January 21, 2014 at 2:46 PM #53090
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Capperspicks MLB Futures – Who is in the World Series Mix for 2014?
It’s hard to believe but there are only a few short months until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. Hard to imagine now with much of North America gripped in winter’s grasp, but baseball is in the not-too-distant future.
Betting futures have been out for a while and while there hasn’t been a ton of movement to improve any club there has been some shakeups this winter that could shape the landscape of what should be an intriguing2014 MLB season.
Let’s take a brief look at the frontrunners and what could play out with each of those teams.
Los Angeles Dodgers 13/2
It took them a while but the Dodgers finally extended Don Mattingly – something they should have done long ago. This gives the Dodgers instant credibility for the upcoming season.
The Dodgers remain one of the most talent-latent teams in the game from the pitching staff anchored by Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greike with closer Kenley Jansen and the wealth of talent playing behind their solid pitching staff. The Dodgers are favorites for a reason – they are stacked up and down the lineup.
Matt Kemp will be back and Yasiel Puig (if he doesn’t hurt in a car wreck) should be a difference maker in his first full year in the Bigs.
Detroit Tigers 17/2
The Tigers are undoubtedly the class of the AL – they will field the deepest and most impressive pitching staff once again and names like Miguel Cabrera Torrey Hunter and gang still look like the scariest offense in the game.
The Tigers were certainly more formidable a couple of months ago – the departure of Jim Leyland to retirement may leave a hole on this team. The Tigers lost Doug Fister as well as first baseman Prince Fielder, second baseman Omar Infante, shortstop/leftfielder Jhonny Peralta and closer Joaquin Benoit. They added second baseman Ian Kinsler, closer Joe Nathan, outfielder Rajai Davis and reliever Joba Chamberlain.
But as we all have seen – pitching wins championships and nobody in the AL has close to the talent that Detroit has on their staff.
Washington Nationals 10/1
Matt Williams takes over as Manager for this talent-rich club. They are perhaps the most balanced team in the NL – their success is tied to the health of Bryce Harper and the ability of the club to find a replacement for Dan Daren.
Boston Red Sox 12/1
Last year’s champs paid those who threw down on them in the preseason 25/1 – there is no way the Sox catch anyone off guard this year. John Farrell was the manager the team had lacked and the pitching staff particularly may have overachieved. Jacoby Ellsbury is gone and Steven Drew is on his way out the door.
Boston was seen as an aging club before last season – they are a year older now. It is pretty hard to imagine the Sox duplicating last year’s feat although with the AL East poised to take yet another step backward a playoff spot is certainly in reach.
St. Louis Cardinals 12/1
I guess we can assume that the Cards will be in the postseason – they will be going for their fourth straight NLCS appearance this year. The pitching is tremendous – Adam Wainwright is a legitimate ace and the emergence of youngsters like Michael Wacha will throw to the best catcher in the game – Yadier Molina.
Everybody but Carlos Beltran will be back in the fold for St. Louis’s average offense – Matt Carpenter will lead the way and highly touted youngsters Oscar Taveres, Kolten Wong and Matt Adams will have a real chance to contribute.
The Cards look like the best value on the board – motivation after losing on the biggest stage last year adds to the intrigue of this team.
New York Yankees 14/1
If a team’s success was based on the dysfunction – the Yankees would be a favorite. Watch them add to an aging team with more aging former superstars in the offseason.
Texas Rangers 14/1
Should be competitive as always but may just be missing a piece or two.
Los Angeles Angels 16/1
Talent to spare but just can’t seem to gel. There is a very good chance that the A’s finish ahead of them in the AL West
Atlanta Braves 18/1
It’s pretty hard not to look at the Braves who ran away with the NL East last year. My guess is that they get pushed harder by the Nats this year and that the Uptons take another step backward.
Cincinnati Reds 18/1
New Manager Brian Price may have a difficult time filling the shoes of Dusty Baker. Expect the Reds to be competitive again – just don’t know how competitive with the losses of Shin-Soo Coo and reliable starter Bronson Arroyo.
Oakland Athletics 18/1
Bill Beane – you are a master! Look for him to put together another extremely well-rounded team full of talented platooning position players and a stellar pitching staff.
After for a super sleeper to win it all this year? Look no further than the A’s.
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