Major League Baseball’s offseason is off to a slow start. The annual Winter Meetings were virtual and the Rule 5 Draft was held remotely, making things significantly less spicy than usual.
However, that doesn’t mean betting on baseball is dead.
With the New York Mets’ new ownership in place, they appear ready and willing to make some noise in free agency. They’re reportedly bringing in veteran catcher James McCann on a four-year deal with $40 million to solve their backstop issues.
If the Mets have open pockets, they could be an interesting team in 2021.
Similarly, the Toronto Blue Jays are involved in almost every free agent rumor. With a fun young core and having tasted the playoffs in 2020, they could be positioned to fight their way back into the postseason in a top-heavy American League East that includes the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees.
So which teams have the most intriguing World Series Champion odds in mid-December?
Chicago White Sox – +1500
The South Siders have already traded for Lance Lynn, one of the biggest names on the market. They won the American League Central last year and now look ahead at ’21 with the potential for Cleveland trading away Francisco Lindor and Minnesota losing a few pieces as well. With Tony LaRussa now the manager, Chicago is a fascinating play.
New York Mets – +1800
The Mets have some nice pieces and a new owner, Steve Cohen, who appears ready to spend money to fix their problems. The National League East still has a clear front-runner in Atlanta, but the Mets’ rotation will give them a chance in any postseason series.
Toronto Blue Jays – +4000
As we noted earlier, Toronto appears to be one of very few teams willing to spend money this winter. Their young core will score runs; their pitching was vastly improved last year and could get better with an addition or two. Keep an eye on the Jays as free agents begin picking their new homes.
Boston Red Sox – +5000
Last year was a trainwreck in Boston. Mookie Betts was dealt and became a hero for the Dodgers and the Red Sox couldn’t get out of their own way. But the payroll flexibility they used as the primary excuse for trading Betts could pay dividends if they bring on a few key pieces and some of their established veterans return to form. As long as Boston has big money to spend, they can’t be counted completely out.