The 2021 MLB season is approaching the halfway points meaning the six divisions are taking shape, and we have some idea who should be challenging for the World Series title. Reigning champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the clear favorites in the latest MLB betting markets, but several teams have something to say about that.
Los Angeles Dodgers won their seventh World Series in 2020, their first title since winning the championship back in 1988. The COVID-19 pandemic cut the MLB season short, with each team playing only 60 games instead of the scheduled 162.
Dodgers Were Incredible in 2020
The vastly reduced season worked in the Dodgers’ favor as they stormed to the National League West title, posting a 43-17 (0.717) record. Dodgers were fast out of the blocks, going 30-10 through the first 40 games, the best 40-game start in the franchise’s history. Had the Dodger continued their form across 162 games, they would have won 116 games, tying with the famous 1906 Chicago Cubs and 2001 Seattle Mariners.
Dodgers continued their regular season form into the playoffs, beating the Milwaukee Brewers 2-0 in the Wild Card Series, before brushing aside the San Diego Padres 3-0 in the National League Division Series.
An exciting 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series set up a clash with the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series. Dodger ran out 4-2 winners and became worthy champions.
Dodgers Performing Well, But Can’t Recapture Their 2020 Form
The 2021 MLB season is going well for the Dodgers despite them occupying second-place in the NL West. Dodgers find themselves two games behind the San Francisco Giants through the first 72 games. They may be second right now, but the Dodgers still have an impressive 0.611 record and are on course for winning 99 games.
Both April and May saw the Dodgers go 16-11, and they are 12-6 in June through June 21. Back-to-back games at home to the Giants on June 28-29 could see the Dodgers reclaim top spot in the NL West.
The Giants have been the season’s surprise team so far, although bookmakers do not fancy their chances of keeping up their remarkable form. The Dodgers are priced around +380 for the World Series title, but the Giants find themselves with odds of +3000. Bookies rarely get these things incorrect. They priced NBA’s Utah Jazz as long outsiders for Championship glory despite the Jazz topping their division in style. Jazz slumped to a 4-2 semi-final defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers.
San Diego Padres Are Mounting a Charge
If the NL West-leading Giants are not the biggest threat to the Dodgers’ title defense, who is? San Diego Padres are the franchise most fancied to topple the Dodgers.
Padres find themselves third in NL West, 2.5 games behind the Dodgers and 4.5 games behind the Giants. The Padres went 15-12 during April before turning on the style throughout May, where they enjoyed an impressive 19-9 record. That May run saw the Padres embark on a nine-game winning streak.
June has been disappointing for Padres fans as they see their team nursing a 9-11 record through June 21. However, the Padres beat the Cincinnati Reds in four straight games and ran out 6-2 winners over the Dodgers in Game 75.
Two more games against the Dodgers follow before the Padres host the struggling Arizona Diamondbacks three times. Padres finish June with a trip to the Reds. There is no reason at all Padres could not finish June with a run of 12 wins, giving them a 16-11 record.
Best of the Rest
While it is likely the Dodgers and Padres challenging for baseball’s World Series in 2021, you cannot completely write off the chances of the New York Mets (0.561) or Chicago White Sox (0.597). Both franchises top their respective divisions, and both are more than capable of causing an upset on the field.