Here we are in August and several teams are really standing out when it comes to tight divisional races. While things before the All-Star break were close, that’s certainly changed following the trade deadline. Which squads are headed for a banner in the near future? In this article, we have our MLB divisional winners picks for the 2021 season. Do fans think we’re on the money with our selections?
Unfortunately if you like the Boston Red Sox or the New York Yankees, we think no one will be able to catch up to the Rays in the AL East. Tampa Bay has been playing superb all of late, as they’re 69-44 on the year and five games ahead of the Boston Red Sox in the divisional standings. To make things even better for Tampa Bay, the club is 8-2 in its last 10 games.
Meanwhile for the Boston Red Sox, they are in the middle of their worst stretches of the season. Boston, who had been playing so well throughout the year, is 2-8 in their last 10 contests. This is not something anyone was expecting, especially not manager Alex Cora. With the Rays playing well too, it only makes things worse for the Fenway Park club.
|AL East odds|
|Rays to win||-210||-210||-210||-210|
|Red Sox to win||+500||+500||+500||+500|
|Yankees to win||+650||+650||+650||+650|
|Blue Jays to win||+800||+800||+800||+800|
We of course can’t forget about the New York Yankees, who added Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo at the MLB trade deadline. With that said, Tampa Bay filled a big void in the lineup and traded for veteran slugger Nelson Cruz. This was a big-time move for the Rays and really solidified themselves as a major player in the American League this season. Will it be enough to win the AL East?
Per the Las Vegas sportsbooks, the Rays hold the top MLB odds at -210. Meanwhile for Boston, they’ve been listed at +500 and the Yankees are at +650. Boston is five games back of Tampa Bay and New York is seven games behind. Could either team pull off a magical run late in the season to win the division? We don’t think so. We’re going with the Rays to win the AL East. Check out our MLB betting sites, like Bovada, and place a wager in if you agree.
Over in the National League, the NL East battle will be one to watch for a while between three clubs in particular: the Phillies, Mets and Braves. In what’s been a close race throughout the season thus far, the Phillies currently hold a one-game lead at the top of the division over the Braves, while the Mets are only two games back. The Nats and Marlins are 8.5 games and 12.5 games back, respectively.
Yes, this will be a wild finish, with Philadelphia, New York and Atlanta all in the hunt. Per the oddsmakers, the Phillies hold the best odds at -115, while the Braves are +200 and the Mets are +310. What’s incredibly important to note here is that injuries have taken its toll on all of these teams, but New York has really been hit hard with the loss of both Jacob deGrom and Francisco Lindor.
With deGrom, he has been battling injuries throughout the year. It’s been frustrating for him, but when healthy, deGrom is one of the best pitchers in the game. Recently, deGrom, who remains on the Injured List, said that he’s confident he’ll be able to make a return this season. That will be crucial for the Mets moving forward in this divisional race. On top of that, Lindor is expected back later this month, while the team also traded for Javier Baez.
Imagine the Mets with a fully healthy lineup, with deGrom also taking the bump and continuing his brilliant ways? Before hitting the IL, deGrom was 7-2 with a 1.08 ERA. Had it not been for all of these injuries adding up, deGrom very well could have been on his way to another Cy Young season. With all of that said, we think the Mets, despite holding the third-best odds here, will find a way to win the NL East. New York is our pick.
Also in the National League, the Dodgers have what it takes to bypass the Giants in the NL West this season. Currently, San Francisco is looking like the best team in the MLB, as they’re 72-41 on the year and only getting stronger thanks to the addition of Kris Bryant. With that said, LA is four games back in the division and they were outstanding at the deadline.
Their moves were of course highlighted by acquiring star pitcher Max Scherzer and stud infielder Trea Turner. The fact that the Dodgers, who won the World Series last season, were able to add these two guys was simply out of this world. With plenty of baseball to be played this summer and in the fall as well, this will make for an intriguing NL West battle down the road.
The Dodgers, believe it or not, hold the top odds at -165 despite being in second place of the standings, while the Giants are No. 2 at +125. Yes, we have strong belief in San Francisco to keep playing at a high level, but we simply can’t forget about the Dodgers adding Scherzer and Turner. Because of those additions, our pick is for the Dodgers to take home the division title.
Chris Wassel is a skilled scribe who possesses a fervor for both sports and entertainment. Boasting a journalism background and over two decades of experience, he has crafted pieces that encompass a diverse array of sports including hockey, basketball, football, and others. His writing is characterized by its lucidity and sharpness, and provides a unique viewpoint on entertainment and political matters. While Chris primarily focuses on sports writing, he also writes about a wide range of subjects.