Who is this article for?
The casual baseball fan. If you are a die-hard baseball fanatic and are looking for a more in-depth dive into the upcoming 2021 season I’d recommend checking out Athlon Sports’s preview.
Remind me, what happened last MLB season?
The start of the season was postponed to the end of July due to COVID-19. Teams played 60 games instead of their usual, and ridiculous, 162 game schedule. The playoffs started in September and the #1 seeds from both the American League (AL) and National League (NL) met in the finals. The LA Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4 games to 2 to win the franchise’s 7th World Series title and first since 1988.
Were there any big trades during the offseason?
The two biggest moves this offseason were:
- The St. Louis Cardinals traded 5 players for Nolan Arenado, one of the best 3rd baseman in the league.
- The New York Mets acquired shortstop Francisco Lindor and starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco.
Who are the best players in the MLB right now?
- Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels OF
- Despite having a down year during the 2020 season he still deservingly finished in the top 5 for the AL MVP. Trout is a 3x AL MVP (2014, 2016, 2019) and at 29 is already one of the greatest to ever play.
- Mookie Betts – Los Angeles Dodgers OF
- If for nothing else, Betts will go down right behind Babe Ruth as the Boston Red Sox’s biggest trade regret. After playing 6 seasons in Boston, Betts was traded to the Dodgers before the 2020 season, his strong play continued, and he was rewarded with a massive $365 million dollar contract. He won the AL MVP in 2018 and finished second in the NL MVP last year behind winner Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves.
- Gerrit Cole – New York Yankees SP
- The best pitcher in the AL.
- Jacob deGrom – New York Mets SP
- The best pitcher in the NL.
Are there any promising young players I should know about?
Some players under the age of 25 to check out include:
- Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers 1B/OF (Age 25)
- Ronald Acuna Jr. – Atlanta Braves CF (Age 23)
- Juan Soto – Washington Nationals LF (Age 22)
- Yoan Moncada – Chicago White Sox 3B (Age 25)
- Shane Bieber – Cleveland Indians RHP (Age 25)
What teams are favored to win the World Series this year?
The defending champion LA Dodgers are the favorites to repeat (+350 odds). They are followed by the New York Yankees (+550) and San Diego Padres (+800).
Who do I think will win the World Series?
LA Dodgers 4-1 over the New York Mets
They are loaded across the board and there is a reason they are such prohibitive favorites. COVID will throw some wrinkles into this season, but the Dodgers will repeat as champions.
Who do I want to win the World Series?
Either the New York Mets (last WS title was 1986) or the Cleveland Indians (last WS title was 1948). Both teams have been competitive in recent seasons and have strong lineups. Either team is a fun futures bet to root for. The Mets are +1000 to win it all and the Indians are +4000.
What should you do this baseball season?
Go to a game! Baseball is hands-down best experienced in person. Most teams are allowing fans at a limited capacity this season. If you do not have a favorite team, find when one of the players or teams mentioned above is closest to the city near you and go to that game. Even better, take a day off work and go to a day game. Bask in the sun at 1 pm on a weekday, eat a hot dog, and enjoy America’s game.