The Race To The World Series
As we move into the second half of this 2021 MLB campaign, the discussion has pivoted from early contenders to genuine World Series hopefuls and although there are still a large number of regular-season games to be contested, the playoff picture is now beginning to become a lot clearer.
A picture that lasts year included the Los Angeles Dodgers within its frame and after getting the better of the in last year’s showpiece event, they will look to be the first franchise to win back-to-back World Series since the turn of the millennium.
Of course, the legendary Yankees went one better than that between 1998 and 2000 and managed to land themselves an almost unprecedented World Series three-peat. While that run of success had not previously come about, since the Oakland Athletics’ dominance between 1972 and 1974.
Talk of three in a row may be on the lips of those who support the Dodgers, although if that is to be the case and there is no reason why it cannot, they will first need to find an uptick in form during the second half of 2021 – not to mention another World Series win to go with it.
At the time of writing, they find themselves lying third in the National League West and although they trail both the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres at present, there is still a large deal of confidence being shown by those who operate the sportsbooks.
That’s because even with an element of catching up to do, the Dodgers are still the favourites as far as the are currently concerned and with a recent winning pedigree behind them, it may make sense to back the defending champions.
While the National League West is the division that is currently garnering the most attention from the oddsmakers and with the Padres lying second at present, they are also being heavily backed at present.
Their dominance at Petco Park has played an integral part in their first half of this regular season and now the challenge for and his management team is to make sure that their home form does not drop off in the second.
These two franchises are arguably best placed to send a National League representative to the World Series later this year and if that is to be the case, then it will be interesting to see who they could face in October.
As far as the American League goes, they have not crowned a Major League winner since 2018 and that was the year when the famous Boston Red Sox returned to the top step of this prestigious baseball mountain.
Since then, it has been 2-0 to the National League in the two subsequent finals that have followed and that is something that the Chicago White Sox will look to put at an end to before the next round of trick or treat comes around this fall.
The White Sox have also generated a considerable amount of interest in the betting markets as of late and although there is still a long way to go in terms of results, that interest can be backed up by their current standing in the American League Central.
That’s because, the Chicago-based franchise is currently top of this particular shop and with a healthy buffer between themselves and both the Cleveland Indians and the Kansas City Royals, they look well placed to maintain their lead at the end of the regular season.
While if you are looking for a value bet, you may be best taking yourself to the sunny climbs of Tampa Bay, and when you consider they were the runners-up they have perhaps gone under the radar thus far.
This is rather surprising when you consider that they are currently first in the American League East and although they seem to be in a tussle with the Boston Red Sox for such an accolade, there is little confidence being shown within the baseball sportsbooks.
To add context to this point, the Dodgers who beat them in a six-game series last year are currently priced at the favourite odds of +350, in a bid to repeat their efforts of last October. While by comparison, the Rays are all the way out to +1400.
Does this suggest that their march to the World Series last year was something of a fluke, perhaps? At the same time, they could well be the sleeper franchise in all of this and for those looking to find an element of value within the outright market, they could be the team of you.
Of course, a lot could happen before we get to the end of the regular season and there is a high possibility these odds will fluctuate. However, if there’s ever a time to stake your hard-earned money and play the long game, then that time is certainly now.