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Dodgers +350 World Series Favorites After Bauer Acquisition

Paul Attfield

by Paul Attfield in MLB Baseball

Feb 5, 2021 · 7:19 PM PST

Cincinnati Reds' player Trevor Bauer showing an excited reaction.
Cincinnati Reds' Trevor Bauer reacts after recording a strikeout against Milwaukee Brewers' Christian Yelich during a baseball game in Cincinnati, in this Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, file photo. The Reds won 6-1. Trevor Bauer is coming home to pitch for the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner announced his decision on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in a two-minute video posted to his Twitter account. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster, File)
  • World Series-champion Los Angeles Dodgers sign Trevor Bauer to a reported three-year deal
  • Left-hander is the reigning Cy Young winner after posting a league-best 1.73 ERA with the Reds
  • Read on for analysis, full odds and whether the Dodgers are a good bet to win another championship at +350

In the clearest indication that the rich keep getting richer in Major League Baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers scooped up the top free-agent arm on the market with Friday’s addition of Trevor Bauer.

The left-hander, who won the National League Cy Young last year with the Cincinnati Reds, has reportedly signed a three-year deal with the reigning world champions, and will receive a massive $85-million over the first two years of the contract.

With the addition of Bauer, the Dodgers have seen their 2021 World Series odds drop to +350, ahead of both the New York Yankees and San Diego Padres.

2021 World Series Odds

Team Odds
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +550
San Diego Padres +800
Chicago White Sox +850
Atlanta Braves +1000
New York Mets +1000
Minnesota Twins +1800
Oakland Athletics +2200
Toronto Blue Jays +2200
St. Louis Cardinals +2400
Houston Astros +2500
Tampa Bay Rays +2500
Cincinnati Reds +3200
Washington Nationals +3200
Chicago Cubs +3500
Philadelphia Phillies +3500

Odds taken Feb. 5

Rotation For The Ages

Bauer’s addition means Los Angeles will start the 2021 season with a rotation featuring Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and David Price.

The addition also means the Dodgers are just the second reigning world champions following the 1998 Yankees to add a Cy Young winner during the winter. The Yankees added Roger Clemens, which worked out rather well as the Bronx Bombers won the next two World Series to wrap up a three-peat.

The fact that Bauer was available is something of rarity, with the lefty the first reigning Cy Young winner to hit free agency since Greg Maddux in 1992.

The Power Of Bauer

Bauer’s 2020 season was easily the best of his career. He posted a league-best 1.73 ERA with a 0.795 WHIP, while he had a career-high 12.3 K/9 and 5.88 K/BB, in going 5-4 with 11 starts for the Reds.

However, while that line was good enough to earn the 30-year-old his first Cy Young in the pandemic-shortened 60-game season, it may have been something of an outlier. Only once before has the Southern California native come close to matching it over a full season, and it must also be noted that eight of his 11 starts game against sub-.500 teams.

A Good Fit?

With a team ERA of 3.02 and a WHIP of 1.056, the Dodgers led the majors last season, well ahead of second-placed Cleveland’s marks of 3.29 and 1.114. Bauer’s insertion into the rotation should do little to detract from the team’s regular-season success, particularly for a team that offered their pitchers the most run supports, with an average of 5.82 runs per game.

The World Series champions will be counting on Bauer to pitch deep into October alongside the likes of Kershaw and Buehler. While the lefty has a lot of postseason experience, going to the Fall Classic in 2016 while with Cleveland, his record is a less-that-stellar 1-4, with a 2.94 ERA.

Dodgers’ Win Zero-Sum Game

However Bauer pitchers for the Dodgers, one of the important points of the signing is that it keeps him away from one of the other contenders, particularly the New York Mets, who thought they were in pole position to sign him right up until the Dodgers got his ink on a contract.

Winning the race for Bauer’s signature will be a psychological victory for the Dodgers, who will view the Mets, under new ownership, as one of the principal obstacles in their quest for another pennant, alongside the likes of San Diego and Atlanta.

It should also provide the impetus for the Dodgers to separate themselves from a crowded NL pack and find their way back to the World Series once again.

Pick: Dodgers to win 2021 World Series (+350)

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