Los Angeles Dodgers pose for a group picture after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
- The Major League Baseball season opens Thursday April 1 with a full schedule of 15 games
- The Los Angeles Dodgers are favored to repeat as World Series champions
- The championship odds for all 30 MLB teams can be found below
The Major League Baseball season opens Thursday with a full slate of 15 games involving all 30 teams.
MLB plans to play a full 162-game season this year after the 2020 season was shortened to 60 games by the COVID-19 pandemic. The final day of the regular season is Oct. 3.
Postseason berths will be back to being at a premium this season. Last year, MLB expanded the playoff field to 16 teams but is going back to the normal 10 teams – five in both the American League and National League – in 2021.
The postseason is set to begin Oct. 6. If the World Series goes the distance, Game 7 would be played Nov. 3.
2021 World Series Champion Odds
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+350|
|New York Yankees||+550|
|San Diego Padres||+800|
|Chicago White Sox||+850|
|New York Mets||+1000|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+2200|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+2200|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+2500|
|Los Angeles Angels||+4000|
|Boston Red Sox||+5000|
|San Francisco Giants||+8000|
|Kansas City Royals||+10000|
Odds taken March 30 from DraftKings.
Dodgers Expected to Repeat
The Los Angeles Dodgers are favored to repeat as World Series champions. They won their first title since 1988 last year when they beat the Tampa Bay Rays in six games in the Fall Classic.
The Dodgers’ 43-17 record during the regular season was the best in the major leagues. Los Angeles also won its eighth straight NL West title.
After long being criticized for their failure to make splash moves in the offseason, the Dodgers made a major winter acquisition for the second year in a row. They signed right-hander Trevor Bauer to a three-year, $102-million contract in free agency.
Bauer won the NL Cy Young Award last season while with the Cincinnati Reds. He had a 5-4 record and league-leading 1.73 ERA in 11 starts in helping the Reds reach the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
2021 MLB Win Totals Tracker
Yankees’ Odds are Good
Reigning AL batting champion DJ LeMahieu and the Yankees are the second choice to win it all. The franchise has a record 27 World Series titles but its last came in 2009, which seems like a lifetime ago to the demanding fan base.
How pretty is DJ LeMahieu’s swing?
Wasn’t a hit (Bryce Harper tracked it down in RF) but this in slow motion is just gorgeous… pic.twitter.com/A7E10jKV9U
— Max Goodman (@MaxTGoodman) March 25, 2021
The Yankees have the best odds of any AL team despite finishing second to Tampa Bay in the East Division last year. New York lost to the Rays again in an AL Division Series.
A rebuilt starting rotation will need to perform well for the Yankees to win a title. Corey Kluber pitched only one inning for the Texas Rangers in 2020 before sustaining a season-ending torn shoulder muscle. Jameson Taillon spent the year on the injured list with the Pittsburgh Pirates while recovering from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery.
Bullish on Mets
The oddsmakers see the Mets as a much-improved team in 2021. They are the fifth choice even though they finished 26-34 and tied the Washington Nationals for last place in the NL East.
The optimism stems from the Mets acquiring standout shortstop Francisco Lindor from Cleveland in a January trade.
Certainly not a perfect representation given that not all of the #Mets spring training games have been tracked (& it’s a SSS), but Francisco Lindor’s average exit velocity among batted balls is 92.6 mph.
That’s over a 3 mph increase from 2020 (89.4).@Metsmerized #LGM @Mets pic.twitter.com/rI0wqgIH8M
— Mathew Brownstein (@MBrownstein89) March 25, 2021
Lindor was selected to the All-Star Game in each of his four full seasons with Cleveland and is in the prime of his career at 27. The Mets are hopeful to sign Lindor to a contract extension before he reaches free agency at the end of the season.
Little Faith in Rays
Conversely, the oddsmakers do not have much faith in the Rays getting back to the World Series after parting with left-hander Blake Snell and right-hander Charlie Morton in the offseason. Tampa Bay is just the 11th choice a year after winning the AL pennant.
The Rays traded Snell to the San Diego Padres and allowed Morton to become a free agent by not exercising the $15-million option in is contract for 2021.
John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.