Some people don't believe in pouncing on early MLB Futures. We disagree. Now is a great time to jump on World Series picks, as well as which teams will make it out of the American League and National League.
Let's start with the World Series odds, which we've grabbed from BetOnline:
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+480|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+850|
|Chicago White Sox||+950|
|New York Yankees||+1300|
|New York Mets||+1500|
|San Diego Padres||+1600|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+1600|
|Los Angeles Angels||+2500|
|San Francisco Giants||+2500|
|Boston Red Sox||+2500|
|St. Louis Cardinals||+3000|
|Kansas City Royals||+10000|
Like always, remember to confirm these odds before deciding on any wager. They will shift as the 2021 MLB season soldiers on.
MLB Futures Breakdown
Before getting into the nitty-gritty about the World Series, let's first look at the best bets to win the American League and National League. We'll analyze the former first.
American League Futures Prediction
Here are the latest odds on who will win the American League:
|Tampa Bay Rays||+290|
|Chicago White Sox||+310|
|New York Yankees||+650|
|Boston Red Sox||+1000|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+1500|
The New York Yankees (+275) are not surprisingly checking in at No. 1. And they deserve it.
Giancarlo Stanton is finally healthy, and they still have slugger Aaron Judge. That is clearly the best one-two power punch in baseball. No other squad even comes close.
Fans have expressed concerns about some very early-season struggles. We can't find a way to be actually worried. The pitching staff is going to be fine. Gerritt Cole is still a beast, and it's fair to expect big things from Luis Severino and Corey Kluber. This remains a top-five pitching rotation relative to the rest of the league.
The Chicago White Sox (+425) is a fair option here, too. Their starting pitching staff is on the shakier end compared to other powerhouses, but they continue to deploy a reliable bullpen and the offense is led by 2020 AL MVP Jose Abreu.
Our dark horse pick would be the Minnesota Twins (+850). They are on the younger side and also have to worry about the health of their oldest vet, power hitter Nelson Cruz, but their offense is immeasurably deep. They'll find a way to score runs and win games without him; their ability to get on base even when they're not hammering dingers is going to be huge. Keep an eye on them.
OSB Prediction: Yankees win the AL (+275)
National League Futures Prediction
You knew this was coming. The reigning champion Los Angeles Dodgers(+180) were always going to take the No. 1 National League spot. The benefit of the doubt is given to teams that just picked up a World Series. Beyond that, they've actually found a way to get better.
Seriously: The best team in baseball signed Trevor Bauer over the offseason. That move should've been deemed illegal or something. We're now talking about a Dodgers squad that arguably has both the best pitching staff and offensive lineup in baseball.
Still, we just can't shake the San Diego Padres (+400). They have kept going for it even when the Dodgers looked unbeatable. The combination of Ferando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado at shortstop and third base, respectively, is truly terrifying on both sides of the field. And while L.A. added Bauer, they scooped up Yu Darvish.
Tatis Jr.'s recent injury does leave us a little concerned, but he's 22 years old and it's a long season. We don't envision his shoulder issue ruining San Diego's season.
Feel free to give consideration to the New York Mets (+650). Their pitching staff still has the potential to be the best around if it can stay healthy—a big question mark.
Our dark horse selection would be the Philadelphia Phillies (+1800). Pretty much everyone has faith in their offense. How could they not be with Bryce Harper in the fold? The top of their pitching rotation, headlined by Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler, is high-quality as well.
The Phillies' main problem is the back end of its rotation and then, equally problematic, the bullpen. That said, the relievers have pitched well so far. We just need to see whether it's sustainable.
2021 World Series Prediction
Based on the above MLB futures picks, we're tapping both the Yankees and Padres to make the final extravaganza. Sportsbooks don't tend to offer props on specific World Series matchups before the playoffs, but this is something to keep in mind if you're looking for the high-risk, high-reward play.
Speaking of high-risk: The Yankees are the safer selection here. They have more star power top to bottom. Gary Sanchez is even hinting at a bounce-back year with his onset performance.
And yet, the Padres are it for us.
Adding Darvish to a rotation that includes Blake Snell and Chris Paddack gives them a legitimate crack at challenging the Dodgers' aces on the mound. And their batting order is somehow better. They aren't just deep with talent; they are deep in different skill sets. Power, patience, the capacity to get on base—you name it, their offense has it.
Definitely track Tatis Jr.'s shoulder injury. A lengthy absence does compromise San Diego's season to some extent. But we make no apologies about our World Series pick for now.
Check out this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your MLB betting: