The MLB season will start in just a few hours, and it’s always full of surprises: teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, and Atlanta Braves brought elite talent in their quest for glory, and others like the Tampa Bay Rays look a little weaker than last year.
There is always space for the shocking and unexpected when we talk about MLB, so here are three bold predictions as the season approaches:
3 Bold Predictions For The 2021 MLB Season
1. The Dodgers Will Win More Than 110 Games
The Los Angeles Dodgers are, without a question, the best team in Major League Baseball, and there is a case to be made that it isn’t even close in the National League.
However, just when everyone thought they had narrowed the gap, the Dodgers went to work and signed Trevor Bauer, the best starter in the market.
The Dodgers can afford to use David Price, a career 3.31 starter with a World Series ring and several pitching accolades, from the bullpen, as right-hander Dustin May won the last spot of the rotation and will join a formidable group that includes future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw, Bauer, Walker Buehler, and Julio Urias.
Their lineup is so good and deep that only the New York Mets can rival it in the National League.
If everybody is healthy, the Dodgers can threaten MLB’s record for most victories in a season with 116, but they will likely fall just short.
2. The Rays Will Miss The Playoffs
The Tampa Bay Rays were very good in 2020, without a question, the best team in the American League.
They were close to winning it all, but the formidable Dodgers were in their way.
They also lost top reliever Nick Anderson for several months:
BREAKING: #Rays reliever Nick Anderson has partial tear of elbow ligament, likely to be out past All-Star break, no surgery recommend
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) March 26, 2021
Tampa excels in player development and will surely get the best of its vast pitching depth, but losing that pair could come back to haunt the organization.
Right now, the Yankees are head and shoulders above the rest in the American League East division, and the Blue Jays can surprise the Rays and leave them without October baseball.
3. The Yankees Will Shock The Dodgers In The World Series
The Dodgers and Yankees are arguably the two best teams in baseball.
A case can be made for the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, or San Diego Padres to join Los Angeles in the top two instead of the Yankees, but the Dodgers are the best squad in MLB.
However, that doesn’t mean that a great team with excellent pitching like the Yankees can’t win a seven-game series against the Dodgers.
Los Angeles will surely sweat their hypothetical victories in the Division Series and Championship Series to reach the Fall Classic.
As currently constructed, this Dodgers’ team would likely win six or seven series out of ten versus the Yankees, but the Bombers have a shot at the upset if they are healthy and play their cards right.
Most Wins in a Season
MLB: 1906 Cubs & 2001 Mariners (116)
NBA: 2016 Warriors (73)
NHL: 1996 Red Wings & 2019 Lightning (62)
NFL: 2007 Patriots (16)
None of these teams won the championship https://t.co/L3NqlAVh2e
— James Smyth (@JamesSmyth621) July 1, 2020