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 is wide open, but some early favorites stand out in the field, according to MLB odds from FanDuel Sportsbook: the Los Angeles Dodgers (+400), New York Yankees (+550) and Atlanta Braves (+900). 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 American League West shaping up in 2021.
Picks to Win the American League West
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: Houston Astros
PECOTA: Houston Astros
Clay Davenport: Houston Astros/Oakland Athletics (tie)
FanDuel Sportsbook Favorite: Houston Astros (+130)
Three of the four experts are rolling with the Houston Astros to win the division outright. Clay Davenport, the lone outlier, still has Houston tied atop the AL West in a tie with the Oakland Athletics.
Houston Astros Predictions 2021
USA Today: 89-73
Clay Davenport: 83-79
Odds to Win AL West: +130
The experts remain high on the Astros, though they're certainly not projected to be the juggernaut they have been in recent years. Everyone is projecting somewhere between 83 and 90 wins this season.
Oakland Athletics Predictions 2021
USA Today: 86-76
Clay Davenport: 83-79
Odds to Win AL West: +155
Most of the experts have the Athletics finishing a bit above .500. In a division that doesn't look particularly imposing, that may be just enough.
Los Angeles Angels Predictions 2021
USA Today: 82-80
Clay Davenport: 81-81
Odds to Win AL West: +300
PECOTA is the outlier here, as the lone expert projecting the Los Angeles Angels for a second-place finish or more than 82 wins. But it looks like the Angels will be in striking distance regardless, as no one has them finishing any lower than third.
Seattle Mariners Predictions 2021
USA Today: 70-92
Clay Davenport: 74-88
Odds to Win AL West: +3000
Davenport is the only expert projecting a last-place finish for the Seattle Mariners. Oddly enough, he's also given them their highest projected win total, penciling the Mariners in for 74 wins.
Texas Rangers Predictions 2021
USA Today: 69-93
Clay Davenport: 75-87
Odds to Win AL West: +7500
Three of the four experts are picking as last-place finish for the Texas Rangers. Davenport is higher on the Rangers than the rest, but even he is only projecting them for a 75-win campaign.
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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.