MLB Odds 2021: Another Year Of The Great Unknown On Tap?

Posted By Nate Weitzer on October 29, 2020
World Series odds 2021 Dodgers Yankees Rays Braves Red Sox

The 2020 MLB season was unlike any other in history and one oddsmaker is preparing for more of the unknown as we look ahead to the 2021 season.

Baseball plans for a normal 162-game season beginning April 1, but PointsBet is honoring the possibility of a season stoppage or of teams losing out on stretches of games due to coronavirus complications. That’s why Win Totals are now listed instead as Season Win Percentage to protect bettors against those contingencies.

Andrew Mannino, senior analyst at PointsBet, said that there is not as much heavy action immediately following the 2020 season because of all the uncertainty. PointsBet has seen the most futures action on the teams that recently played in the ALCS (Rays and Astros) and NLCS (Braves and Dodgers).

“It’s hard to tell what the 2021 season is going to look like just yet,” said Mannino. “So I think that uncertainty leads people to bet with a bit more caution, and that helps the favorites.”

MLB odds 2021: World Series

World Series winner

Dodgers
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+480
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+400
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+375
Yankees
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+525
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+550
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+700
Braves
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+1000
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+950
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+1200
Rays
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+1200
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+1300
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+1000
Padres
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+1300
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+1300
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+750
White Sox
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+1500
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+1400
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+1100
Twins
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+1500
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+1700
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+1000
Astros
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+1800
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+1500
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+1700
Athletics
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+1800
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+2100
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+1400
Indians
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+2200
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+2100
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+1700
Cubs
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+2500
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+3000
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+2000
Reds
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+2500
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+3000
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+2500
Phillies
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+3000
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+3500
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+4000
Mets
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+3300
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+2500
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+3000
Cardinals
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+3300
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+3500
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+3500
Nationals
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+3500
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+2500
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+3000
Angels
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+4000
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+4000
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+4000
Blue Jays
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+4000
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+3500
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+7000
Brewers
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+4500
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+4000
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+5000
Red Sox
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+5000
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+4000
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+8000
Marlins
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+5000
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+5500
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+20000
Rockies
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+6600
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+6500
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+15000
Diamondbacks
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+7000
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+6000
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+6600
Orioles
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+7000
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+8000
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+12500
Giants
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+7000
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+8000
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+7000
Mariners
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+8000
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+8000
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+25000
Rangers
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+8000
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+7500
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+12500
Tigers
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+10000
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+10000
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+25000
Royals
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+10000
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+10000
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+15000
Pirates
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+10000
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+15000
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+35000

Divisional glance

The Dodgers (+375) are bigger favorites to repeat as World Series champions at PointsBet than they are at DraftKings Sportsbook (+480) or FanDuel Sportsbook (+400). LA, which Mannino called one of the strongest teams we’ve seen in the last decade, is also a huge favorite to win the NL West (-715) despite the potential of a talented young Padres (+450) squad.

The rest of the Division Winners market at PB is more competitive, with big-time value offered for the Nationals (+375), Mets (+425), and Phillies (+575) to upset the favored Braves (-134) in the NL East. In a full length season, there is more opportunity for pitching to shine through and that gives the 2019 champion Nats a chance to bounce back.

“The Nationals are a team we’re expecting to get a lot more out of their starters this season,” said Mannino. “The Braves are a really good team and we like them a lot, so that’s why we’re being conservative with the prices on those other [NL East] teams.”

A full season also brings up questions about the ongoing debate between teams that rely on analytics, such as the Rays, and more traditional powers with huge payrolls, like the Yankees.

While Tampa Bay topped the Yankees, 3-2, in the ALDS, the Yanks (+525) are listed well above the Rays (+1200) in the World Series Outright market at DraftKings Sportsbook. The discrepancy is smaller at PointsBet, where the Yanks are +700 to Tampa’s +1000, but the Yankees are healthy -223 favorites to top the Rays (+240) and the rest of the AL East for a division crown.

“The Yankees are always a strong draw,” said Mannino. “They’re one of the best teams in the league and we expect a strong rebound this year. They have no shortage of talent, and we expect them to stay healthier.”

When asked about the long history of injuries to Yankees sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, Mannino pointed to the flexibility available in a usual 162-game season.

“A longer season obviously increases the opportunity for injuries, but with proper spring training, everything could go ahead as normal,” he said. “Normally in an MLB season, each game isn’t quite as impactful [as in the 60-game 2020 season], whereas each game lost to injury was a huge deal this past season.”

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More unpredictability on the way?

With most bettors looking at the final four teams standing this October, there is an opportunity to take a team that is flying under the radar this offseason. There should be significant player movement once the guidelines of free agency are established, and the Rays have proven that even a team with one of the smallest payrolls in baseball can make the World Series.

So when it comes to MLB futures, PointsBet advises that bettors continue to expect the unexpected.

“The biggest trend we’re looking at is the unpredictability,” said Mannino. “There’s always a chance for teams to make a run like [the Rays]. A team can always take advantage of the numbers and find a way to get into the playoffs and once you get into the playoffs, anything can happen.”

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