The 1st April sees the new MLB season get underway with 30 teams battling it out once again to be crowned the World Series Champions.
In this article we are going to take a look at who we feel will come up in the East, Central and Western divisions of the American and National Leagues, as well as picking the team who we think stands the best chance of being named the World Series winners.
With teams having been in spring training for a good while now, they should be well-prepared ahead of the season start tomorrow, which sees all 30 teams in action.
Let’s begin the preview by taking a look at how we see the three divisions in the American League shaping up. All odds provided in this article came from DraftKings Sportsbook.
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There’s no doubt that the AL East is one of the most stacked divisions in the league. The New York Yankees start as the -200 favourites to win the division ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays both at +350.
These three teams seem to be the smart picks, with the Boston Red Sox +2000 and the Baltimore Orioles at +5200. It is hard to look past the Yankees to land this division though.
The AL Central is another division that promises a great rivalry between three teams with the Chicago White Sox rated as the -121 favourites to land the division ahead of the Minnesota Twins at +125 and the Cleveland Indians at +700.
Outside bets are the Kansas City Royals at +4000 and the Detroit Tigers at +6000. This to me looks like being a toss up between the White Sox and the Twins, but I feel Chicago will just edge this one.
On paper, this looks like being the most competitive division in the American League this year. While I think the Seattle Mariners (+2600) and Texas Rangers (+6000) are unlikely to challenge any of the other three teams stand a real chance
The smart money is on the Houston Astros (+125) who are the slight favourites, but I think the Los Angeles Angels (+375) and Oakland Athletics (+145) will run them really close. I can see this division going right to the wire and I am backing Oakland to do just enough to take top spot.
For me, this is by far the most competitive division in the National League and you can make a case for either the Atlanta Braves (+120) or the New York Mets (+140) landing the divisional title here. That said, I don’t think the Washington Nationals (+600) or the Philadelphia Phillies (+875) are too far behind.
I would rule out the Miami Marlins (+2500) from contention but even they will have their moments this season I believe. This is a tricky one to call and while the Braves seem to be most people’s pick, I think the Mets are probably the team I’d back.
It’s going to be a tough season for the Pittsburgh Pirates (+6500) in the National League Central with four quality teams in this division.
Any of the St Louis Cardinals (+105), Milwaukee Brewers (+300), Cincinnati Reds (+330) or Chicago Cubs (+425) could win this division and all will feel that they have a realistic chance of doing so. This is another one I can see going down to the wire and I am going to back the Reds to claim the divisional title here.
The division with the Los Angeles Dodgers (-250) is going to see them as favourites and I am not going to go against that here. The San Diego Padres (+200) will likely be their main challengers in the season, but I think the San Francisco Giants (+4000), Arizona Diamondbacks (+5000) and Colorado Rockies (also +5000) are all going to find things tough.
No surprises here, but I am taking the Dodgers to land this division comfortably.
World Series 2021 Betting
DraftKings currently have the Dodgers as the +350 favourites to win the World Series once again this year, with the Yankees +500, the Padres +800, the White Sox +850 and the Braves and Mets both at +1000.
Looking at the rest of the teams, I can see the likes of the Blue Jays, Reds or Athletics having a solid season, but do they have enough quality to match the very best teams at the sharp end of the season? I am not so sure.
I am really interested to see how the Padres go given the changes they have made to their roster over the off-season, but for me I think this is a pick between the Yankees and Dodgers and I think at the moment, the Yankees are just shading it for me.
Whoever your pick is for the new season, the action gets underway tomorrow with 15 games and all 30 teams in action in what should be a great season!