Spring Training is underway and the 2021 MLB season is rapidly approaching. There's been no shortage of drama this offseason, and baseball fans can breathe a sigh of relief now that we have games to focus on, and the on-field product is once again the center of attention.
The 2021 World Series race looks to be pretty wide open, though a few teams to stand out at the top. According to odds provided by FanDuel Sportsbook, the Los Angeles Dodgers (+350) are favored to repeat, but they'll face some stiff competition from the New York Yankees (+550), San Diego Padres and Chicago White Sox (+850).
Before they worry about the World Series, though, teams need to focus on the regular season and take care of their division. With that in mind, here is how industry experts see the AL East shaking out in 2021.
Picks to Win the American League East
Predictions from USA Today come from their panel of six experts, PECOTA projections come fromBaseball Prospectus, and Clay Davenport (who co-founded Baseball Prospectus) projections come from his personal website. FanDuel Sportsbook win totals and odds to win the division are as of March 15, 2021.
USA Today: New York Yankees
PECOTA: New York Yankees
Clay Davenport: New York Yankees
FanDuel Sportsbook Favorite: New York Yankees (-220)
No surprise here, every expert we highlighted above is picking the Yankees to win the AL East in 2021.
New York Yankees Predictions 2021
USA Today: 94-68
Clay Davenport: 97-65
Odds to Win the AL East: -220
The experts love the Yankees this year, with nobody projecting the Bronx Bombers to finish below 94 wins in 2021. PECOTA is the highest on New York of the bunch, projecting a 99-win season.
Tampa Bay Rays Predictions 2021
USA Today: 88-74
Clay Davenport: 86-76
Odds to Win AL East: +450
Two of the experts are projecting a second-place finish for the Tampa Bay Rays, while Davenport has them tied for second, and FanDuel Sportsbook gives the team the third-best odds to win the division. The Rays should be in for another solid year.
Toronto Blue Jays Predictions 2021
USA Today: 87-75
Clay Davenport: 86-76
Odds to Win AL East: +410
Expect the battle for second place between the Blue Jays and Rays to come down to the wire. Toronto finishes just behind Tampa Bay according to most of the experts, but everyone has the Jays within striking distance.
Boston Red Sox Predictions 2021
USA Today: 80-82
Clay Davenport: 85-78
Odds to Win AL East: +2000
It looks like yet another underwhelming year for the Boston Red Sox. Two of the three win total projections have Boston finishing below .500, and the odds suggest the organization is a huge long shot to contend in the division.
Baltimore Orioles Predictions 2021
USA Today: 60-102
Clay Davenport: 63-99
Odds to Win AL East: +7500
Every expert we highlighted above is projecting a terrible 2021 campaign for the Baltimore Orioles. Discounting the shortened 2020 season, this would be Baltimore's best year since 2017.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.