MLB Power Rankings, Season Betting Lines and World Series Odds in 2021
When Opening Day arrived on April 1st, it signaled the beginning of a full 160-game schedule of MLB baseball. We are more than ready for it, as a 60-game season just doesnt really give the sport that justice it deserves. Spring training closed on March 30th, and the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays kicked off the 2021 MLB season.
Certainly not to say that we are not going to enjoy professional baseball every day, and we are looking both early with our MLB power rankings and long term into the 2021 season with our betting lines for the season.
MLB Power Rankings and World Series Favorites
Best Teams in the League #1-10
⚾ Los Angeles Dodgers - World Series winners last year and not much changed in the offseason. It’s year to defend the title will include a much tougher division rival in San Diego, which only makes truly great teams stronger. Adding 2020 Cy Young winner Trever Bauer to a rotation that was already World Series ready gives us reason to believe a repeat is coming!
⚾ New York Yankees - Yes, the team that was derailed by injuries last season is coming back in 2021 even stronger. The acquisitions of pitchers Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon give the team one of the best starting rotations in the MLB in a division that does not look too intimidating.
⚾ Chicago White Sox - The biggest eyes will be on Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa, who came out of retirement to coach this Chicago team with legitimate World Series aspirations. We will also see how ROTY candidates Andrew Vaughn, Nick Madrigal and Garrett Crochet can fit in with the established lineup.
⚾ Atlanta Braves - The resigning of left fielder Marcell Ozuna was integral to Atlanta’s chances, retaining that power behind last year’s NL MVP Freddie Freeman in the order. Atlanta was only one game from the World Series last year, and now seem more ready than ever to finally get there.
⚾ Houston Astros - Despite the offseason losses the Astros are still AL West favorites and are at the front of World Series conversations. The backend of the rotation could be a concern, but Lance McCullers Jr. and Zach Grienke should settle some of the leftover worries in what’s looking like a final push for the core group.
⚾ New York Mets - This spot near fully depends on whether the Mets are able to extend Francisco Lindor. We are assuming the team will, and that with the Carlos Carrasco acquisition gives the team just enough to be a real contender in 2021.
⚾ San Diego Padres - After picking up Blake Snell, Yu Darvish and extending Fernando Tatis Jr., the Padres were immediately regarded as World Series favorites. Just being honest here, we are compelled to wonder how often these sudden “Dream Teams” actually win the whole thing in the first year.
⚾ Minnesota Twins - The Twins had a successful season in 2020, and it’s gonna depend on that same roster to improve on it, as Minnesota’s offseason was relatively quiet. We have belief, as the team’s lineup still holds the pieces that tore up the MLB in 2019.
⚾ St. Louis Cardinals - The bullpen for the Cardinals is going to be the team’s biggest and best asset, especially in an unsure NL Central. The team also just acquired former Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado which should significantly improve a mediocre 2020 offense as they look towards the top of a scrappy NL Central.
⚾ Oakland Athletics - If things go as planned, there may not be another MLB team that hits more home runs than Oakland this season. If we see the pitching rotation improve, that could easily mean a second straight AL West title. Any stumbles by Houston could give them a comfortable division as well.
The Best of the Rest: #11-30 MLB Power Rankings
⚾ Toronto Blue Jays - Injuries piling up before the season begins is not a good sign, especially when they are season ending. The offseason signings though still make this a team to believe in and just inches outside of the top teams.
⚾ Milwaukee Brewers - Christian Yelich and the rest of Milwaukee’s offense are in need of a rebound this year after 2020. The acquisitions the team made were good, and Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes are more than capable of leading the rotation.
⚾ Washington Nationals - This team is simply too talented to be thrown down the well this early. The division is a deep one, and that means it will require a lot of consistent baseball throughout the season. Washington could be one of the best bets at high odds.
⚾ Los Angeles Angels - Mike Trout of course. The Angels in past seasons have depended heavily on the four-time MVP. In reality, in 2021 Los Angeles has a very good lineup and a positive rotation. Both of these will take pressure off of the team only relying on one player. This will be the most exciting team to watch this season. Ohtani!
⚾ Chicago Cubs - The year 2021 is really looking like a pre-apocalyptic campaign for the Cubs. With the last three key players from the 2016 World Series set to be free agents after the season, there couldn’t be a more motivated team. Or possibly a team who couldn’t care less.
⚾Cleveland Indians - Pitching has recently been astoundingly good in Cleveland, and 2021 will be no different. The team is going to have a tough road to the playoffs though, with better pitching rotations and lineups ahead of them in the AL Central. Despite the offseason losses, that starting rotation will keep Cleveland alive in some games.
⚾ Kansas City Royals - 2020 was a disappointing season for a Royals team that looked better than average on paper. The lineup is good and there are a couple of standouts in that starting rotation like Brady Singer. If the team is able to come together and start brand new in 2021, they could find a higher ranking.
⚾ Boston Red Sox - There is an interesting theory that every time (2004, 2007, 2013, 2018) the MLB puts pennant flags in its logo, the Red Sox win the World Series. There are two pennant flags in the 2021 logo so could it be the year? we’ve bet on teams for less..
⚾ Tampa Bay Devil Rays - Would you believe the winners of the AL East last year were Tampa Bay? The team actually went 40-20 to finish first and beat the Yankees in the playoffs. I wouldn’t believe that a repeat of that isnt impossible, but the starting pitching could make anyone queasy to look at.
⚾ Philadelphia Phillies - The Phillies could be a surprise team to make a deepish playoff run. A World Series title, is it out of the question? Not entirely, no; there is enough talent there to warrant belief. Two or more potential MVP candidates and a strong bullpen make them contenders on some level.
⚾ Arizona Diamondbacks - One of the teams that’s looking for a surprise in 2021, despite playing in the NL West. The Diamondbacks pitching with Madison Bumgardner and Zac Gallen is good, which is a necessity facing lineups like the Dodgers and Padres on a consistent basis.
⚾ Miami Marlins - Top heavy could be applied to Miami as the organization is headed in an excellent direction under 2020 NL Manager of the Year Don Mattingly. The Marlins were a surprise playoff team last year despite a subpar roster. Bigger surprises could be in store for 2021.
⚾ San Francisco Giants - In a similar position as the Cubs, the Giants have the last remaining pieces from their championship teams set to be free agents after 2021. The difference for San Francisco is that the NL West is one of the best divisions in the MLB, so even a playoff spot is looking like a miracle.
⚾ Cincinnati Reds - Yes, the team surprisingly made the playoffs in 2020, but has done little to improve an offense that was the reason for surprise. Trever Bauer is gone as well as Raisel Iglesias, which means now the pitching takes a hit as well. If any team needs major improvement in 2021, it's Cincinnati.
⚾ Seattle Mariners - Seattle, like Detroit below them, have good prospects and last year’s AL Rookie of the Year in Kyle Lewis. The Mariners are going into 2021 with a very inexperienced pitching rotation, so there could always be upside from this ranking.
⚾ Texas Rangers - This is well known as a rebuilding period for the Rangers, and high aspirations are not on the table in 2021. If the team does manage to get rid of Joey Gallo, then its position near the bottom will be solidified. Either way, there isnt much doubt that it will be a long season in Texas.
⚾ Detroit Tigers - While Detroit may not be close to coming out of the underground, the future already looks bright. Five of their prospects rank in the MLB’s top 25, which is a sign of a good farm system. The Tigers will soon be back to competing in the AL Central and the MLB soon, but barring a miracle not this year.
⚾ Colorado Rockies - Uncertainty in the Rockies pitching comes from drastically different seasons from Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatela. The lineup is lacking anything special and shortstop Trevor Story looks more likely than ever to be on his way out before this season ends.
⚾ Baltimore Orioles - What’s to say about Baltimore baseball. There hasn’t been anything worthwhile to say in nearly 20 years now. Another long season with a bad record, but after all of this time, does it even hurt anymore? Will add however that somehow, with a handful of the team’s top prospects looking to debut, we could see surprises in 2021.
⚾ Pittsburgh Pirates - There isnt even a team that I could think of that will come close to the Pirates this year. And that is not a compliment. Pittsburgh is gonna be bad in 2021. You know it, I know it and sportsbooks at +25000 know it as well.
What Do MLB Power Rankings Mean?
An important resource to have, you can find power rankings for any of the top sports leagues. In the MLB, all 30 teams in the league are given a spot in the list and a ranking, usually with a short description.
This ranking more than anything is a symbol of the perceived strength of each team, relative to others in the league.
MLB power rankings play a couple of big roles specific to American professional baseball. While the MLB standings already place the teams in a set position, power rankings are actually able to do this at any point in the year, including the offseason when win/loss records are not yet relevant.
They also give teams their overall standings in the league, instead of just in each division, making playoff and World Series predictions easier. So since the power rankings differ from regular win/loss records, how are they determined?
People determine power rankings in different ways using a variety of systems. Sportsbooks, in order to prepare odds for futures bets, will have specialists creating their own power rankings for each league. These are built using a proven system and specific betting odds come from these rankings.
In general, MLB power rankings can be used at any time during the year to keep track of a team’s strength and relative position to other teams in the league. They can also of course be extremely useful in betting.
Using Power Rankings for MLB Futures Betting
Factors to consider when making power rankings include previous and current records, new acquisitions and predictions for how many games the team will win in the upcoming season. A number of other factors can be added to determine your final power rankings, though withholding biases is a necessary component.
Betting odds on futures betting are often best the earlier you get them. This is regardless of team, as the fewer events have unfolded, the more uncertainty is present in each bet.
The principles here should sound familiar, because this is exactly the right way to go about sports betting. MLB power rankings are a great resource that can be used for betting on MLB games or futures. Due to the availability of power rankings at any given time, using them for futures betting is ideal.
MVP Award Winner Betting Trends
Like other awards on this list, the MLB names two MVP players every season, an American League MVP and a National League MVP. These awards are the highest honor an MLB player can receive, and are based on the overall performance and impact of the player throughout the season.
The award is given to those players not only based on statistics, but how valuable that player is to their respective team. Any position can win the MVP award, including pitchers. What is also important to remember is that the MVP’s team does not necessarily have to be successful.
Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout won the AL MVP Award four times from 2014 to 2019. During that time, the Angels only made the playoffs once in 2014. Individual significance and impact to a team is the most important aspect and therefore the league’s most talented players are usually a good bet.
Betting on the Cy Young Award Winners
Like the MVP Award, the Cy Young Award is for the best player throughout the season, however this award is only reserved for pitchers. The award is named after the legendary Cy Young, who pitched from 1890 to 1911. During his time in the MLB, Young totaled 511 wins, three no hitters, a perfect game and won the pitching Triple Crown.
Players with the Most Cy Young Awards
To be awarded the Cy Young Award today means that you were the best pitcher in your respective league throughout the season. It's awarded based on a pitcher’s total score, determined by things like total losses, WHIP, ERA and team impact.
Since it is based on the pitcher alone, the surrounding team is not a major factor, but plays a bigger one than the MVP Award. This is because a pitcher on a bad team may not have enough support from the offense to keep losses low, which can hurt the score.
Dominant pitchers in each league will certainly be strong candidates for the Cy Young each year and rarely is the award given a surprise pitcher. Therefore, betting on a few of the favorites can be comfortably done here, as the odds are high enough to still make a profit should one win.
MLB Playoff Predictions
In Major League Baseball, there are eight teams from each league that make the playoffs. In each of the four divisions, the team with the best record will automatically have a spot in the tournament. The next two teams are given Wild Card spots, and are the teams with the next best records regardless of division.
Compared to the other professional leagues in America, there is more variation with the teams who make the playoffs each year. Over a 160-game schedule, anything can happen including underdogs making surprising runs to the playoffs. In each division, there are usually at least two teams competing for the top spot, and it can be as many as four.
Due to this, making playoff predictions in the MLB can be a difficult task, and betting on them moreso. Some factors include recent offseason acquisitions, the perceived strength of the division, manager and strong starting pitching rotation. Only one team wins the World Series, so making bets on multiple teams can be advantageous.
World Series 2021 Sportsbook Odds
- Los Angeles Dodgers | +350
- New York Yankees | +550
- San Diego Padres | +900
- New York Mets | +1000
- Atlanta Braves | +1000
- Chicago White Sox | +1000
- Minnesota Twins | +1800
- Toronto Blue Jays | +2200
- Tampa Bay Rays | +2200
- Oakland Athletics | +2200
- Houston Astros | +2200
- St. Louis Cardinals | +2200
- Cincinnati Reds | +3000
- Washington Nationals | +3500
- Philladelphia Phillies | +3500
- Los Angeles Angels | +4000
- Cleveland Indians | +4000
- Chicago Cubs | +4000
- Milwaukee Brewers | +5000
- Boston Red Sox | +5000
- Miami Marlins | +8000
- San Francisco Giants | +10000
- Seattle Mariners | +10000
- Arizona Diamondbacks | +10000
- Detroit Tigers | +10000
- Kansas City Royals | +10000
- Baltimore Orioles | +10000
- Texas Rangers | +12500
- Colorado Rockies | +15000
- Pittsburgh Pirates | +25000
World Series Odds powered by William Hill Sportsbook