The 2020 season finished with the Los Angeles Dodgers winning their first World Series since 1988. You might find it hard to believe. I do too. The Dodgers had made the World Series several times and have been in prime position many times but could never win it all. That changed in the year 2020. Maybe a limited season helped propel the Dodgers to champions. Maybe it had no effect at all.
Do Dodgers Duplicate?
This Dodgers team has a bright future regardless. There are many young studs on their roster including rookie pitchers like Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin and rookie hitters like Will Smith and Gavin Lux, who we didn’t even see in the playoffs.
The Dodgers develop talent and also spend their money. No wonder they’re near the top of the league year in and year out.
The acquisition of Mookie Betts during the off-season paid off big time. At the time, it seemed like the Red Sox were “ripped off” as they brought in Alex Verdugo from the Dodgers. Verdugo is going to be a solid baseball player. But there will never be another Mookie Betts. He’s a guy that used his speed to add extra runs throughout the postseason. He created havoc, hit some insurance runs, and overall had a great season and postseason.
On the other hand, the Tampa Bay Rays were very close to a World Series title, even with a roster of misfits and players that nobody had ever heard of. Randy Arozarena came on late in the season due to missing time because of COVID.
We all wish his rookie season lasted longer. Maybe he could’ve gone Pete Alonso and Aaron Judge on us and hit for 50 or more home runs. In the postseason, he hit 10 home runs and 29 hits setting an all-time postseason record in the MLB. He also tied for the most extra-base hits in a postseason with 14 and had just two less runs scored compared to the all-time leader.
Arozarena hit .377 in 86 plate appearances and was the story of the postseason. It’s a shame the Rays couldn’t win with Arozarena’s performance. But the Dodgers were just the overall better team in the postseason and of course, had so much more talent.
The Dodgers are going to be favorites to repeat for another World Series title. Mookie Betts isn’t going anywhere and the young rotation along with Clayton Kershaw is promising.
The National League is rising and will give the Dodgers a run for their money. We already saw the Braves do this.
Braves Battle to the Big One
Freddie Freeman will likely win the MVP for the NL this season and the Braves have Ronald Acuna and Ozzie Albies locked up for years to come. The Braves have so much offense and can compete with the Dodgers when Mike Soroka comes back from his Achilles injury.
The rotation also looks bright with Mike Soroka returning. Max Fried was incredible all 2020 but rookie pitcher Ian Anderson really stepped up and produced, especially in the postseason. Then there’s Kyle Wright, who was miserable all regular season but helped the Braves when they needed it the most; in the postseason.
The San Diego Padres are also another team that was really exciting to watch in 2020. The Padres will need Dinelson Lamet and Mike Clevinger healthy. That wasn’t the case in the postseason and might’ve cost them a 2020 World Series. The Padres have built a really well-balanced lineup around Fernando Tatis Jr.
Rays Repeat Their Run
On the AL side, of course, the Rays will be favorites going in. Everyone wants to watch Randy Arozarena in a full season. That’s a scary thing for pitchers. We’ll see if manager Kevin Cash does things differently with his starters and bullpen. Cash yanked his starters out early every chance he had and it backfired in the final game of the World Series.
The White Sox will give the American League a run for their money. Tony La Russa just got the manager job for Chicago. Some don’t like it. Some believe he’s a smart fit. Me personally, I’d rather a younger guy for that clubhouse, especially. I’m not sure about the fit and really don’t love the hire but the players on the roster are fantastic including Jose Abreu who really broke out in 2020.
The Yankees, Twins, and Athletics will be fun teams to watch next season. These offenses will produce but the question is whether their pitching will produce next season.
It can be smart to make a bet on the World Series champion in 2021 way before any deals are in place. The Dodgers are favorites and then the Yankees come next. After the Yankees, it’s the Padres and Rays.
So where are the Braves? They’re currently +1200 to win the World Series when they should really be around +600.
MLB Pick to Consider: Braves to Win the World Series (+1200) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)