The last decade was the year of change. The San Francisco Giants snapped a 56-year drought by winning a World Series championship in 2012. The Chicago Cubs broke a 108-year drought in 2016. The Houston Astros won their first ever championship in 2017, while the Washington Nationals won their first ever title in 2019.
Just this week, the Los Angeles Dodgers won their first title since 1988. With plenty of rising talent across the country, the overlaying question is who will be the next team to break their streak? Could we see a dynasty budding in the Dodgers after years of heartbreak in the World Series? The 2021 season is far away, but it’s never too early to speculate for what lies ahead.
The Early Favorite
Nobody should be surprised that early MLB betting lines peg the Dodgers as the early favorite to repeat as champions. As of now, the oddsmakers give the Dodgers the edge with 4/1 odds, with the New York Yankees coming in at second with 6/1 odds.
The Yankees didn’t even win the American League East last season, which went to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays just lost to the Dodgers in six games earlier this week, but are given the sixth-best odds (12/1) to win the title in 2021. Rounding out the top-5 includes the Atlanta Braves (8/1), Chicago White Sox (10/1), and San Diego Padres (10/1).
Up and Coming
The Dodgers and the Braves played each other in the National League Championship Series, so seeing these respective franchises in the top rankings is no surprise. Technically, the Braves held a 3-1 lead on the Dodgers this year, but L.A. fought back to force a Game 7, which the team ultimately won.
The two new teams are the White Sox and the Padres, which could very well be the two most electric teams in each division. At one point, the White Sox were on pace to earn the No. 1 seed in the American League, but the team faltered down the stretch and lost out on claiming the division. However, with fun, young players like Luis Gobert, Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, and Nick Madrigal, this team has a dynamic core in place.
As for the Padres, Fernando Tatis Jr. is slowly becoming the face of baseball. General manager AJ Preller sent out draft capital at the trade deadline this year and could be on the verge of making one more major deal this offseason. The Padres owned the third best overall record in the N.L and aren’t going away anytime soon.
Top Payroll Teams In The Middle
For some typical contenders, there could be a rebuild year for the franchise in 2021. The Chicago Cubs (25/1), the N.L Central leaders, took a dive to the ninth-best overall odds. The St. Louis Cardinals (30/1), Cleveland Indians (25/1), and Washington Nationals (35/1) took a drop towards the mid-tier teams.
The two biggest surprises were the Oakland Athletics (16/1) dropping to the seventh-best odds, while the Houston Astros took a nosedive to 30/1. The Astros forced a Game 7 with the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Championship, but nobody wants to give that team any love right now.