Baseball is back. Spring training starts on Sunday, Feb. 28 with the first regular season games happening on April 1. Check out where the league is in regards to the pandemic as well as which team ruled the offseason and which team stumbled, as we head into a what should be a normal MLB Spring Training. Let’s jump right into action so you can continue getting ready to make your bets against their MLB odds for the upcoming season.
MLB COVID-19 Update – February 24th Edition
2021 MLB Season
- When: Thursday, April 1 – Friday, October 1
- Where: Various
2021 World Series Odds
- Los Angeles Dodgers +330
- New York Yankees +500
- San Diego Padres +750
- Tampa Bay Rays +1600
- Atlanta Braves +900
- Minnesota Twins +1400
- Chicago White Sox +900
- Oakland Athletics +1800
- Houston Astros +1800
- Cleveland Indians +3000
- Cincinnati Reds +3000
- Chicago Cubs +4000
- New York Mets +925
- Washington Nationals +3000
- St. Louis Cardinals +2200
- Toronto Blue Jays +1500
- Philadelphia Phillies +3300
- L.A. Angels +4000
- Milwaukee Brewers +4000
- Boston Red Sox +5000
- Miami Marlins +10000
- San Francisco Giants +15000
- Arizona Diamondbacks +15000
- Colorado Rockies +25000
- Seattle Mariners +15000
- Baltimore Orioles +20000
- Detroit Tigers +20000
- Kansas City Royals +15000
- Texas Rangers +15000
- Pittsburgh Pirates +30000
Spring training games set to start on February 28
For once, we’ve got excellent news regarding the coronavirus. All spring training games happen in either Florida or Arizona. The Sunshine State and the Grand Canyon State have been two of the best at managing the pandemic.
Arizona should be applauded for the way it’s rolled out COVID vaccines. Gov. Doug Ducey’s administration has been so effective at distributing vaccines that California citizens have driven over the border and into AZ looking to get shots.
Florida, under Gov. Ron DeSantis, is a model for how to handle the pandemic without instituting harmful lockdowns. While many will argue against Ducey’s and DeSantis’ moves, nobody can argue that the two states are the perfect locations for MLB Spring Training.
The NBA and NHL had to install tough protocols because they started right before or right after vaccine distributions started. But MLB begins their season in the middle of, heck, maybe, towards the end of the vaccine distributions.
A doctor at John Hopkins recently said he thinks the U.S. will hit herd immunity in April. If that’s the case, no doubt, MLB Spring Training will look more like past seasons than one during a pandemic.
Padres are the 2021 offseason winners
For the first time since 1998, the San Diego Padres have that World Series look. Instead of saying, “oh, well. we’re not as good as the Dodgers,” and throwing up their hands in frustration, the Padres made winning offseason moves.
The most important? San Diego signed Fernando Tatis Jr. to a 14-year, $340 million deal. Tatis Jr. is one of the fastest-rising stars in baseball. He batted .277 with 17 home runs and 45 RBIs in 60-games last season.
He’s also a Gold Glove talent at shortstop. Those types of players are hard to find, ones that can play third, second, or short and dominate at the plate.
But as awesome as the deal for Tatis was, the Padres wouldn’t be the number one offseason winner if they hadn’t acquired Yu Darvish from the Chicago Cubs. Every baseball fan on the planet knows Petco Park is a pitcher’s dream stadium. Yu rediscovered his best stuff last season.
He’s going to excel big time at Petco. So will Blake Snell, whom the Pads got from Tampa Bay. Snell and Darvish should both post under 3.00 ERAs. Yu could post a sub-2.00 earned run average.
Yankees are top losers because they didn’t make a move to get over the hump
Hitters are a dime a dozen. So even though you must find a way to score runs by signing good hitters, you can get away with a bunch of decent hitters and one or two players who blast it out of the park.
World Series are won from the mound, which is why the New York Yankees could be in some trouble this season. If Corey Kluber turns into the monster he was in 2016, the Yankees can take it all.
But if Kluber doesn’t, there’s no one in the rotation who will pick up the slack once Gerrit Cole’s incredible arm tires. Cole struggled in the postseason last year. That was after a 60-game season.
What’s going to happen when Gerrit hits the wall? If you don’t know, don’t worry. It doesn’t look like the Yankees know, either.
Dodgers sign Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer, creating juggernaut starting rotation
The Dodgers signed 2020 Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer. That’s one of the reasons they’re at +330.
Don’t forget, though, that the Dodgers won the World Series after a 60-game regular season. This season, they must win the Fall Classic after playing 162 games.
The Padres at +750 and the Braves and White Sox at +900 are much better choices than the Dodgers. It’s never wise to back chalk to win the World Series before the first regular season game.