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Spring Training is here once again, and if we’re already hearing the cracks of the bats, that means that there are World Series odds for us to analyze! Here at Cappers Info, we’re taking our first look at some of the teams that we would love to be backing in 2011 World Series betting action.
Philadelphia Phillies: 3.30 to 1 at SportBet – We know that we are choking on a lot of chalk here by taking the tremendous favorites to win it all, and we even know that just one or two injuries can really mess with this team in a big time way, but we’re struggling to find reasons to not bet on the Phils. We all know that this pitching staff is absolutely phenomenal now. Heck, throwing Roy Oswalt in the fourth game of a series? Cole Hamels in the third game? Joe Blanton as the emergency plan as the fifth pitcher? Geez, is that good… It’s not like this offense is really slacking either. Sure, Ryan Howard probably won’t be blasting 45 homers this season, and we never know whether Chase Utley is really going to be healthy or not, but what we do know is that Jimmy Rollins can’t possibly have that much worse of a season this year as he did a season ago, and the loss of Jayson Werth really can’t possibly be as bad as the Washington Nationals signing him seems. The only question in our minds is whether Brad Lidge is going to implode or not. This bullpen might be thin, but there really isn’t a more complete team in the National League than this to be betting on.
Boston Red Sox: 5 to 1 at SportBet – If the Phils are the crème de la crème in the National League, the Red Sox have to be just that in the American League. Again, look at this rotation. John Lackey is the third starter on this team, and Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz are almost seemingly forgotten stars. Josh Beckett has declined, and who knows whether the boys from Beantown will ever get anything out of Daisuke Matsuzaka or not, but this is also a farm system that is just chock full of talent. Daniel Bard, Bobby Jenks, and Jonathan Papelbon make up an absolutely fantastic back end of the bullpen. Offensively, even if David Ortiz turns out to be completely finished, the rest of this lineup just has a ton of power in it. Carl Crawford was an ideal pickup in the offseason, especially since he is no longer a member of the Tampa Bay Rays, and trading for Adrian Gonzalez shored up the loss of Adrian Beltre on the other side of the diamond at third base. There won’t be nearly as many injuries this year on this team as there were a season ago, and with that being the case, the Red Sox really should be good for 100 wins and a trip to the postseason.
Chicago White Sox: 28 to 1 at SportBet – Did the White Sox push the right buttons in the offseason to be able to make a serious run at the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central? We’re really not so sure that they did, but we also know that if this team gets into the playoffs, it has a better shot of pitching with the Red Sox, Yankees, etc. than any of these other teams do in this division. Mark Buehrle might now have another ace in his pocket in the form of Jake Peavy, and if the Palehose really have a legit 1 and 1A on the mound, it will make the jobs of the rest of the men in this relatively formidable rotation that much easier. The offense didn’t miss a beat by adding Adam Dunn, who could be in for a fantastic summer in the Windy City. This is also a make or break year for Manager Ozzie Guillen and basically the entire front office for the White Sox, and they could be in for another magical run towards the World Series once again this season.
Milwaukee Brewers: 30 to 1 at SportBet – Do you really believe that Zack Greinke was a legitimate Cy Young pitcher in Kansas City? If the answer to that question is yes, you have to love what the Brew Crew are bringing to the table this year. Yovani Gallardo is now one of the more dangerous No. 2 pitchers in the game this year, and the rest of the NL Central is really just particularly weak this season, especially now that Adam Wainwright is out for the season for the St. Louis Cardinals. This is a team that can mash as well, especially with Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, and Ryan Braun doing the honors. The rest of this lineup isn’t really all that fantastic, but in a short series, a bloop, a blast, and two great pitchers can carry you the distance. John Axford will be key this year in the bullpen, but if he can shut the door at a great rate like he did in the second half of last season, the Brewers could be legit contenders this season.
Oakland Athletics: 38 to 1 at SportBet – Maybe we’re stretching this just a tad with the A’s, but the truth of the matter is that they had a great offseason and very few MLB betting fans probably realize it. Losing Rajai Davis really had to hurt, but there was a logjam at center field with Coco Crisp, and someone had to go. The corner outfield spots were shored up by adding Josh Willingham and David DeJesus, while Hideki Matsui gives the team a nice DH to count on regularly for some solid production. The rest of the infield is relatively weak, though Kurt Suzuki is one of the better up and coming catchers in this league. From a pitching standpoint, last year was a loss because of all of the money thrown at Ben Sheets that never worked out. However, this year, the team is taking a significantly cheaper gamble on Rich Harden, a kid that grew up in the Oakland system and really flourished. Even if he doesn’t pan out, we love what Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden are bringing to the table this year. The bullpen is absolutely stacked as well. Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour were great pickups for a team that already had great guys like Andrew Bailey to rely on. The A’s also play in the weak AL West, where seemingly no one got any better in the offseason.