The duck boats splashed, the crowd cheered, and Beantown celebrated wildly as the World Series parade gave Boston fans a chance to honor their beloved Red Sox. Now the question is where will the parade be next season?
Prior to the season I was on with SBR's inimitable Peter Loshak and proclaimed that the Red Sox, who had fallen so far from grace during the Bobby Valentine "era", would not only eclipse the 82 game total but would in fact win the AL East. Before I get too carried away with my bad self, it was not because I saw a World Series in their immediate future, but because I knew this team was far better than what they demonstrated in 2012. Quite frankly the Blue Jays didn't scare me and neither did the Yankees. The Sox were my choice by default and the MLB odds for them to win the division looked appetizing enough for me to take a taste.
However that was then and this is now. As we take a leap of faith that as the winter approaches our gaze extends all the way to October. It's risky business to say the least, particularly when free agents haven't even had an opportunity to hit the open market and sign those routinely obscene contracts. Which I might add, should get even filthier now that each team will earn approximately $25 million extra due to the new television deal. I thought people weren't watching baseball anymore? Anyhow before placing your MLB picks, let's take a quick peek at three teams that should have a decent chance to be there at the end of the 2014 season.
2014 World Series Odds - The Big Three
Boston Red Sox 12-1 - I was a bit surprised that Sportsbooks did not list the defending World Champions as the favorites to repeat. They have a formidable starting rotation as Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Jake Peavy, and Felix Doubront will all be back. Not to mention the bullpen is busting with talent and depth. As for the offense, Mike Napoli, Jacoby Ellsbury, and shortstop Stephen Drew could all be headed to greener (and we know what I mean by greener) pastures. The only one of the three that will have a measurable impact is the loss of Ellsbury in center, though the Red Sox will try to fill that void with promising prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. You could do much worse than plunking down a few bucks on the Red Sox in 2014.
Detroit Tigers 8-1 - Though they bowed to the Red Sox in the AL Pennant chase the Tigers are loaded with talent. Their starting pitching is an embarrassment of riches with Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez, Doug Fister, and 24-year-old Rick Porcello. On the flipside they have the best hitter in baseball toiling at third base in Miguel Cabrera, and obtained defensive whiz Jose Iglesias in a trade down the stretch of last season. Prince Fielder is still only 29-years-old and should be good for 30 dingers as well as over 100 RBI's to pace an offense that can give any pitcher fits.
LA Dodgers 5-1 - The Dodgers came on like a freight train in late June and looked poised to tear through the NL Pennant and sweep the World Series in one giant masterstroke. Although the St. Louis Cardinals derailed those plans and this lineup of All-Stars was sent packing back to La La Land. That being said, this team is loaded with payroll and talent. It's not hard to see why the “Boys in Blue” are the favorite in MLB odds to take home the hardware next season.