Article courtesy OddsShark (@OddsShark)
The Los Angeles Dodgers will enter the 2021 campaign as the defending World Series champions for the first time since 1988 in addition to being 24-time winners of the National League pennant. The Dodgers finally broke through to win it all again in 2020 despite playing through a pandemic-plagued season, and they are listed as the +210 favorites to take home their fourth pennant in five years at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Los Angeles will have most of the band back together for another run at the World Series, and the team’s biggest competition to get back there looks to be another club within its own division — the San Diego Padres.
The Dodgers swept the Padres out of the playoffs last year, eliminating them in the NL Division Series by a combined score of 23-9, with only one of the games decided by less than four runs. But the gap has seemingly shrunk this offseason, with San Diego trading for a pair of aces to challenge Los Angeles in former Dodger Yu Darvish and Blake Snell, who had a great postseason for the reigning American League champion Tampa Bay Rays.
The additions of Darvish and Snell to significantly upgrade their starting rotation have made the Padres the +375 second choice at online betting sites to win the NL pennant, slightly ahead of other top contenders, including the Atlanta Braves (+500) and New York Mets (+500).
The Braves are the defending NL East champions and took the Dodgers to seven games in the NL Championship Series, blowing a 3-1 lead after they looked like they would be headed to the World Series instead.
However, the Mets might be the most intriguing choice with regards to the pennant odds following the acquisitions of All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor and starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco from the Cleveland Indians. New York also re-signed starting pitcher Marcus Stroman, keeping him on board in what should be a very good rotation, led by two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom.
If Lindor and Carrasco come through, this team will challenge Atlanta in the NL East and could be a threat to Los Angeles and San Diego too.