The 2021 MLB season is coming sooner than you'd think, judging by the temperatures we're seeing across the country.
As spring training is right around the corner, FindBet is releasing their initial power rankings for the 2021 season. These rankings will be updated throughout the season; but based on what teams have done since the end of last year, here are where we see all 30 teams standing going into this new campaign.
We have seen some superstar players find new homes this offseason including Nolan Arenado, Blake Snell, and Francisco Lindor, just to name a couple. With some major contenders making moves to put themselves in a position to unseat the Dodgers as the reigning champs, this year is already shaping up to be a hot summer.
Agents for Corey Seager, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa and Javier Baez upon seeing Fernando Tatis Jr. contract ex… https://t.co/1KPvsMMpOf— Bill Plunkett (@Bill Plunkett) 1613613535.0
Let's jump into the power rankings.
30. Pittsburgh Pirates
2020: Finished 5th in NL Central (19-41)
The Pirates finished with the worst record in baseball in the 60 game 2020 season. This offseason has seen them ship out starting pitchers, Joe Musgrove and Jameson Taillon along with all-star first baseman Josh Bell. 2021 is not going to be any better for Pirate fans, if anything it's going to be worse.
Monster win total of 104 for the Los Angeles #Dodgers. Meanwhile the poor Pittsburgh #Pirates are below 60. https://t.co/HhQIX1jyx2— . (@.) 1613772679.0
29. Baltimore Orioles
2020: Finished 4th in AL East (25-35)
While their record may not indicate as such, Baltimore was in playoff contention for most of 2020, and they received an emotional boost when Trey Mancini returned after his battle with colon cancer. However, the AL East is uber competitive and they were unable to keep pace with the Yankees and Rays.
The biggest of strides into Sarasota. @TreyMancini is back and ready to work. https://t.co/iCpRuWC9ek— Baltimore Orioles 😷 (@Baltimore Orioles 😷) 1613924121.0
Jose Igesias, who hit .373 last season was traded to the LA Angels, taking away one of their best hitters from an already baron lineup. Unless the Yankees deal with injuries and we see major regression from Tampa Bay, don't expect Baltimore to climb the division this year.
28. Texas Rangers
2020: Finished 5th in AL West (22-38)
The Rangers sported the league's worst offense in 2020 as their star hitter, Joey Gallo, struggled to return to the form we saw him enjoying prior to his season ending injury in 2019. The Rangers have added Khris Davis and David Dahl to help bolster the lineup, but have also parted ways with Lance Lynn who had been the team's ace before being sent to the White Sox. Texas is expected to be aggressive in shedding contracts as they're in rebuild mode.
i wish i was as happy about anything in my life as Joey Gallo is in this picture at Rangers Spring Training today https://t.co/wyNT6dV36c— kennedi landry (@kennedi landry) 1613777853.0
27. Detroit Tigers
2020: Finished 5th in AL Central (23-35)
Detroit is in a tough spot currently as they don't have much talent on their major league roster, and play in a division with three playoff contenders in Minnesota, Cleveland, and the Chicago White Sox. So this year is already written off as a transition season. Detroit does however boast one of the league's best farm systems and the hire of former Astros manager A.J. Hinch, provides them with a leader with championship pedigree to try to mold some of the brightest prospects in baseball.
26. Colorado Rockies
2020: Finished 4th in NL West (26-34)
The Rockies started 2020 on fire opening the year 11-3. They finished the season on a 15-31 stretch which saw them miss the postseason. That promising start and disappointing ending is a perfect comparison to Nolan Arenado's career in Colorado. Not that he as a player was ever a disappointment, but after consistently proving he's one of the best two way players in baseball for nearly a decade, the organization never fully committed to building around him, and now he is a member of the Saint Louis Cardinals after being traded this offseason.
Something tells me that Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story, Corey Seager and Javier Baez feel the same way. https://t.co/5xlo7HHG1g— Mark Feinsand (@Mark Feinsand) 1613616438.0
Expect the Rockies to be shopping Trevor Story before the deadline as well as he will be due a big pay day following this season, and Colorado isn't the kind of team to give their players those paydays.
25. Arizona Diamondbacks
2020: Finished 5th in NL West (25-35)
Finished just a game behind the Rockies last year in the NL West, the Diamondbacks were a team that struggled to find their identity in 2020. Hoping to build on what they saw last year out of Merrill Kelly and Zac Gallen, Arizona could at least have a strong enough rotation to keep them competitive in one of baseball's best divisions. That's especially if Madison Bumgarner can get back to form after a tough first season in Arizona.
24. Seattle Mariners
2020: Finished 3rd in AL West (27-33)
Kyle Lewis had his MLB debut for the @Mariners on September 10, 2019, and is the second player to ever have a home… https://t.co/DUITsBbySu— Baseball Beyond (@Baseball Beyond) 1613691015.0
Finishing only two games behind the Astros, the Mariners just missed out on a chance to get back to the playoffs for the first time in nearly two decades. Seattle has been rejuvenated by outfielder Kyle Lewis who won AL Rookie of the Year with his outstanding performance in 2020. The Mariners also have a deep farm system with talented arms and a platoon of outfielders that could be utilized if need be. If Justus Sheffield can take a step forward this year, we could see the Mariners competing for a playoff spot in 2021.
23. Kansas City Royals
2020: Finished 4th AL Central (26-34)
The Royals face the same uphill climb as the Tigers do in trying to frog leap teams like Cleveland, the White Sox, and the Twins, but the difference between Kansas City and Detroit is that the Royals have been very active this offseason making moves to improve their roster for this season.
Additions include Carlos Santana, Michael Taylor, Andrew Benintendi, and Mike Minor. They aren't splashy moves that garner the attention of national media, but they are solid improvements to a team with a handful of good players returning. The Twins are the closest thing to a favorite in the AL Central, but no team is impervious to being overtaken by an up and coming team like the Royals.
22. Miami Marlins
2020: Finished 2nd in NL East (31-29)
The Marlins shocked the baseball world last year by earning a playoff berth with a roster that could have very easily been confused with that of a double A team. They were lead by their promising young arms in Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez and Sixto Sanchez. While the rotation looks to be on the rise, they don't offer much pop in their batting order. Over the course of a longer season we don't expect Miami to be as competitive as what we saw them be in 60 games last year. But out of respect they come in a little higher than maybe what they deserve to to open the 2021 rankings.
21. San Francisco Giants
2020: Finished 3rd in NL West (29-31)
The Giants managed to stay competitive throughout most of the 2020 and just missed the postseason in the waning moments of the season. We'll get to see the return of Buster Posey this year and they added Tommy La Stella who has flashed all-star ability at getting on base, but they don't have much in the way of starting pitching and they play in the NL West with the Dodgers and the Padres. Ouch.
20. Boston Red Sox
2020: Finished 5th in AL East (24-36)
There may not have been a bigger disappointment in Major League Baseball last year than the Red Sox. Everyone knew it was going to be bad after Mookie Betts went to the Dodgers, but they still had guys like Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and J.D. Martinez there to pick up the slack. Even though Martinez had a down year, offense wasn't their problem. Boston's pitching was horrid from their starters to the back end of their bullpen.
Chris Sale putting in the work. #SoxSpring https://t.co/pk0fToQdIL— Red Sox (@Red Sox) 1613836042.0
With Chris Sale still recovering from Tommy John surgery, the Sox are going to have to rely on Garrett Richards and Eduardo Rodriguez to keep opponents in check and hopefully allow their offense to win them some more games than they did last year.
19. Cincinnati Reds
2020: Finished 2nd in NL Central (31-29)
The Reds got into the postseason in 2020 behind the three headed monster of Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, and Trevor Bauer. The Reds saw Bauer leave in free agency this offseason and they traded closer Raisel Iglesias leaving a few gaping holes in their pitching staff. The Reds offense was poor last year and they haven't added anyone that will help with that matter. The pressure is really going to be on Castillo and Gray to deliver every time they toe the mound in 2021.
18. Chicago Cubs
2020: Finished 1st in NL Central (34-26)
The Cubs went from World Series contender to being a borderline playoff contender in the blink of an eye, and it could get worse after this season. With Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and Anthony Rizzo all playing on expiring contracts, this could be the start of a rebuild depending on what the Cubs front office wants to do.
Jon Lester left to sign with the Washington Nationals and the team traded Yu Darvish to the Padres this offseason. Instead Chicago will send out Zach Davies, Trevor Williams, and Jake Arrieta to headline their new look rotation. Based on the club selling Darvish who has been one of the league's best starters over the past two seasons, we think the Cubs will be sellers before the deadline and a lengthy rebuild is on the horizon.
Good morning. @JArrieta34 is back. https://t.co/dh56g1KnR7— Chicago Cubs (@Chicago Cubs) 1613667412.0
17. Oakland Athletics
2020: Finished 1st in AL West (36-24)
Oakland has always managed to shuffle their roster, see budding stars leave, pluck a diamond out of their farm system, and find ways to sneak into the playoffs for years now. Very rarely though have we seen so much turnover in one offseason from the club. Major pieces from the 2020 roster are gone including Kris Davis, Joakim Soria, Marcus Semien, Tommy La Stella, and Liam Hendriks.
That's a lot of players from a team that had championship aspirations coming into 2021. The good news for Oakland is that they saw a down season from Matt Olson last year, and Matt Chapman went down with an injury halfway through the season. If they bounce back in a big way this year it would go a long way in making up for some of the losses they've incurred on their roster.
Some Matt Chapman action via A’s IG account. https://t.co/DXXS4fFgCb— Martín Gallegos (@Martín Gallegos) 1613690205.0
They also benefit from playing in a poor division. Depending on what we see out of the Astros, the A's could have little competition for the division pennant.
16. Philadelphia Phillies
2020: Finished 3rd in NL East (28-32)
The Phillies lack of success should be an anomaly. They were 10th in the league in ERA and fifth in runs scored. They let the Marlins sneak up on them and steal second place in the NL East and also a playoff spot. They will see catcher J.T. Realmuto returning along with shortstop Didi Gregorius who are both solid bats in the middle of the order.
This is gold😂😂 congrats on a great career, buddy! @locatejared https://t.co/b7IElUflO6— Jacob Realmuto (@Jacob Realmuto) 1613531333.0
Maybe most importantly they added Archie Bradley and Brandon Kintzler to help plug up one of the leakiest bullpens in all of baseball who allowed a 7.06 ERA in 2020, blowing plenty of leads and costing quite a few wins for the squad in 2020.
For the top 15 in the MLB according to FindBet check back on Tuesday Feb. 23 to catch the rest of our opening 2021 MLB power rankings.
In Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the Warriors defended the home floor to take a 3-2 lead in the finals over the Boston Celtics. Largely, this is because Boston was careless with the basketball. The Warriors tallied nine steals and forced 18 turnovers by the Celtics. In contrast, the Warriors only got the ball stolen twice and turned the ball over just six times Monday night. While Stephen Curry was guarded ferociously and was held to just 16 points on 7-of-22 shooting (and 0-9 from downtown), his teammates stepped up.
Andrew Wiggins had another huge double-double, scoring 26 points (12-23 FG) and hauling in 13 rebounds. Finally, if the Celtics hope to win in Game 6, they will need to stay awake in the fourth quarter. Over the last two games, Boston has fallen asleep at the end of the game while the Warriors managed to sneak away with two consecutive victories.
Let's take a look at some of tonight's best bets for this huge NBA Finals Game 6.
Please Note: All betting odds were correct today as of 2:00 pm EST from Caesars Sportsbook
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Best Bets of the Night
Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics -4 (GSW Leads 3-2)
NBA Finals Best Bet #1: Boston Celtics -4 (-110)
It’s difficult to envision the Boston Celtics collapsing in the fourth quarter in three consecutive games. The Celtics may briefly watch the tape from Game 5 but they are going to have to shake it off and move forward immediately. Boston’s carelessness with the basketball Monday night should produce a much-needed wake-up call that will allow the team to make smarter passes and take fewer risks on offense against a Golden State defense that has surged over the last two games.
While Steph will likely score more than 16 points in Game 6, Jaylen Brown must have a bounce-back performance after going 5-of-18 for 18 points in Game 5. Though the Celtics shot above 40% from the field on Monday night, they turned the ball over at an uncharacteristic rate, finishing the night with 18 turnovers. Some of those were unforced errors while the Warriors earned nine steals as well.
At home in Game 6, the Celtics will play better and bring this 2022 NBA Finals series to a blockbuster Game 7 at the Chase Center. For NBA fans wishing for a seven-game series in the 2022 Finals and bettors looking to cash in on Game 6, Boston will win by at least four points at home in a win-or-go-home scenario. Jayson Tatum has yet to play his best basketball this series with Andrew Wiggins playing lethal defense but tonight will be the night that he finally drops 30+ points. Although Steve Kerr seems to think his squad is ready to close out the series, he may have to think again given how well Boston has bounced back from losses this postseason.
Don’t forget that the Celtics were in a three-game to two-game deficit against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals yet found a way to come out victorious. They may not be able to win two straight against Golden State but it’s tough to imagine the Warriors defeating the Celtics in three consecutive matchups. Boston wins by a few possessions: 110-104.
NBA Finals Best Bet #2: Over (O/U) 210 Total Points (-110)
Though only 204 points were scored between both teams in Game 5 (BOS 97 - 107 GSW), Game 6 will be a higher-scoring contest for multiple reasons. First, Jaylen Brown will have a bounce-back night. After being held to 18 points on 27.8% shooting from the field on Monday, Brown will almost certainly play more efficiently and score more in Game 6. Additionally, Boston had way fewer scoring opportunities due to their whopping 18 turnovers. Ima Udoke will make sure his starters take care of the ball in a game that can decide Boston’s fate. Marcus Smart and Al Horford have come up huge as role players but Tatum needs to really shift into an entirely new gear. Don’t be surprised if that happens tonight.
The story through Games 4 and 5 has been the same. Golden State has stepped it up on defense, managing to out-rebound the Celtics in both contests. Robert Williams III might have something to say about that tonight. In Game 6, the Celtics should be more cautious with the ball and therefore have more opportunities than they did over the last two contests. Meanwhile, the Warriors are always expected to drop at least 105+ points.
NBA Player Props
Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics -4 (GSW Leads 3-2)
Prop #1: Andrew Wiggins To Record a Double-Double (+225)
Throughout these NBA Finals, Andrew Wiggins has been on an absolute tear. Just over the last two contests where he finished both with double-doubles, he’s recorded 29 rebounds and 43 points. He has adapted his style of play and is spending more time down low in the post to help the Warriors out on the glass. Wiggins is putting significant pressure on Robert Williams III, Al Horford, and Jayson Tatum to rebounds the ball more efficiently. Not only is Wiggins keeping his scoring numbers up, he’s drastically improved on the defensive end to record 49 rebounds (9.8 rebounds per game in the Finals) through the first five games of this series. Wiggins’ shift to focus on rebounding and keeping the pressure down low has worked brilliantly for the Warriors over the last two games, both of which they won. In Game 6, expect him to continue to do what has been working, giving him a great chance to produce a third consecutive double-double in the NBA Finals. Perhaps he can even win the NBA Finals MVP Award if he continues to play at this level. Wiggins has been the true x-factor for the Dubs in this series.
Prop #2: Jaylen Brown Over 24.5 Points (-110)
After a rough shooting night in Game 5 where Brown only converted on five of his 18 shots from the field, he should wake up and score 25+ points in Game 6 at TD Garden. While you may want to stick away from three-point shooting props involving brown right now, he’ll hit the over in points tonight at the TD Garden. Brown has only scored over 24 points in one of five games this series (27 points in Game 3) but the Celtics do much better when Brown and Tatum perform like the perennial All-Stars that they are.
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In Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Finals, Stephen Curry and the Warriors executed exactly where they didn’t in Game 3 to tie up the series 2-2. Notably, Golden State dominated down low Friday night after being outrebounded and suffocated by the Celtics in Game 3. As a team, the Warriors recorded 16 offensive boards for a total of 55 rebounds for the night. For instance, Draymond Green struggled Wednesday night to finish the night with only four rebounds and three assists before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
In Game 4, Draymond dominated down low for eight rebounds, eight assists, and four steals without getting himself into foul trouble (only three PFs for Green in Game 4 after fouling out in Game 3).
Best Bets of the Night
Game: Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors - 4 (-110)
Similar to Game 3, both teams shot the ball rather evenly. The Warriors finished the night with 44% shooting from the field, and 34.9% from downtown. The Celtics converted 40% of the field goal attempts and 39.5% of their shots from deep. One factor which helped Golden State keep up with the Celtics throughout the game was terrific rebounding. Andrew Wiggins stepped it up off the glass to produce a 17-point and 16-rebound double-double. What really caused the Celtics to lose in Game 3 was a complete offensive collapse in the fourth quarter.
With seven minutes remaining in the game, the Celtics had a 91-86 lead over Golden State. That means Boston was outscored 21-6 in the second half of the fourth quarter to lose Game 4 107-97. With Golden State back home, expect their offense to shoot better than they did on the road and secure a home victory in Game 5.
Bet: Golden State Warriors -4 (-110)
Throughout the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the Warriors shot 49.4% from the field and 40.7% from downtown in 11 games played at home. For their nine road games, the Warriors were less efficient on average averaging 47.2 FG% (2.2% less efficient from the field) and 34.9% (-5.8% less efficient from 3PT range). The numbers reveal clearly that for the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the Warriors have been more efficient scoring. With the prospect of taking a 3-2 lead over the Celtics, its likely that Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have another big night in front of the home crowd.
Bet: Over (O/U) 212.5 Total Points (-110)
While only 204 points were scored in Game 4, expect Game 5 to be a much higher-scoring game. In addition to the Warriors shooting much better from the field, the team seems to have found some efficiency against the bigger Celtics down low. These two factors could push the Warriors to score 120+ points in Game 5. In turn, Jayson Tatum who scored 23 points (8-23 FG) will bounce back to have a 30+ point game. Both he and Steph are scoring big these NBA Finals.
While the defense was the main story of Games 3 and 4 at the TD Garden, scoring buckets will be the principal feature of Game 5 at the Chase Center. With him and Stephen Curry averaging more than 34 PPG through these finals, you can count on Game 5 in Golden State to be a high-scoring game.
NBA Player Props
Game: Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors - 4 (-110)
Prop: Jayson Tatum, Over 26.5 Points
Jayson Tatum, like the rest of the Celtics, started hot but finished ice cold. If it wasn’t for the fourth quarter where Tatum shot the ball multiple times unsuccessfully. This negatively impacted his shooting numbers from Game 4 where he finished the night with 23 points (8-23 FG) converting only 34.9% of his shots taken. After a disappointing Friday night, Tatum will shoot more efficiently in Game 5. Since he still scored 23 points on an off-night, you can count on Tatum to score 30+ points in Game 5 even if the Warriors defeat the Celtics.
Prop: Andrew Wiggins, Over 6.5 Rebounds
One of the major adjustments made by the Warriors in Game 4 was boosting their presence off the glass. Andrew Wiggins recorded 16 of Golden State’s 55 rebounds Friday night.
Through the first four games of the NBA Finals, Wiggins has recorded a total of 34 rebounds. That means Wiggins is averaging 8.5 rebounds per game in the 2022 NBA Finals. Especially because the Warriors know how effective he was producing much-needed rebounds in Game 4, Wiggins will look to have a similar presence down-low in Game 5.
In Game 3, both teams shot almost equally well from the field and from downtown. However, Boston took more shots from the field and dominated off the glass to take Game 3 116-100. Boston’s defensive energy was on full display Wednesday night as they outrebounded and drew countless fouls from the Warriors. Boston’s defense was the story of Game 3. Will Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry overwhelm the Celtics in Game 4?
Let’s take a look at some of tonight’s best bets for Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Finals.
Best Bets of the Night
Game: Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics Game 4 (BOS Leads 2-1)
In Game 3, both teams shot virtually as efficiently from the field. The Celtics converted 48.3% of their shots (43-89 FG) from the field and went 37.1% from downtown. Golden State finished the night with a 46.2 FG% (36-78 FG) as a team, converting 37.5% from beyond the arc. The main reason for the Celtics’ victory was fantastic defense. For instance, Robert Williams III who isn’t 100% healthy, played 26 minutes to produce 10 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks. The Celtics dominated the Warriors off the glass to record 47 rebounds as a team with 15 of them recorded on the offensive end. In contrast, the Warriors totaled 31 rebounds on the game and only had six offensive rebounds. In addition, the Warriors committed 23 personal fouls allowing the Celtics to go to the line 24 times (Celtics were 17-24 FT) and had 16 turnovers as a team. For the Warriors to bounce back in Game 4, they will need to be more aggressive down low and less sloppy on the floor.
Bet #1: Golden State Warriors, +4 (-110)
The Warriors shot the ball well in Game 3, but were simply overwhelmed by the Celtics defense and the energy at the TD Garden Wednesday night. Golden State recorded 39 combined turnovers (16) and personal fouls (23) which demonstrates how sloppy they were with the basketball. This gave Boston a possession advantage throughout the game, ultimately allowing the Celtics to take 11 more field goal attempts and finish the night with seven more made FGs than the Warriors. Offensive efficiency is not the issue for the Warriors. Rather, they will need to ramp it up on defense in Game 4 to make the game interesting. Draymond Green fouled out of the contest after being shut down all night. Green was held to just two points, four rebounds, three assists, and two turnovers in 35 minutes on the floor before getting a sixth personal foul in Game 3.
Bet #2: Over (O/U) 215 Total Points (-110)
Though the Warriors were held to 100 points of offense on Wednesday night, they shot the ball well. Golden State was limited as a team for FGAs as a result of Boston’s defense. In Game 4, Golden State will have an answer to put up more points on the board than they did in Game 3. In turn, the Celtics will keep things interesting. Expect this Game 4 to be a high-scoring contest. Both teams have been scoring big throughout these playoffs, and that doesn't seem to be changing right now during the Finals.
NBA Player Props
Game: Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics Game 4 (BOS Leads 2-1)
Prop #1: Klay Thompson, Over 19.5 Points
Klay Thompson started the night shooting very well but cooled down towards the end. He went five for a whopping 13 attempts from downtown Wednesday night. He finished the night 7-of-17 from the field for 25 points. This comes after a terrible Game 2 performance where Klay went 4-of-19 from the field and only one-of-eight from beyond-the-arc. Tonight, Klay will shoot better tonight after an average Game 3 performance and bad Games 1 and 2.
Prop #2: Jaylen Brown, Over 2.5 Threes
Jaylen Brown has been knocking his shots from downtown as of late. In the last two games, he’s recorded at least three threes. He’s gone 7-of-17 (41.1%) from downtown through Games 2 and 3 combined. In the second of two home games at the TD Garden, it’s likely that Brown knocks down at least three buckets from beyond-the-arc tonight in Game 4.