Pitchers and catchers in Major League Baseball begin reporting to spring camps in Arizona and Florida on Wednesday. Every team will have had its first workouts of the spring by Friday, with position players starting to arrive over the weekend and full team workouts set for Monday. The Los Angeles Dodgers are +200 favorites at William Hill Sportsbook to repeat as World Series champions, and MLB bettors are absolutely crushing them on that prop.
"It's very rare for a baseball team to be that low before the season," said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US. "The thing about baseball is that things can crumble fast -- one injury, one bad stretch, another team gets hot. The Dodgers have all the pieces, but the Padres have plenty of talent too. At +200, there's no value in it, you might as well wait for the playoffs if you think they're going to repeat. That way you avoid catastrophic things happening in the regular season and you'll get around the same price anyway."
Los Angeles had a historically good regular season in 2020 even if it was shortened to 60 games. L.A. finished 43-17, which would equate to a whopping 116 victories in a normal 162-game season – which is the plan for 2021. The Dodgers' run differential of plus-136 was 52 runs better than the second-best team. They dominated at home (21-9) and away (22-8).
Everyone of note is back and the team added reigning NL Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer to a rotation that already had three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler and promising young arms like Dustin May and Julio Urias. Did we mention that former AL Cy Young winner David Price opted out of last season but is planning to pitch this year?
William Hill hasn't released 2021 regular-season win totals yet, but I've seen a few other books list the Dodgers as high as Over/Under 103.5 victories, which is almost unprecedented. A few have L.A. at 101.5. On money wagered at William Hill on the odds to win the World Series, the Dodgers are taking 21 percent of all the action – by first among all teams -- as well as 10 percent of all tickets sold.
The NL West-rival San Diego Padres, who had a very busy offseason themselves in adding the likes of Blake Snell and Yu Darvish to their pitching staff, have taken the second-most money at 15 percent and tied for tickets sold at 10 percent, and they are +650 to win their first World Series.
Another busy offseason team was the Chicago White Sox, who are +750 to win the 2021 Fall Classic. They traded for starting pitcher Lance Lynn, signed arguably the best reliever in the game Liam Hendriks and hired Hall of Famer manager Tony La Russa for his second stint with the team. The Pale Hose are taking the third-most tickets sold at nine percent and fourth-most money at nine percent.
The Yankees (+650) and Mets (+1200) round out the top five on both lists. The Yankees were rather quiet this offseason, while the Mets traded for Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco but lost out on outfielder George Springer to the Blue Jays and Bauer to the Dodgers.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks last season. The model is also up more than $8,400 on top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. Dating back to last season, it enters Week 9 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 83-48 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread. Anybody who has followed it has seen HUGE returns.