The 2021 MLB season has begun, so let’s talk some baseball. Although there’s already big talk around the league about how the Los Angeles Dodgers are favorites to take the World Series title again, there are a few other teams quietly stacking up to make a strong run in 2021. With some of the major sports betting sites already offering some very intriguing world series odds for the 2021 season, there are a few teams that should be being looked at a bit closer. From the returning AL Champions Tampa Bay Rays to the New York Mets looking better and better by the day, let’s break down five teams that people shouldn’t sleep on come baseball time.
New York Mets
There is no in between, fans either love the Mets and want to see them succeed, or they hate the Mets and want to see them fall. They have struggled early in the 2021 MLB season. Still, they are poised to go for a deep run in the postseason. Adding Francisco Lindor to their lineup was a gigantic step up towards success. Putting a star like Lindor alongside talents like Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso and Brandon Nimmo will make a perfect mix of experience and up and coming talent.
Additionally, the Mets hold what could easily be considered one of the top-five rotations in Major League Baseball. With star pitcher Jacob deGrom leading ace the rotation got an automatic boost with the addition of right hander Carlos Carrasco, once he returns to health. Add to those two Marcus Stroman, Taijuan Walker and eventually a healthy Noah Syndergaard and that’s a scary rotation.
Toronto Blue Jays
For fan of exciting, explosive baseball, the Blue Jays are a team to keep an eye on. Just with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. there’s enough star power to be able to carry a team to the promised land. Adding Marcus Semien and George Springer to the likes of Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio and Guerrero Jr is like the frosting on an already great looking cake.
Their success will rely on if they can make in-season moves to deepen their rotation. If not, they will depend solely on what ace Hyun Jin Ryu can do. A strong offense can win games, good pitching can win championships.
Tampa Bay Rays
2020’s run to the World Series for the Rays was the perfect young, scrappy team. After giving the Dodgers a good scare and run for the title in the 2020 World Series. But in true Rays style, this season is looking like one where a rebuild might be due especially in the pitching department.
They lost pitchers Blake Snell and Charlie Morton to the Padres and Braves, respectively, and they will heavily rely on what’s left and the additions of pitchers Rich Hill, Michael Wacha, and Chris Archer.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals picked a great time to re-emerge as a force in the NL Central. Their division rivals, the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds sold or did not retain some of their top players. The NL Central should become the Cardinals playground in the 2021 MLB season.
Signing Nolan Arenado, who is still one of the best infielders in the league to a lineup with guys like Paul Goldschmidt, Dylan Carlson and Paul DeJong will add to their run production in great ways. Pitching could end up being an issue but with Jack Flaherty and company having some good outings, expect the Cardinals to be playing ball in October.
The Minnesota Twins are the perfect team for people who enjoy all around complete baseball. They have struggled early on, but their feared lineup should carry them when everything clicks. They have four players as true Gold Glove hopefuls on the defensive side. Players such as Nelson Cruz, Josh Donaldson, Max Kepler and prospect Alex Kiriloff can make an impact.
The one thorn on Minnesota’s side is starting pitching. Kenta Maeada has struggled, and they needed depth after him and José Berrios to begin with. All it takes is adding one more strong pitcher to that rotation and the Twins can potentially be dynamite.
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