Baseball is a global sport with millions of loyal fans. Of course, North America is the spiritual home of the game and has MLB as its major attraction. The new MLB season started on April 1, 2021, and this means that we have now had a chance to see all the teams in action. This has not only allowed us to see who is doing badly, but also which teams are performing as expected in 2021.
If you enjoy following baseball, it means that you keep up to date with the latest MLB news. Sports betting is now legal in many US states, and betting on games is getting popular with baseball fans. If you like to back your favorite side, it is also key to look at how teams are doing and the latest stats to make an informed choice. Many people will use a trusted online source for the latest baseball odds or news, with https://bestodds.com being the best choice. At Best Odds, you will not only find advice to rely on around sports betting and choosing where to bet, but also the freshest MLB reports to read.
A great idea when checking out MLB news is to check out who the real surprise packages are so far in 2021. Which teams have been the real dark horses to date?
Boston Red Sox
There is no doubt that the Red Sox have had a surprisingly good start to the season, and a look at the current AL East standings confirms this. Of course, the major question is whether they can keep up their excellent start – but you can certainly imagine them being able to do so.
J. D. Martinez is playing out of his skin again and looks like someone who can continue driving the whole team along. The Red Sox seem a really settled camp, and all the players appear to respond well to manager Alex Cora. With a strong bullpen and the quartet of Eovaldi, Richards, Pivetta and Rodriguez on fire, the Red Sox look more than able to continue surprising people.
Kansas City Royals
Another team who have shocked many so far with a decent start to the 2021 season are the Royals. Their 26-34 return last time out certainly did not point to such an inspiring 2021 season! They have shaken this off though to ride high in the AL Central standings currently. While home runs might be in short supply, the Royals are among the leading teams for stolen bases in AL and sacrifice hits.
It seems like a solid Spring Training camp has pulled the team together and helped the improved lineup gel. If manager Mike Matheny can keep the pitching side of the Royals’ game firing, they could well be the surprise package of this current MLB season.
San Francisco Giants
If you looked at the news around NL West in the offseason, all the talk was about the Dodgers and the Padres. As a result, the Giants’ fantastic start has taken most by surprise. While you could argue that this has been down to an easy opening schedule, they have still shown some decent play along the way.
Much of their success has been down to the great rotation of players, which has shown a 2.20 ERA to date. There have also been some clever signings in offseason. The qualifying offer to keep Kevin Gausman looks masterful, while newbies DeSclafani, Sanchez and Wood have also been in fine form.
The Mariners might have been on some people’s radar to do okay in 2021, but most probably did not expect them to do so well. Their 15-12 return in April clearly shows their mettle though, and they are perfectly placed at the head of AL West to push on. If they keep up their current form, they should definitely improve on last season’s stats of 27-33.
What has gone right this year for the side? Many point to the addition of former All-Star Mitch Haniger to the roster and the wealth of experience that he brings. The rise of Ty France has also helped lots and he has hit pretty much anything tossed at him to date.
Surprise teams excite in MLB 2021 season
Fans love the MLB because it always delivers lots of drama and action. The 2021 season is no exception and has given all this and more to followers so far. While stories such as the Mets firing their hitting coaches will always generate headlines, a major part of this excitement is the teams who are having an unexpectedly awesome start to the campaign.