Our last stop in Spring Training for the Cactus League features the 2014 World Series participants. We will examine their baseball futures wagers and how they might do for season win totals.
As mentioned previously about San Francisco, they fallen this spring from the betting choice for MLB picks to second place in their division behind Los Angeles, yet are still the second-best wager to win the National League and the World Series.
The World Series champs Kansas City are now the hunted and this will be especially so in the American League as the two-time champions. What is most fascinating about their MLB odds is Boston, Houston Toronto and even Cleveland have higher season win totals than the Royals, yet that are still division and AL favorites.
Let's put a bow on Spring Training for 2016, checking out these two World Series contenders.
San Francisco Odds - NL West 2nd (+130) - Win NL 2nd (+500) -Win World Series 2nd (+900) - Win Total O/U 88.5
For all the great antics Joe Maddon uses to win, Terry Francona having his players ready to perform in the second half of the season, Buck Showalter's handling of pitchers and even Ned Yost's even-keeled approach in Kansas City, the best manager in baseball is Bruce Boche. While he chooses his words wisely, in a sense he's like Bill Belichick without all the drama.
San Francisco players love their skipper and while they do not win all the time, there is a toughness and no quit attitude about the Giants you don't see from many other teams and they almost seem to never be out of games, because they come to play and hustle for nine innings.
San Francisco scores in a variety of ways, plays great defense and nobody is more skilled at working a bullpen than Boche. Sure you have to have great players and Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner are the leaders of the team, but everyone has role like a Hunter Pence, Brandon Belt or Brandon Crawford. And they pass along the work ethic to a younger players like Matt Duffy or Joe Panik and they just fit in.
The Giants did loosen the purse strings in signing Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto to refortify starting staff and seeing this is even numbered year, does it make sense to not bet on San Francisco for all wagering possibilities? We did not think so either.
Kansas City Odds - AL Central 1st (+180) - Win AL 1st (+500) -Win World Series 5th (+1500) - Win Total O/U 85
Coming off a World Series appearance and pushing San Francisco to a Game 7 with tying run 90 feet from scoring, the Royals players were none too happy last season to be listed as the second or third pick to win the AL Central and have a 82-win total.
Kansas City began last year 7-0 and essentially never looked back in becoming World Series champions for the first time in three decades.
The Royals everyday lineup is enough to make opposing pitchers ill. With players like Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas all in the prime of their careers and the fact that these players just do not strike out and are always making contact, this throws off other teams, because nobody plays the game like this anymore other than K.C.
If there is an area of concern it is the starting pitching. Edinson Volquez is the ace, which would not be the case on many other championship contenders. Yordano Ventura has to master his own thoughts because he should be pitching and acting like ace, which he has yet to prove. After this is inconsistent Danny Duffy and journeymen Chris Young and Kris Medlen, who only might get by because of the team they are on. With most key players signed through next season, the future is now for Kansas City and if they need to find another starter during the season, they probably will.
No such worries about the bullpen, even without Greg Holland, who is out for the year. This contingent is talented, fearless and unwavering.
Maybe being the champions will cause Kansas City to falter, but with the confidence they possess, if they stay healthy and score enough runs to help back of the rotation, betting them to win division and OVER on win total are a must and the other wagers can be handled later.
Despite only having three regulars in the lineup, San Francisco built early 8-1 lead, just pounding Ventura, who surrendered 10 runs on 11 hits in only four innings, with three leaving the yard. But this is Kansas City we are talking about and by the end of the fourth inning they had reclaimed the lead thanks to an eight-spot in the 4th, on the way to 16-10 victory.
Ventura had no command and catcher Perez was obviously trying to help him get his head into the game, to no avail.
Moustakas had five rbi's and Perez added four in the Royals 18-hit parade.
Danny Duffy worked an inning of relief and registered three strikeouts, while David Huff toiled three scoreless innings in permitting one hit and punching three San Fran batters, walking none.