Who are the best free agents?
After a year heavily impacted and disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, baseball fans would have been delighted to see the 2021 MLB season return to relative normalcy. At the start of proceedings in April, fans reportedly placed bets on their side with optimism to pass the regular season and hopefully beyond World Series glory. Of course, only 10 teams qualify for the playoffs, so anyone betting on the Texas Rangers, Colorado Rockies or Baltimore Orioles would have been very disappointed.
It’s in the playoffs that baseball betting gets really interesting. The games are dense and fast-paced, so keeping up with MLB odds can be tricky, but incredibly rewarding if you bet smart. One of the usual betting favorites, the New York Yankees, did not make it past the American League Wild Card Series, while the Tampa Bay Rays, who reached the World Series in 2020, fell. at the Division Series stadium, losing to the Boston Red Sox 3-1.
Many would have thought the Red Sox would be the punters’ favorites in the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros, as the Red Sox were crowned World Series champions in 2013 and 2018. The Astros who prevailed, surrendered at the Fall Classic.
On the National League side, the 2020 LA Dodgers champion had to pass the Wild Cards game, beating the St. Louis Cardinals, before clashing with the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers had favorable odds in that game and advanced to the League Championship Series, winning 3-2.
The Dodgers would have had a good chance against the Atlanta Braves, but those who bet on them would have been disappointed with the outcome as the Braves reached the World Series winning 4-2. It set up a tantalizing clash with the Astros, with many punters divided on who they thought was the favorite. In the end, it was the Braves who won, winning the series 4-2, to clinch their first title since 1995.
While Atlanta residents and the Braves’ players and coaching staff would have widely celebrated, for other teams attention shifted to their rosters, who they were going to keep and who they were going to let go. This means that many players’ contracts have been allowed to expire, making them free agents.
Not all of these players were registered as is, so let’s take a look at some of the biggest names who are still free agents today.
Despite qualifying for the World Series with the Astros, backstop Carlos Correa rescinded his contract, after revealing contract negotiations never seemed to really come to fruition with the Puerto Rican resigned to the fact that 2021 would be his last. year in Houston.
Considering he has spent his entire career with the Astros, it was a surprise that a deal was not reached. Correa had a great season in 2021, winning the Platinum Glove award and being selected for the All-Star squad. It looks like the Detroit Tigers are the favorites to sign him, currently at +150 odds.
Freeman played a key role in the Braves’ World Series victory, including hitting a home run that traveled 460 feet in Game 5. He also won his 3rd consecutive Silver Slugger award, so it’s obviously a important player. However, like Correa, the first baseman felt his demands were unfulfilled and declined Atlanta’s offer to renew his contract.
Some believe he might change his mind and end up signing with the Braves again, but if he doesn’t the most likely destination seems to be Fenway Park, with the Red Sox +250 to come. look for it.
Considered one of the top 5 utility players in MLB, Kris Bryant has been with the Chicago Cubs since he was drafted by them in the 2015 season. He was named Rookie of the Year in his debut. campaign and helped the Cubs win the 2016 World Series, where he was also named the National League MVP. After 7 years, he then left the Cubs to join the San Francisco Giants.
It was only a short-term contract with the Giants, which expired at the end of the season, leaving the third baseman without a team for the 2022 campaign. This situation will surely not last long, and some of the teams Mentioned in the betting odds are the New York Mets and the Oakland Athletics. It will be worth watching sports betting, to see where Bryant ends up next year.