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MLB Prime Time: Red Sox’ Struggles, Blue Jays’ Homecoming, and World Series Odds

MLB World Series Odds
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Alex Cora’s return to the Boston Red Sox’ dugout has taken a familiar twist, amid the team’s lack of activity at this year’s trade deadline. 

Two years ago, Boston’s World Series title-defense was dealt a blow after President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski was unable to improve the team’s bullpen at the deadline. Fast forward to 2021 and the Red Sox are in a similar position. But this time, it lies on the shoulders of Chaim Bloom, and not Dombrowski.

Déjà vu for the Boston Red Sox

The similarities between the 2019 and 2021 Red Sox are most notable however because of the aforementioned Cora. The manager’s reaction to his team’s pedestrian trade deadline in 2019, compared to his philosophy on acquiring players this year speaks for itself. 

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“I’m not disappointed,” he said on July 31 2019 when asked what he thought of the Red Sox’ lack of activity at the deadline. “This is a team, a group that we trust.” 

At the time of Cora’s comments two years ago, Boston sat two games behind the Oakland Athletics for the second wild-spot in the AL. In the first half of 2021, the Red Sox seemed destined to become AL East division champions. After a series of tough losses and yet another quiet trade deadline though, Cora was forced to sing a familiar tune. 

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“At the end of the day, you have to play the game, and you know what you need to win ball games,” he said last week when asked about his team potentially making substantial moves at the deadline. 

The Red Sox’ manager acknowledged last week that timing is everything. If his team wasn’t caught up in a stretch where they’ve lost nine out of their last 10 games, it’s unlikely that Boston’s quiet deadline would have been spoken about one-week later. But the Tampa Bay Rays jumped in front of Cora’s club for first place in the division. Now, the comparisons between the ’19 and ’21 Sox are expected to amplify. 

The 2019 edition of the Red Sox went on to miss the postseason. Today, Boston is caught up in a full-out playoff push with second-half hopefuls New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays. 

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Toronto: A Homecoming to Remember

After 670 days, the Blue Jays finally returned North of the border on July 30 2021. That sounds like a long time, and it is. But in Canada, it’s safe to say that Toronto’s absence felt even longer than that. 

After playing home games in both Dunedin, FL and Buffalo, NY for the last two seasons, Toronto kicked off its homecoming with a sweep of the Kansas City Royals. Due to the COVID-19 border restrictions, the Blue Jays were unable to play in front of their home fans for an unprecedented amount of time. But given the team’s recent stretch over the last week, the wait may have been worth it. 

Toronto has put themselves back in the playoff hunt after winning seven times since the team’s first game in 2021 at Rogers Centre. The trade-deadline acquisition of starting pitcher Jose Berrios, combined with an already potent lineup has made the Blue Jays one of the most compelling teams to follow in the second half of the campaign. 

Updated World Series Odds

Despite owning the league’s best record, the San Francisco Giants aren’t favored to win the World Series, according to Jazz Sportsbook. 

In a competitive NL West, Gabe Kapler’s ballclub has thrived throughout 2021, thanks to a potent pitching staff. But the acquisition of Kris Bryant didn’t change the oddsmaker’s opinion of where the Giants stand this season. Instead, the Los Angeles Dodgers remain the favorite to lift the World Series trophy and repeat as champions of the Fall Classic. 

The Dodgers entered the 2021 campaign as the favorites to win their division. But with the Giants’ surprise emergence into the pennant race, Los Angeles may be forced to play in the NL wild-card game. Still, acquiring Trea Turner and Max Scherzer from the Washington Nationals is good enough for Dave Roberts‘ squad to be the sole favorite in the updated World Series odds.

2021 World Series Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook

Los Angeles Dodgers: +300

Houston Astros: +500

Chicago White Sox: +700

San Francisco Giants: +900

New York Mets: +900

San Diego Padres: +900

Tampa Bay Rays: +900

Milwaukee Brewers: +900

Boston Red Sox: +900

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Follow Logan Lockhart on Twitter @lgllockhart

Main Image Credit Embed from Getty Images

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Check us out on our socials:   
Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
Facebook Page: Prime Time Sports Talk
Join our Facebook Group: Prime Time Sports Talk 
Instagram: @primetimesportstalk

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