The defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers enter the 2021 Major League Baseball season with the best odds to win the World Series, and deservedly so.
The Dodgers are absolutely loaded with both top-tier arms and bats, making them primed to run it back this year. While there’s better betting value elsewhere on the board, we’re not going to advise you to stay away from putting some cash on LA to repeat. There’s no “safe bet” when it comes to a championship future, but the Dodgers are as close as it gets.
But when it comes to other teams atop the World Series odds board, you might want to think long and hard before turning in your betting slip.
Here are the top 10 teams in terms of 2021 World Series odds, per FanDuel Sportsbook.
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +550
San Diego Padres +800
Chicago White Sox +850
Atlanta Braves +1000
New York Mets +1000
Minnesota Twins +1800
St. Louis Cardinals +2200
Toronto Blue Jays +2200
Houston Astros +2500
So, which favorite should you steer clear from placing a future bet on?
New York Yankees (+550)
The Yankees have flirted with a World Series trip in each of the post four seasons but ultimately fell short of the Fall Classic in each of those campaigns.
We’re expecting that trend to continue in 2021.
The Bronx Bombers are going to hit, there’s no doubt about it. New York effectively has no holes in its batting order. The same can’t be said for the Yankees’ pitching however, as some uncertainty hovers over the starting rotation.
There’s obviously no reason to be concerned about ace Gerrit Cole, but how much can you trust Corey Kluber, who only has made eight starts dating back to the 2018 season. A similar question can be asked about Yankees newcomer Jameson Taillon, as pitching in the American League — let alone in a major market like New York — is a stark contrast from pitching for a team with minimal expectations like the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Let’s not pencil in the Yankees as 2021 AL East champions just yet either. The Tampa Bay Rays are the reigning AL champions, and the upstart Toronto Blue Jays improved over the offseason. The Boston Red Sox, whose active winter and spring included a reunion with manager Alex Cora, could surprise as well.
But it really comes back to the pitching. While relief/versatile arms now are more important than ever in the history of the game, World Series winners historically have featured at least two studs atop the starting rotation. The Yankees, of course, have one in Cole, but beyond the three-time All-Star, it’s fair to be pessimistic about New York’s starters.