Despite having to win a one-game playoff to advance to the division series, Los Angeles is the favorite at BetMGM to win the World Series. The Dodgers are +400 to win the World Series and become the first team to win back-to-back World Series titles since the New York Yankees won three straight from 1998-2000.
There’s good reason why the Dodgers are the clear favorites despite the one-game wild-card play-in. The Dodgers have a rotation stacked with Max Scherzer, Walker Buehler and Julio Urias and a bullpen that boasts Kenley Jansen and Blake Treinen.
L.A. is also the only team capable of withstanding an injury to a player like Max Muncy, who was injured in the team’s final game of the regular season on Sunday, or Clayton Kershaw, who left Friday’s game against Milwaukee with an elbow injury. Los Angeles has the benefit of utility players Chris Taylor and Matt Beaty to slot in the lineup while Albert Pujols could even play some first base in a pinch.
If you’re bullish on Los Angeles despite the low odds, we suggest you bet the Dodgers now. They could go down even more after a win on Wednesday night against the Cardinals. If you’re looking to bet someone else, here’s a quick case for every other team in the playoffs below.
Houston Astros (+475)
Zack Greinke has been activated from the IL to bolster a pitching staff that features seven players with 100 or more innings pitched. Lance McCullers is having the best season of his career as he’s posted a 3.16 ERA with 185 strikeouts in 162.1 innings. Five regulars in the Astros’ lineup have an OPS greater than .800 and that doesn’t include Michael Brantley (.799) or Alex Bregman (.777).
San Francisco Giants (+600)
The Giants posted one of the most unlikely 100+ win seasons in modern baseball history in 2021. The loss of 1B Brandon Belt (29) is big but the Giants have gotten contributions from all over the diamond. Belt is one of 11 Giants who have 12 or more home runs. Kevin Gausman has struck out 227 in 192 innings and the bullpen has been one of the best in baseball.
Tampa Bay Rays (+650)
Tampa finished with the best record in the American League and are the defending AL champs. The Rays traded Blake Snell in the offseason but still boast a pitching staff with a team ERA of 3.67 and will likely mix and match arms more than any other team in the postseason. Brandon Lowe clobbered 39 homers in the regular season and Randy Arozarena looms for another potential postseason star turn.
Chicago White Sox (+700)
The White Sox will be able to go with a four-man starting rotation of Lance Lynn, Carlos Rodon, Lucas Giolito and Dylan Cease. Liam Hendriks struck out 113 in 71 innings as Chicago’s closer and Craig Kimbrel is being counted on to be a reliable late-inning reliever. Luis Robert is also fully healthy after missing much of the summer with a torn hip flexor. He’s posted an OPS+ of 155 in 296 plate appearances.
Milwaukee Brewers (+800)
The Brewers have a pitching staff that can go toe-to-toe with the Dodgers when fully healthy. Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta are a stellar top three While Adrian Houser and Eric Lauer also posted ERAs below 3.25. The loss of Devin Williams hurts, however, and the lineup doesn’t compare as favorably to the Giants or Dodgers.
New York Yankees (+1200)
The Yankees first need to get past the Red Sox on Tuesday night before playing Tampa in the Division Series. Gerrit Cole starts for New York while Nate Eovaldi takes the mound for the Red Sox. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton can carry a lineup when hot, though the absence of D.J. LeMahieu could turn out to be a big one.
Atlanta Braves (+1200)
Jorge Soler has been one of the most underrated pickups of the trade deadline. With Ronald Acuna out, Soler has an OPS of .882 with the Braves after he struggled with the Royals. Both Freddie Freeman and Austin Riley hit more than 30 homers while Adam Duvall has 16 in just 199 AB. Charlie Morton has 216 strikeouts in 185 innings and is set to go against the Brewers in Game 1.
Boston Red Sox (+1400)
The Red Sox needed to sweep the Nationals on the final weekend of the season to get into the playoffs. Boston has the worst odds of any team in the AL because it hasn’t beaten the Yankees since July 25. Rafael Devers anchors the lineup, though the Red Sox have the worst pitching staff of anyone in the AL postseason.
St. Louis Cardinals (+2000)
The Cardinals comfortably made the playoffs after a 17-game winning streak in September. The reward is a trip to Los Angeles where Adam Wainwright will face off against Scherzer. Tyler O’Neil has posted a .912 OPS as he’s been the Cardinals’ best hitter all season. Getting starter Jack Flaherty back from injury could be huge for St. Louis … as long as the Cardinals get past the Dodgers. If you think they can pull the upset, get them before Wednesday night’s game.