White Sox, Cubs World Series Odds: Competition Heats Up As Chicago Baseball Teams Head Into Summer

Posted By Joe Boozell on May 24, 2021

The Chicago White Sox are in first place in the AL Central, while the Cubs are two games back of the Cardinals for the top spot in the NL Central.

Both Chicago teams have a shot at making the MLB Playoffs. And with the Bulls and Blackhawks each having rough seasons, the Sox and Cubs have been sources of baseball betting entertainment.

Let’s take a look at the Sox and Cubs futures odds at Illinois sportsbooks.

White Sox, Cubs 2021 World Series odds

Here are the Chicago MLB teams’ World Series odds at every mobile Illinois sportsbook:

 BarstoolBetRiversDraftKingsFanDuelPointsBetWilliam Hill
Sox+800+800+800+900+800+850
Cubs+4000+4000+4000+6000+5000+5000

At every sportsbook in Illinois, only the Dodgers, Yankees and Padres have shorter odds than the White Sox.

Unfortunately, those Yankees swept the White Sox this past weekend. Still, managerial shenanigans aside, Chicago has performed well this season given the circumstances.

For a good chunk of the last month, the Sox had the best record and run differential in the league. After the sweep, they no longer hold those titles but still have a 1.5 game lead in the division and are playing at a 94-win pace. That would likely be good enough to make the playoffs.

That’s all been without star left fielder Eloy Jimenez and mostly without star center fielder Luis Robert. Jimenez and Robert could come back near the end of the regular season.

With Jimenez and Robert, Chicago belongs in the World Series discussion. Without them, the Sox are still a good team but are likely a tier below the trio we mentioned previously.

At the Kambi books (DraftKings, BetRivers and Barstool), the Sox odds are -400 to win the AL Central.

No other team has a better chance to win their respective division based on those odds. And if the Sox win the Central, they will be playoff-bound.


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Why are the Cubs World Series odds so much worse?

The Cubs are 13-7 in May and 24-22 overall. They are two games back of the Cardinals after taking two out of three games in St. Louis.

Chicago also has the best expected record in its division if you go by run differential. The Cubs have an expected record of 25-21, while the Cardinals’ stands at 24-22.

And yet, at the Kambi books, the Cubs odds are +700 to win the Central. The Brewers, who are a game back of the Cubs in the actual standings, are +140 to win the division. The Cardinals lead at -106.

The main reason for the Brewers’ optimism is Christian Yelich. Yelich is easily Milwaukee’s best player, and he only recently returned from injury.

Simply put, the market isn’t buying the Cubs’ pitching. Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez have returned to form this year, but Chicago’s rotation isn’t scaring anyone.

In an era where pitchers throwing 97 miles-per-hour is commonplace, the Cubs have a pitching staff full of soft-tossers such as Kyle Hendricks and Zach Davies. Jake Arrieta also isn’t the power pitcher he once was.

The Cubs are clearly a solid team, but as of now, it’s hard to label them a World Series contender.

What is MLB first five betting?

If you’re a novice to MLB betting, perhaps you’ve heard a lot about first five betting.

First five bets have become very popular, and they’re actually quite simple: It’s just a bet on which team will be winning after the first five innings of the game.

The bet is popular for a few reasons. First, it’s a bit more predictable than betting on a full nine-inning game. That’s because you can typically expect that the scheduled starting pitchers will go five innings, so you can plan accordingly.

Secondly, full baseball games are very long. But many find that betting on the first five innings is a more entertaining way to consume the sport, as every pitch holds more value. A bettor can usually consume the first five innings of a game in less than two hours.

It’s a similar logic to no run first inning (NRFI) betting, which has also become more popular. That’s simply a bet on neither team scoring in the first inning.

Photo by Scott Kane / AP
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Joe Boozell

Joe Boozell has also been a college sports writer for NCAA.com since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, FoxSports.com and NBA.com. Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene ... you can imagine how that went.

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