Though Spring Training will not begin for some time, various sportsbooks have futures odds already in place to win the respective league titles and World Series for the upcoming 2015 campaign.
This past off-season was among the wildest in years and before opening day, every MLB baseball handicapper studying the MLB odds expects more fireworks to ensue.
In this article, we’ll go over the contenders and pretenders with the current MLB odds and what might put them over the top or hold them back this season.
Boston, Detroit and the Los Angeles Angels are the Favorites
Last season the Red Sox (+600 to win the AL) were 71-91 and finished last in the AL East. By adding middle-of-the-order lumber to be supplied by Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez, Boston will not be 19th in runs scored again. They also brought in still youthful starting pitchers in Rick Porcello and Wade Miley, which will stabilize the rotation. The BoSox are still lacking an ace, but could certainly go after a Cole Hamels, Jordan Zimmermann or even Johnny Cueto with the young arms they have in the farm system.
Detroit (+550) will again be favored to win the Central Division and added more depth to their batting order in trading for outfielders Yoesnis Cespedes and Anthony Gose which should help avoid some the nasty droughts they had in the second half of the season. The concerns are the continued decline of Justin Verlander and what has really changed about last year’s brutal bullpen. Not sure at this time I would use the Tigers for MLB picks for futures wager.
The Angels from Anaheim (+400) are the favorites to win the American League after posting the most win in the majors with 98. The front office has added much needed depth at several positions, but probably needs to add one more starting pitcher since at this time the exact return date of Garrett Richards is unknown. The Angels have to make the World Series this year or upheaval will be taking place.
Second Level Clubs Try to Move Up
The addition of major league home run leader Nelson Cruz will help propel Seattle (+700) to challenge the Halos in the AL West. Their starting pitching should be solid again and they would appear to have a quality platoon situation in right field with Seth Smith and Justin Ruggiano. Biggest concern is a power bat at first base; this is a must to make the postseason in 2015.
Baltimore (+1000) took a big hit in losing Nelson and Nick Markasis to free agency. Their best hope Chris Davis regains his power stroke, Manny Machado returns 100 percent from knee injury and Matt Wieters is the same catcher before the bad elbow. Backing the Birds with sports picks sounds like risky business.
Kansas City (+1000) made the World Series for the first time in 29 years, but suffered heavy losses and the free agents they signed come with question marks.
Cleveland, New York and Toronto are all +1200 and the Blue Jays at this time look to have the best chance to lower their odds by opening day. Josh Donaldson is baseball’s best all-around third basemen and snagging Russell Martin improves the catching.
Though the Yankees say they are not interested in Max Scherzer or James Shields, the signing of either likely makes them a contender in the East.
American League Team to Watch
The White Sox (+1500) Rick Hahn has quickly become one of the most aggressive and best general managers in baseball and he did a fantastic job remaking the South Siders with trades and free agent signings. I am not suggesting the Chicago is a true contender to win the AL, however, when the sportsbooks post divisional odds, if everything breaks right, the Pale Hose could push the Tigers.