Major League Baseball Betting News and Notes for the 2021 Season
We are just two weeks away from the start of the Major League Baseball betting season and that favorite of American holidays, Opening Day. And in a cross-sport mashup, there is news that NBA superstar LeBron James has joined the Fenway Sports Group as a partner, which now makes him part-owner of the Boston Red Sox.
Nevermind that James hasn’t exactly been kind to the Boston Celtics over the years. He’s also said very publicly that he’s a Yankees fan, explaining, “I’m a supporter of winners. As a kid growing up, I needed inspiration to get out of the situation I was in. I loved the Bulls, Cowboys, and loved the Yankees.”
And going back decades, Bostonians are predisposed to hate any and all Lakers. Although when we see James sitting in Fenway wearing a Red Sox hat, all (or some) will be forgiven.
In the middle of a rebuild, the Red Sox are expected by to finish fourth in the American League East.
Lindor, Mets Talking Contract Extension
The countdown to Opening Day is important for Mets fans for more than one reason. That is also the deadline for the team to sign MVP candidate Francisco Lindor to a new contract.
Lindor has said that he will not negotiate once the season starts and that if he plays 2021 without a new contract, he will test the free-agent waters next fall.
Lindor was traded to the Mets in January, alongside starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco, and is listed at +1400 by online bookmakers to win the National League MVP.
The 27-year-old shortstop is making $22.3 million for the 2021 season.
Braun Leaning Toward Retirement
The up-and-down career of Ryan Braun may be coming to a close. In October, the Brewers declined a $15 million option on Braun, making the 37-year-old a free agent.
No other teams have signed Braun, and he said recently that after playing his entire career in Milwaukee, it is doubtful that he will play for another team.
Braun was the National League MVP in 2011, and he is the Brewers’ all-time leader with 352 career home runs. But he also admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during the 2011 season, and he eventually served a 65-game suspension in 2013 from MLB’s investigation into banned substances provided by Biogenesis of America.
Braun did take full responsibility for his use of PEDs, and he apologized to the team and the fans.
Kershaw to Open Dodgers World Series Defense
The loaded Los Angeles Dodgers are the favorites to repeat as World Series champions (paying +325 at online sportsbooks), and they have announced that Clayton Kershaw will get the Opening Day start on April 1 at Colorado.
Kershaw is a popular choice, making his ninth career Opening Day start and doing so after he finally got over the hump and won a World Series. What makes it notable, however, is that Kershaw may only be the third-best starting pitcher in a rotation that features Walker Buehler and 2020 Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer.