And just like that, two MLB teams are now one win away from the 2021 World Series. The Houston Astros have seized a 3-2 lead over the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves have a 3-1 advantage over the reigning champion, banged up Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.
Which squads should you be investing in as the MLB postseason nears its gripping conclusion? That's why we're here. The 2021 MLB playoffs demand updated picks for Dodgers-Braves and Astros-Red Sox, and we've got 'em.
Though top online sportsbooks have yet to post single-game odds for each matchup, as their most recent contests just ended, the folks over at BetOnline have dropped updated prices for both series. Here's a look:
|Houston Astros||-400||+320||Boston Red Sox|
|Atlanta Braves||-375||+305||Los Angeles Dodgers|
Definitely confirm these MLB playoff betting odds before settling on any MLB picks. All MLB odds are subject to change at BetOnline and other top online sportsbooks prior to the next opening pitch.
MLB AL and NL Championship Predictions
The Astros and Red Sox will be playing their Game 6 first, so we'll begin with them before moving on to the Dodgers on Braves. However, the fun won't stop there.
Since we're here, and because we're already picking our World Series participants, why not also deliver our MLB World Series predictions as things currently stand?
Let's do it.
Astros will Finish the Job Against the Red Sox
Many wondered how the Astros' pitching staff would hold up in the playoffs. They placed sixth in ERA during the regular season, but their rotation stretches only two aces deep. Could they keep up an elite pace?
It turns out they can. Houston's starting pitchers and bullpen are allowing just 2.33 runs per game during their three victories in the ALCS. That number is bonkers when you combine it with the depth of their batting order.
Boston has managed to snag two wins thus far...but not by shutting down the Astros offense. Houston has scored fewer than five runs once and is averaging over six runs per nine innings for the entire series—including in losses.
The Red Sox deserve a ton of credit for making it this far. No one thought they'd be the team facing the Astros. But it's pretty clear their Cinderella-esque performance will be ending soon.
OSB ALCS Prediction: Houston Astros (-400)
Braves Take Advantage of Banged Up Dodgers
First the Dodgers lose star pitcher Clayton Kershaw for the rest of the season prior to the NLCS. Now, star third baseman Justin Turner is done for the year with a hamstring injury. They just can't catch a break.
The Braves have taken advantage of the situation. Though their offense has outpaced expectations, most recently with their nine-run detonation in Game 4, they have absolutely shut down the Dodgers' bats. Los Angeles has cleared just four runs once this series and is averaging fewer than three scores per game through their trio of losses.
Hope is in short supply for the Dodgers at this point. They have the superstar pitching to force a Game 6—no team allowed fewer runs per nine innings during the regular season—but the idea they'll win three consecutive contests is far-fetched.
If Atlanta doesn't end this in Game 5, they'll end it in Game 6. Don't flirt with upset odds here. The reigning champs are cooked.
OSB ALCS Prediction: Atlanta Braves (-375)
2021 MLB Worlds Series Pick
Here's a look at the latest 2021 World Series betting odds for all four remaining teams:
- Houston Astros (-105)
- Atlanta Braves (+180)
- Los Angeles Dodgers (+1000)
- Boston Red Sox (+1000)
If you're riding with us, you can pay no mind to the odds for the Red Sox and Dodgers. We have an Astros-Braves World Series.
This is a matchup that will heavily favor Houston on paper. There is not an MLB team that has fared better on both sides of the plate all year. That has continued into the postseason. The Astros are third in batting average and second in slugging percentage. Their pitching has been spotty but has picked up in a big way during the ALCS.
Atlanta's best hope in a potential World Series showdown is its own pitching. Led by Max Fried, they lead all playoff teams in ERA and opponent batting average. The thing is, they've yet to face a team like the Astros, who have viable threats to get on base across almost their entire batting order.
Maybe something unforeseen will go down. From where we're standing, though, the Braves are a couple of bats short from giving the Astros a real run for their money.
OSB ALCS Prediction: Houston Astros (-105)
Check out this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your MLB betting: