The first half of the 2021 Major League Baseball season is in the books and the Opening Day betting favorites to win the World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers, remain the favorites. Beyond the Dodgers, though, things look a whole lot different than the oddsmakers anticipated when the season began.
The Dodgers, the defending World Series champions, opened the season at +350 at BetMGM to repeat. At the All-Star break, those odds have shifted only slightly to +375 as the Dodgers duke it out in the highly competitive National League West.
Next are the Houston Astros at +550. The Astros were +2200 to win the World Series on Opening Day, but now enter the second half tied for the best record in the AL at 55-36. Tied with +800 odds are the Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres, just ahead of the New York Mets at +900 and the Boston Red Sox at +1000.
The other teams in the top third of the World Series odds are the Milwaukee Brewers (+1300), Tampa Bay Rays (+1400), San Francisco Giants (+1600) and Oakland Athletics (+1600).
San Francisco Giants: +8000 to +1600
With star-studded teams like the Dodgers and Padres in the NL West, the Giants were seen as a big-time long shot to make any sort of noise this year. Things have changed in a big way. After opening the year with +8000 odds at BetMGM to win the World Series, the Giants have made the biggest leap in the odds in Major League Baseball to +1600. At 57-32, the Giants have the best record in baseball and are currently two games up on the Dodgers and six games ahead of the Padres in the division standings.
Boston Red Sox: +5000 to +1000
On Opening Day, the Red Sox were behind the Yankees, Blue Jays and Rays among AL East teams. Now they have jumped to the front of the pack, going from +5000 to +1000 at BetMGM. At 55-36, the Red Sox have a 1.5-game edge over the Rays in the AL East standings at the break.
Milwaukee Brewers: +5000 to +1300
Like the Red Sox, the Brewers had the fourth-best World Series odds in their own division. The Reds, Cubs and Cardinals were all ahead of the Brewers, but now Milwaukee is 53-39, holds a four-game lead in the NL Central at the break and has +1300 odds to win it all.
Houston Astros: +2200 to +550
The Astros had the best odds of any AL West team when the season began, but they weren’t great at +2200. Fast forward three months and the Astros are cruising at 55-36, tied with Boston for the best record in the AL. The Astros have a 3.5-game lead in the division and currently have +550 odds to win it all, the second-best odds in all of MLB behind the Dodgers.
Tampa Bay Rays: +2500 to +1400
The Rays have emerged as the biggest threat to the Red Sox in the AL East. At 53-37, the Rays are just 1.5 games behind Boston at the break. Entering the year they had +2500 World Series odds. Now they are up to +1400, fourth-best in the American League.
Minnesota Twins: +1800 to +25000
Though they’ve been playing better lately, the Twins dug themselves a hole that will likely prove far too big to climb out of. When the season began, the Twins were considered one of the favorites in the AL Central and even a sleeper World Series pick at +1800. Entering the second half, they are 11 games under .500 and have seen their odds plummet all the way to +25000 at BetMGM.
St. Louis Cardinals: +2200 to +8000
The Cardinals find themselves in an unfamiliar position. They are two games under .500 at 44-46 and eight games behind the Brewers in the NL Central. The Cardinals have fallen all the way to +8000 to win the World Series. St. Louis has really struggled offensively so far this season, ranking in the bottom five in the NL in runs, hits, average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
New York Yankees: +550 to +2500
The Yankees could be considered the biggest disappointment in baseball. The Yankees had the second-best World Series odds when the season began, sitting just behind the Dodgers at +550 at BetMGM. Now they are down to +2500 and eight games behind the Red Sox in the AL East standings.
Atlanta Braves: +1000 to +4000
An already disappointing first half for the Braves got much worse over the weekend when star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. tore his ACL. It’s an injury that will sideline him for the rest of the season. At 44-45, the Braves are only four games behind the Mets (and a half-game back of the Phillies) in the NL East, but it’s hard to envision the Braves going on any sort of run without their best player in the lineup on a nightly basis.
Los Angeles Angels: +4000 to +8000
When you have two of the game’s biggest stars in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, you’re going to attract the attention of some bettors looking to land big money on a long shot. The Angels made some sense in that regard, and they’ve managed to teeter around the .500 mark even with Trout sidelined with a calf injury. But as the Astros and Athletics surge ahead in the standings, it’s hard to find a realistic path toward a title.
Current World Series favorites
White Sox: +800
Red Sox: +1000
Opening Day World Series favorites
White Sox: +900
Blue Jays: +2200
Full World Series odds
White Sox: +800
Red Sox: +1000
Blue Jays: +2500
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