MLB midpoint World Series futures: Dodgers still favorites, but there's a 60/1 shot with value
We’ve officially made it to the MLB All-Star Game. The first half of the 2021 MLB season was a roller coaster, and we had a ton of fun along the way. Here at Pickswise we’ve had free picks on the side and total for every game, plus same game parlays, mega parlays, and a whole lot more. The break is the perfect occasion to reflect a little bit on the first half, as well as take a look at the futures market now that there’s time to regroup. Right now we’re breaking down World Series futures, and we’ll start with the odds:
2021 MLB World Series odds
Every other team has 30/1 odds or greater. As you can see, the Dodgers are still a clear favorite to repeat as World Series champs. Interestingly, we still have three of the same top four from before the season started. The Padres and White Sox were rated third and fourth respectively, although the Astros have now replaced the Yankees in second.
New York has gone from having the best odds in the American League at +550, all the way down to +2500 after their disappointing first few months. The Braves were 10/1 to win it all on the heels of their NLCS run, but have dropped to 33/1 after injuries and mediocre play.
Meanwhile, Houston has surged up from 22/1 to around +600 as their lineup has impressed. Boston really came out of nowhere, as they were 20/1 just to win the AL East before the season and are now 10/1 to win the World Series.
Clearly, there have been a lot of twists and turns, and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Now let’s get to the fun part, a couple of best bets:
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World Series best bet: Los Angeles Dodgers +380
It might be the boring play, but it’s also the one that makes the most sense. The Dodgers at +380 are the play for a few reasons, starting with the lack of competition in the National League while the AL is wide open.
San Diego’s offense is inconsistent, and with Blake Snell not looking anything like a former Cy Young winner, I don’t see how they’ll have the pitching to get it done in the playoffs. Yu Darvish is great, but Snell and Chris Paddack have both been disasters, and Joe Musgrove is starting to decline after a red-hot start.
The Dodgers have underachieved, and yet they still have the best run differential in MLB. They’ve done that while struggling with plenty of injuries to key players. Fortunately, they’ll get most of those guys back, including star shortstop Corey Seager, who should be back in the lineup shortly.
The fact that they’ve managed to put up the best run differential in baseball despite all that tells you everything you need to know. The Mets are considered the second-closest threat in the NL, and they’ve scored the second-fewest runs in the entire league.
Everything points toward the Dodgers at least making it to another World Series, and they’ll be a favorite against any team that comes out of the AL assuming they do.
World Series longshot pick: Cincinnati Reds +6000
Now for my favorite part, a long-shot play to sprinkle a few bucks on. Before Ronald Acuna Jr’s ACL tear, I would have recommended taking a nibble on the Braves as our long shot. They had last year’s team that was a game away from the World Series mostly intact and seemed in decent position for a stretch run, but the Acuna injury sapped any energy they might have had left.
As such, the best option left on the table is the Reds at 60/1. Cincinnati quietly entered the break on a tear, going 9-2 in their final 11 games. Guys like Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker are mashing, and they’ve got the third-most runs in the National League.
That’s despite Eugenio Suarez having a really surprisingly down year, which he should snap out of in the second half. The team’s starting pitching is also better than you might realize. Wade Miley, Tyler Mahle, and Sonny Gray have all been great with ERAs of 3.68 or lower.
That doesn’t even include Luis Castillo, who is supposed to be the team’s ace. Castillo struggled mightily early on, but has been phenomenal the past six weeks. In three July starts he had a 2.41 ERA, and in five June starts it was 1.71. If he can keep that up, this team is going to make some serious noise.
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