Itís baseball season again. The first couple games of the season have been played, and the exciting prospect of 160 more games is enough to get any
baseball fan excited. Much more than other years I have really struggled to come up with who I think is going to be in the World Series. Iím writing this
introduction after I offered my 2014 World Series predictions below, and it turns out that I like the Cardinals over the Rays to win it all. Sounds good to
me. Of course, last year I jumped on the same bandwagon as many and picked the Jays over the Nationals, so what do I know? ( odds to win the World Series are from Sportsbook.ag):
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L.A. Dodgers (+800):
I just donít trust this team. I havenít trusted the Yankees for the last several years before now, either, so it must have something to do with having the
biggest payroll in the league. I donít like the general attitude around the team -- the one that saw them struggle for the start of the season last year
when they had so much talent and the one that saw them underwhelm in the playoffs when they had no excuses. I really donít like the Yasiel Puig drama
heading into the season, and nothing good can be seen in the Clayton Kershaw injury. This is an overhyped and vulnerable team, and I will happily take the
field against them.
Detroit Tigers (+900):
Verlander may not have his best days ahead of him. Scherzer has a contract distraction to deal with. Cabrera has to deal with the pressure of a
ridiculously huge contract and the expectations that come with it. Prince Fielder was a mental case, but the team will miss the production he was good for
in the regular season and the protection he offered others in the lineup. Too much to make me nervous here. The odds suggest that this is the best of the
AL. Iím not buying it.
St. Louis Cardinals (+900):
The Cardinals had a nice season last year, but after a remarkably-good offseason, they are much improved. They managed to shed a whole lot of payroll, get
much younger, and improve dramatically in the process. There is a risk that the youngsters they are relying on wonít be quite ready, but the pitching is
strong, the lineup is good, and this team is ready. I like the red birds a whole lot better than the two teams ahead of them.
Washington Nationals (+900):
Iím writing this after the opening games for the Nationals, and that has me confused. Strasburg was just lousy in his opener, and that has me uneasy. While
there is a lot to like about this team on paper, there was a lot to like last year, too, and that only wound up in frustration. I want to believe, but at
this price Iíll be watching them from the sidelines.
Boston Red Sox (+1000):
After last year I have given up on trying to figure out this team. My gut says that I should be skeptical, but my gut told me to doubt them at every turn
last year, and that didnít exactly work out well for me. Youíre on your own for this one.
New York Yankees (+1100):
Itís amazing how things have changed. For so long the lineup was strong but the pitching was a big issue. Now I quite like the rotation ó or at least the
potential of it ó but I am not as in love with the lineup. I donít see a lot to separate this team from Boston, and the prices support that. Iíll look
elsewhere for value in the AL ó though not out of the division.
Tampa Bay Rays (+1500):
I like the rotation and the bullpen. I like the roster and the room for improvement t has. I like the coaching. I am relying on Wil Myers taking a big step
forward in his sophomore campaign, but if that happens and the rest of the lineup is as steady as they can be then this team is the class of their division
ó and their league. I donít think being the best in the AL is good enough this year, be the price is more attractive here than what we have seen in the AL
ó by far.
L.A. Angels (+1800):
Last year was a disaster. Why are we supposed to believe that things are miraculously better? I donít trust Pujols and Hamilton any more this year than
last. I hope that that massive contract wonít mess with Mike Troutís mind, but I canít be certain. I donít trust the rotation at all. How to sum up the
prospect of betting on this team in one word? Yuck.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham