2021 World Series Odds Favor Dodgers Over Giants, Rays

One year after a pandemic-shortened campaign, the MLB has successfully completed the 162-game 2021 season and now the playoffs are here. The Wild Card round is in the rearview mirror after both the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers were victorious. Now that the field is set, people have turned their attention to the 2021 World Series odds to see which team has the best shot at taking home baseball’s top prize.

Much like they were at the start of the season, the Dodgers are Bovada’s World Series favorites at +250 odds.

The Dodgers finished the 2021 MLB season with the league’s second-best record at 106-56, finishing one whole game behind the San Francisco Giants. With that being said, it’s hard not to like Los Angeles as the 2021 World Series favorite — especially with the club’s skill on both sides of the ball.

When it comes to hitting, the Dodgers had a Top-5 offense this year, averaging 5.11 runs per game in 2021 (5th). Having six players hitting 20 home runs or more on the year certainly helps, without a doubt. They’re just one of the teams that don’t really have a weak spot in their batting order as each player has the ability to make opposing pitchers pay.

Not only do the Dodgers have elite batters, but their starting rotation is one of the best in baseball. The fact that one of Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and Tony Gonsolin will be on the mound on any given night illustrates Los Angeles’ embarrassment of riches. The Dodgers’ pitchers — bullpen included — have led the club to an MLB-best 3.00 ERA, which is an improvement from 3.11 last year. As long as they keep that up, the Dodgers will continue being a World Series threat.

2021 World Series Odds

Odds via Bovada as of Thursday, October 7

  • Los Angeles Dodgers (+250)
  • San Francisco Giants (+500)
  • Tampa Bay Rays (+500)
  • Houston Astros (+550)
  • Chicago White Sox (+700)
  • Milwaukee Brewers (+700)
  • Boston Red Sox (+900)
  • Atlanta Braves (+1500)

Giants Own Second-Best Championship Odds

Even though they finished as the MLB’s top team in the regular season, the San Francisco Giants are tied for the second-best (+500) 2021 World Series odds.

It was certainly a surprise to see the Giants hit 107 wins this year, especially considering how they failed to be an above-.500 team over the past four seasons. Nevertheless, something changed and now they’re one of the top teams. Unlike the Dodgers, San Francisco only had three batters who hit at least 20 home runs this year. Fortunately, that didn’t matter as the club still managed to have the sixth-best offense in the league (4.96 runs per game). Shortstop Brandon Crawford certainly helped in that regard as he turned back the clock this season for 24 HRs and a team-leading 90 RBIs.

The Giants also had the second-best team ERA last year (3.24) and it would certainly be helpful to their 2021 World Series odds if they can replicate that success in the postseason. Four of San Francisco’s five starters won at least 10 games this season, with right-handed pitcher Kevin Gausman leading the way with his 14-6 record and 2.81 ERA. Fortunately for the Giants and their fans, the team also has one of the best bullpens in the league and should be okay if one of their starters slips up.

Even with the second-best odds, the Giants are definitely a World Series threat this year as they chase their first title since 2014.

Rays World Series Odds

They may not get the most attention due to them not being one of the big-name teams, but the Tampa Bay Rays (+500) were really good this year. Tampa Bay finished with its first 100-win campaign in franchise history, winning the AL East for the second time in as many years.

The Rays can thank their own offense for a lot of their success as the club finished second in runs scored (5.29), T-7th in home runs (1.37) and 10th in hits per game (8.24). The impressive thing is that Tampa’s success was thanks to a mixture of both older and younger players. Veterans like Mike Zunino and Brandon Lowe each had a minimum of 30 runs apiece while rookie shortstop Wander Franco made his MLB debut halfway through the season and finished with 39 RBIs in 70 games.

Likely the other aforementioned 2021 World Series contenders, the Rays also had a Top-5 pitching performance during the 2021 MLB season, finishing with a 3.70 team ERA (4th). However, a lot of that had to do with their bullpen. Two of the Rays’ starters have ERA’s that are above 5.00, meaning that they can be knocked off their game if opposing batters can get to them early on. With that being said, it’s a good thing that Tampa Bay does have the offense to keep up with any shortcomings that its pitchers may show.

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Devon Platana
After graduating with a Masters degree in Journalism, Devon joined USGS to improve his sports writing skills. As a lifelong sports fan, one of Devon’s favorite things to do is analyze statistics across all sports.