BY STEPHEN SHAW
It’s been said that America runs on Eastern Time. Whether it’s finances, entertainment or even Major League Baseball itself, teams on the West Coast have to adjust their clocks to be on equal terms with the rest of the league.
Across Major League Baseball, several time zones come into play. But with all decisions and functions, the league runs in EST. While it’s fair that the league runs on Eastern Standard Time since MLB Headquarters is located in New York, it does bring the notion that there is an East Coast bias.
While it’s understandable that the league’s day-to-day operations reflect its own time zone, fans on the East Coast can’t deny that some of the best baseball being played in the league is on the West Coast.
Looking at the standings of the AL and NL West, it’s clear that this season will be a grind for West Coast teams. We are past the days of one or two teams owning the division. Now, it’s a legitimate battle between many teams, which makes it interesting and exciting.
With good teams, comes great rivalries. Formulating in the NL West right now might be one of the best divisional races in the sport. With the resurgence of the San Diego Padres coupled with the success of the Los Angeles Dodgers, every Padres/Dodgers game will be must-see television. The San Francisco Giants are off to a hot start as well, meaning we have an early three-team race for the divisional crown.
The Bay Area itself is home to several teams seeing success out right out the gate. The A’s are battling for the AL West lead, while the Giants are finding themselves in the thick of things with potential World Series contenders. Right now, if you’re from the Bay Area and follow the A’s or Giants, you’re in a pretty good spot.
West Coast baseball has always produced great talents. The Giants were forces of the early 2010s and the Dodgers are current powerhouses that are trying to build off a World Series win. For all the talk of East Coast teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and Mets, West Coast baseball is making consistent waves in the sport.
Over in California, a handful of teams are making legitimate cases to be World Series bound once again. Of course, the Dodgers are top dogs in not only Cali but baseball itself. The Dodgers are looking to repeat as World Series champions, something not accomplished since the New York Yankees from 1998-2000.
Betway Sports has LA at the top of World Series odds, coming in at +325. No other team comes close in terms of WS odds, although the Yankees are listed at +700. After the Dodgers and Yankees, we see another California team make its way into the upper echelon of World Series odds.
You probably already guessed, but it’s the San Diego Padres. The Padres come in at +800 to win in 2021. San Diego has suffered from years of mediocrity and for them to win the World Series would be stunning for the franchise.
The Oakland A’s are another West Coast team looking to capture a World Series title. The Athletics are one of those underdog squads that everyone cheers for, aside from immediate rivals. For the A’s to win a World Series title, it would be a victory for every small-market team. Oakland stumbled out of the gate this season but have been hot as of late. It will be interesting to see how conditioned they are for the remainder of 2021.
Looking up and down California, it’s evident that some of the best players (and teams) in professional baseball suit up on any given night.
Depending on the time conversion, many fans on the East Coast miss some of the best games the sport has to offer. The West Coast features great baseball that has translated to championship success. It’s unfortunate that West Coast games are so late because with every game you could potentially see something magical.
The baseball world may run on Eastern Standard Time, but the road to a World Series championship goes through the West. All five teams residing in California have momentum at the start of the 2021 campaign.