We have reached the halfway point of the Major League Baseball season. That means that it is a good time to assess where we are at with World Series
futures, and to make our 2014 World Series predictions (odds are from Bovada):
L.A. Dodgers (11/2):
We have seen this story before ó a very talented L.A. team takes a while to get going but seems to be rounding into form as the season progresses. It is
what happened last year, and it has happened this year. They are now in first place, and there is no reason that they canít stay here. Their bats are
solid, but their starting rotation is exceptional. That is what is going to be the difference. If they can stay healthy they are going to be tough to beat.
Deserving favorites, and my pick to win it all at this point.
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Oakland Aís (6/1):
As they have made a science of, the Aís are much more than the sum of their parts. They have nice players but few true stars. Yet somehow they have the
best record in baseball. Itís hard on paper to see how they can go all the way, but then itís hard to see how they have gotten this far. They are the
definition of a team, though, and that it what is going to make them tough to beat. I donít like their chances of winning it all, but primarily because
this feels very much like an NL year.
Detroit Tigers (13/2):
I just donít like this team. They have a strong record, but their division has as much to do with that as anything. They have had toughness issues in
recent years, and I just donít see how that has changed enough. They also donít have a rotation that makes me happy at all now that Verlander isnít
Verlander ó he had hidden a lot of issues in the past because of his dominance. This is not a team that is built to win, and I just donít like them at this
L.A. Angels (10/1):
This team should be a contender given their payroll. I just donít trust their rotation enough, though ó when Garrett Richards is your best pitcher, you
have issues. Iím not a believer. In fact, I find their divisional foes from Seattle (25/1) dramatically more attractive at their price.
San Francisco Giants (10/1):
If they could match Tim Lincecum up against the Padres a few times in the playoffs they would be unbeatable, but thatís not going to happen. I just donít
see how they are going to be able to compete with the Dodgers, though. Their pitching isnít nearly as good, and at this point the team doesnít seem quite
good enough to be a serious contender. Their bats have been decent, but there is unrealized potential there that is going to hold them back if guys like
Posey and Sandoval canít find their next level down the stretch. You can never rule this team out in the postseason as we have learned in recent years, but
it is an uphill battle, and I donít like the price here.
Washington Nationals (10/1):
I really like that the team has Bryce Harper is back in the lineup ó never anything wrong with getting your best player back. I really donít like, though,
how Harper came back with attitude, questioning the lineup in his first game. This rotation can be better, and it absolutely needs to be in the second half
if the team is going to move beyond the second tier of teams and into the serious contender realm. At 18/1 Iíd be very interested, but not here.
Milwaukee Brewers (12/1):
Oakland scores a whole ton of runs, but they are good at stopping their opponents from scoring as well. Thatís a good mix. The Brewers, on the other hand,
outscore everyone other than the ridiculous Rockies in the National League by a wide margin, but they also allow far more runs than legitimate NL teams do,
too. I have little respect in the long term for teams that try to outslug and outscore opponents. When they run into a rotation like the Dodgers, that
isnít going to work very well for them.
Toronto Blue Jays (12/1):
Hereís a team, like Milwaukee, that wants to win a slugfest every game. For a while it really worked. Lately it really hasnít. Despite their woes, though,
they have still been able to hold on to first place in the AL East. Thatís because the division is just plain lousy. The Jays could win the division, but I
donít see them as a real threat with that rotation and that philosophy to their play.
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