Rays are a revolving door of talent and can mix-and-match not only pitching but hitting. They have a crew of hitters ready to attack any pitching staff. On top of that, they could be getting a revamped Austin Meadows for 2021. Meadows notoriously dealt with COVID prior to the 2020 season, which sapped him of his All-Star-caliber powers.
In 2018 The Tampa Bay Rays traded
- Chris Archer
- Austin Meadows
In 2021 they have all 4 players.
— Tyler Wilson (@KingOfBuffalo) February 2, 2021
Speaking of Meadows, the Rays re-acquired former front-line starter Chris Archer, whom they used Meadows to acquire.
Archer is coming off thoracic outlet surgery, which fixes a nerve in your shoulder that causes discomfort when raising your arms. Archer may not be fully healthy for the start of the 2021 season but could contribute at some point in this typical 162-game season.
The Rays also added Michael Wacha, who is still just 29 and has underperformed throughout his career with the Mets and Cardinals. Wacha is a talented pitcher who just has not been capable of performing consistently while also dealing with injuries throughout his career. The Rays will be acquiring him at presumably full health to tinker as they often do. Do not be shocked if Wacha comes out of nowhere and becomes a top-30 starter.
Turning to the Rays’ offense, playoff hero Randy Arozarena is hitting in the heart of the order, and despite some off-field issues, he should be ready to go for the season. He will be one of the few everyday bats in the lineup along with the aforementioned Meadows. Brandon Lowe stepped up immensely last season, and if he can be competent versus right-handed pitching, he too will be playing as much as possible.
The rest of this offense is wholly interchangeable with righty and lefty bats to move up and down the lineup, as they have over the past few seasons.
While some may consider the Rays analytically inclined to a fault, they know how to construct a cheap roster and win games.
They feature the No. 1 prospect in baseball, Wander Franco, along with a farm system that sits atop the rankings year-in and year-out. If someone were to go down, they have internal options to replace them with and move forward OR they could also make a trade for an underperforming MLB or AAA player elsewhere that they can seep productivity from.
The Rays should not be among the three favorites for the World Series even as incumbent runner-ups, but finding them below the 10th-best odds is ridiculous. They have as good a chance as any AL roster to make a deep postseason roster with their fungibility and present talent.