MLB World Series 2021 Odds: Breaking Down Chances of Final 4 Teams
Now that the American and National League Division Series are out of the way and it's down to the final four, the legitimate World Series contenders are clear.
With that, let's take a look at the latest World Series odds for each club still left and break down why they are in these positions.
The odds look a lot different than when division winners like the Tampa Bay Rays, Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers were in the mix.
So who has the best and worst odds to win the Fall Classic?
Let's start with the team with the longest odds on DraftKings Sportsbook and work our way up.
Atlanta Braves: +550
This should be a familiar spot for the Braves. With the lowest regular-season win total among the remaining squads, it should come as no surprise Atlanta has the longest World Series odds.
It was the same way going into the NLDS before the Braves took down the Milwaukee Brewers in four games. The Braves were +1100 to win the World Series just a week ago.
They were never going to be favored over either National League West team. Their odds against either American League contender would be similarly slim.
This is not a team to take lightly, though.
The Braves' pitching trio of Charlie Morton, Max Fried and Ian Anderson led them to the upset against Milwaukee.
Morton had a 3.86 ERA and gave up seven hits in 9.1 innings pitched over his two starts in the NLDS. The Braves fell 2-1 in his first start and then won the next three games behind Fried, Anderson and then Morton again in Game 4.
Neither Fried nor Anderson gave up a run, and each allowed just three hits. Neither walked a batter, and they combined to strike out 15.
The Braves' best characteristic for winning in October baseball is their ability to hit home runs. But they have the rotation to get it done as well.
Boston Red Sox: +450
While they don't have the strongest odds to win the World Series, the Red Sox have at least provided some of the most fun and dramatic moments of the postseason so far.
From chasing Yankees ace Gerrit Cole in the third inning of their Wild Card Game, to a 14-run, 20-hit performance against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS, before finishing them off in walk-off fashion in back-to-back games, the Red Sox owe the public no more than what they have given.
They are not expected to advance past the Houston Astros in the championship series, even if Lance McCullers Jr. misses time.
Both teams boast high-powered lineups, but the Astros have the stronger pitching and defense, and they have home-field advantage.
Framber Valdez, Houston's Game 1 starter, pitched well in his two regular-season outings against the Red Sox. He posted a 1.26 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 14.1 innings pitched.
Valdez was able to get swings and misses on over half his curveballs against Boston, and you can expect a heavy dosage of that in this series.
The Astros won the regular-season series 5-2, and while there are some differences from when they played in late May and early June, the main characters are mostly the same.
The major difference is Boston having back Chris Sale, who is starting Game 1. Sale, however, was a disaster in Game 2 of the ALDS against Tampa. The Rays scored five runs off him in the first inning, including a grand slam by Jordan Luplow.
Fortunately for the Red Sox, their offense bailed them out.
Houston Astros: +235
This is the team with no weaknesses. Even with the understanding that their best pitcher, Lance McCullers Jr., probably won't be available for the ALCS, the Astros still have enough talent to get it done.
Without McCullers, Framber Valdez steps into the No. 1 starter role, with AL Rookie of the Year candidate Luis Garcia right behind him.
Houston's embarrassment of riches allowed them to put future Hall of Fame pitcher Zack Greinke in the bullpen and leave 2019 All-Star Jake Odorizzi off its ALDS roster entirely.
As previously noted, their best hitter this season, Kyle Tucker, usually bats seventh, after you get through Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Yuli Gurriel and Carlos Correa.
This offense in the ALDS tattooed White Sox pitching, which was excellent this season, out-scoring Chicago 31-18.
Astros fans were worried about the bullpen, even with their reinforcements from the trade deadline. Newcomers Yimi Garcia, Phil Maton and Kendall Graveman calmed those concerns in Tuesday's closeout Game 4 in Chicago, giving up just one hit and no runs in 3.2 combined innings.
Los Angeles Dodgers: +125
As long as the Dodgers are around, it feels like they are a favorite of some kind.
Certainly, a pitching rotation that includes two Cy Young-caliber pitchers in Max Scherzer and Walker Buehler, combined with one of the more dynamic lineups in baseball, is a compelling bet.
Add in Julio Urias, who pitched four innings of relief in Thursday's NLDS clincher against San Francisco and gave up one run on three hits, and the Dodgers' starting pitching can be dangerous.
As great as the reigning World Series champions are, they have defied the odds of a wild-card team that played in a tough division (or at least the NL West was tough before the San Diego Padres collapsed toward the end of the season).
The Dodgers' pitching staff had allowed baseball's lowest opposing batting average (.178), WHIP (0.86) and second-lowest ERA in the playoffs going into Thursday night's elimination game.
Combine that with a lineup featuring Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Trea Turner, Will Smith and Cody Bellinger and all of their previous postseason success, and this group is hard to bet against.
Los Angeles is still without left-handed slugger Max Muncy, who suffered a dislocated elbow at the end of the season. But the roster depth on this team should be enough to absorb it.