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Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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Top 10 best bets to win the MLB World Series

12 Jul 2021

By Dan Ippolito
We just crossed the halfway point to the 2021 Major League Baseball season and there are some teams we fully expected to be at the top of the standings at the half-way point and some that are surprises to many. Now that we have a better idea of teams’ true identities, it is time to make some predictions on who can win it all.

Our resident “seamhead” Nick Mariano presented some prop bets to consider before the season started as well. Nick is in good shape for some of his bets, including the Mets to win the NL East at +140. The Mets currently hold a four game lead in the division.

Nick’s best bet, at the moment, is choosing Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels to win the AL MVP. Nick took Ohtani at +3300 in the preseason and Ohtani is currently a heavy favorite at -190 on bet365.

While those bets continue to play out throughout the season, here we take a look at who has what it takes to hoist the trophy come season’s end.

10. New York Yankees (+1800)
Despite their struggles as of late, it is hard not to have the New York Yankees (+1800 on bet365 Sportsbook & Racebook) in my portfolio. Being a Red Sox fan, I do enjoy seeing the Evil Empire in fourth in the AL East, but I also know that they are capable of becoming a problem for the rest of the league.

The injury bug has bitten the Bronx Bombers yet again this season with free agent signee Corey Kluber on the injured list for most of this season along with outfielder Aaron Hicks. Power-hitting Luke Voit just returned to the lineup so this could be the start of the Yankees turnaround.

If they do find their way into playoffs, having All Star Garrett Cole on the mound in a Game 1 situation can give them the upper hand, especially when complimented by long ball hitters such as Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

9. San Francisco Giants (+1400)
Probably the most shocking team of the first half, the San Francisco Giants held the best record in Major League Baseball at 54-32 entering last weekend.

Many fans have been wondering if this team has what it takes to continue this run or if the Giants will eventually run out of gas, luck, or whatever they’ve been riding on throughout the first 86 games.

That being said, you have to give credit where credit is due. Up to this point, the Giants have been nothing below impressive with a roster that didn’t catch a lot of attention before the season began.
Sitting at +1400 on Intertops Sportsbook, the Giants will have to worry about other NL powerhouses such as the Brewers, Dodgers and Padres, but up to this point they’ve been up to the challenge.

The long ball has been a major part of the Giants’ success as they are second in the MLB with 127 homeruns as a team.

8. Milwaukee Brewers (+1000)
As one of the hotter teams in baseball, the Milwaukee Brewers have collected 13 wins in their last 16 games. They have a commanding seven-game lead over the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central division with no signs of slowing down.

When looking at some team stats, you wouldn’t think the Brewers would be where they are. The team is second to last in batting average at .220 and strikeout the third most in baseball. However, pitching is where they have thrived.

The Brewers lead the league in strikeouts thrown, are sixth in baseball in team ERA and sixth in home runs allowed.

While the Brew Crew may not be putting up massive offensive numbers on the board, they prevent opponents from doing the same.

The team is +1000 on Intertops to win the World Series and led by Christian Yelich, that offense can turn it around at any time making them even scarier.

7. Tampa Bay Rays (+1200)
We’ve seen it happen already once this season. The Tampa Bay Rays can string together wins and seem almost unbeatable at times. Earlier this season, the team put together 16 wins out of 17 games. An incredible stretch that gave them the AL East lead at the time.

Heading into the weekend, the Rays were a couple games out of first in the AL East behind the Red Sox, but they do hold the top wild card spot.

The Rays have a very balanced offensive attack. Rookie Randy Arozarena is complimented by Austin Meadows, Brandon Lowe and Manuel Margot in that batting order.

The team made an incredible run in the postseason last year making it to the World Series, where they ending up losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, the Rays have guys with postseason experience and know what it takes to come up with another run like that.

At +1200 on bet365, the Rays are a team that could turn some heads come October.

6. New York Mets (+900)
Could this be the year, the first time since 1986, that the Mets string it together to hoist the trophy?

Sitting atop the NL East with a four-game cushion, the Mets aren’t led by their offense, rather it is their pitching that has brought them success.

Near the bottom of the table in both team batting average and home runs hit, the Mets are third in team ERA and most of that has to be credited to Jacob deGrom.

How is any hitter supposed to compete against a pitcher with an ERA of 1.08 and averages 14 strikeouts per nine innings pitched? The answer is, they can’t. deGrom, a heavy favorite to win the NL Cy Young and MVP, has been nearly unhittable all season long but he isn’t the only starting pitcher having success.

Marcus Stroman and Taijuan Walker both have sub-three ERAs which has helped put this Mets team in a prime position to make the playoffs and for the fans’ sake, hold onto the NL East division lead.
The Mets fans know that their team can sometimes break their hearts, but at +900, the value on the Mets may be too good for some to pass up on.

5. San Diego Padres (+750)
Arguably one of the most fun players to watch in all of baseball, Fernando Tatis Jr. is the heart and soul of the San Diego Padres. The Padres are in third place in the NL West, which to me is the strongest division with the Giants and Dodgers also present.

Their top to middle of the order is extremely tough to face with names like Manny Machado, Jake Cronenworth and Eric Hosmer to back up Tatis Jr.

That being said there is one stat about the Padres that stands out. This team likes to run the base paths. The Padres lead the majors in stolen bases with 80 and no other team has more than 61. When the Padres get on base, they like to have action from their runners.

I like this team a lot to make a deep playoff run at +750 on Intertops.

4. Chicago White Sox (+700)
I don’t want to jinx it but I think the AL Central could already be wrapped up barring anything crazy happening in the second half of the season. The White Sox (+700 on Intertops) hold a 7.5 game lead over the Cleveland Indians and no team in that division looks as if they will give the White Sox a scare for the division title. Casino City’s Mariano’s best bet in his preseason prop report was the ChiSox to win the World Series at 10-to-1 and if you followed him at that price you are holding a ticket with some great value right now.

The White Sox three-headed monster of Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu is what teams really need to focus on in the batting order. Although, the main point of success for Chicago is playing in front of their fans.

The White Sox are 31-14 at home, best home record in baseball. They struggle on the road with just a 20-21 record. The key for opponents will be to win home-field advantage away from the White Sox.

3. Boston Red Sox (+1100)
Similar to the Giants, the Boston Red Sox have been a surprise to many in the baseball world. Currently in first place in the AL East, the Sox were picked by many to finish in third, even fourth, in their division.

Many expected the offense, led by J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and Raphael Devers to be as potent as it has been, but the problem lied in with the pitching staff.

The starters and several bullpen guys have performed above expectations so far this season with Chris Sale set to rejoin the team before season’s end as well.

Currently at +1100 on bet365, the value almost seems too good to be true on the Red Sox to win the World Series, but they will have to beat some other powerhouses to cash that bet.

2. Houston Astros (+500)
It would be pretty dumb of me not to include the best hitting team in baseball. The Houston Astros have the best team batting average in MLB at .272. This team has been smoking the ball as of late and also doing it without Alex Bregman at third base for some time due to injury.

The Astros have a run differential of a whopping +140, best in the majors by more than 20 runs, and seem to not be bothered by home or away ballparks. At home, they are 28-17 and on the road they have posted a 26-17 record.

I know many fans are still holding a grudge against this team due to the cheating and sign stealing debacle from a few years back. However, it seems this is almost a season to prove to everyone that they are still a great time based on their skill alone.

Look out for the Astros to make a big bang in the playoffs and maybe help the home fans cash a +500 bet to win the World Series.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (+350)
They’ve been held out of first up to this point, but I don’t see that being the case much longer for the defending champs. The Los Angeles Dodgers are starting to look like the Dodgers of last year, and possibly even better.

The Dodgers’ explosive offense is enough to worry about with Mookie Betts, Justin Turner and Max Muncy. Cody Bellinger has been struggling coming back from injury and hasn’t even gotten going yet, which many believe he will.

As if that wasn’t hard enough to handle, the pitching staff of the Dodgers is incredible. In a playoff series, it would be tough for anyone to get by Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer.

I try not to go with the favorites too often but this favorite to win the World Series seems almost too good at +350 on Intertops.
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