by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The Toronto Blue Jays might be undervalued in World Series futures after a turnaround during a shortened season.
The Blue Jays are listed at +4000 on the World Series odds for 2021 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who won the World Series on October 27, are +500 favorites, with the New York Yankees (+600) a close second favorite. The Chicago White Sox (+1100), San Diego Padres (+1100), Atlanta Braves (+1200), World Series runner-up Tampa Bay Rays (+1400) and Cincinnati Reds (+1600) are also among the contenders at the top of the board at betting sites.
In the pandemic-delayed season, the Blue Jays posted a 32-28 record to earn a wild card berth in the expanded playoffs, where they lost 2-0 to Tampa Bay in the best-of-three first round. They managed the accomplishment despite being on the road for the first three weeks before Sahlen Field in Buffalo was upgraded to MLB standards. Six everyday batters, including Bo Bichette in an injury-interrupted year, hit a better than league average. The pitching staff will need to take a major step after finishing 10th in the American League with a 4.60 earned-run average, but there is talk of the Blue Jays being a contender to sign NL Cy Young Award favorite Trevor Bauer to complement ace Hyun-Jin Ryu and top prospect Nate Pearson in their rotation.
Baseball has not had a repeat champion since the 1998-2000 New York Yankees. The Dodgers will be returning most of their nucleus, with veteran third baseman Justin Turner being the only mainstay who has become a free agent. Their betting value is probably as good as it will be at any point during the season. The Yankees may be a team to fade after their starting pitching depth kept them from topping division rival Tampa Bay.
Hiring Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa to helm a team that has young stars such as outfielder Luis Robert and pitcher Lucas Giolito has raised the Chicago White Sox’s profile. They may have the best chance that any AL Central team has of a deep run in October, given that the Minnesota Twins (+2000) have a historic playoff losing streak and the Cleveland Indians (+2000) might be moving out franchise shortstop Francisco Lindor. San Diego is a turnaround team, but one has to keep in mind that Fernando Tatis Jr. and friends have to get by the Dodgers in the NL West.
The Houston Astros (+2500), who have made it to the ALCS in four consecutive seasons and reached the World Series twice, are well down the board. The Astros might be at the attrition point, particularly in their pitching ranks.
Major League Baseball plans on having teams open training camps February 27, 2021. Its intent is to play a full 162-game regular season, but that could be subject to change with the COVID-19 pandemic.