Pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Wednesday, marking the unofficial start to baseball season. And while there are 162 regular-season games and eight months to go before the World Series, bettors are already starting to focus on a few teams that might win a championship in 2021.
The Los Angeles Dodgers remain the clear favorite to win the World Series this year, a spot they’ve held since they finished off the Tampa Bay Rays in six games last year to win the title.
Dodgers a Near Lock to Make Playoffs
The Dodgers are the consensus favorites at all sportsbooks. BetMGM, FanDuel, and William Hill all list the defending champions at +350 following an offseason that saw the already dominant club add Trevor Bauer and resign Justin Turner.
|2021 World Series Odds
While Los Angeles should get a push from the San Diego Padres in the NL West, there’s little doubt that the Dodgers will make the playoffs and make a serious run at the title. Fangraphs released its first playoff odds projections this week, and the analytics site gives LA a 97.9% chance of reaching the playoffs, and a 20.2% chance of winning the World Series – about equivalent to a +400 value.
The New York Yankees rank as the second choice at all sportsbooks, coming in at +600 at BetMGM. But bettors are overwhelmingly backing the Yankees’ crosstown rivals, the New York Mets (+1200).
Mets Dominating World Series Futures Markets
According to BetMGM, nearly 25% of tickets have been placed on the Mets to win the World Series. Those tickets account for 31.2% of their handle on the futures market, far ahead of the Yankees (14.2%) and the Dodgers (10.5%).
“The Mets have received the highest ticket and handle percentage to win the World Series,” BetMGM sports trader Seamus Magee said in a statement. “We’ve adjusted the team’s odds from +2500 to +1200. In addition to the Mets, the sportsbook has liability on the Angels, Blue Jays, and Cardinals.”
The Mets missed out on some major free-agent signings in the offseason, but still made improvements. New York added Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco in a trade with the Cleveland Indians. Bettors are also looking for the Mets to rebound from a very disappointing 26-34 season in 2020, one in which New York failed to make the expanded postseason field.
Baseball season starts TOMORROW. pic.twitter.com/k11Tpb8iYm
— MLB (@MLB) February 16, 2021
Analytics seem to support that confidence. Fangraphs gives the Mets a 10.1% chance of winning the World Series – about a +900 value – and over an 80% chance to make the playoffs. The site also rates the Mets as the favorites to win the NL East, ahead of the Atlanta Braves.
While Fangraphs and bettors stand behind the Mets, sportsbooks still have more confidence in the Braves. Atlanta sits at +900 to win the World Series at BetMGM, the same odds as the Padres. The Chicago White Sox (+1000) also rate ahead of New York on the futures board.