2010 MLB Predictions

2010 MLB Predictions
by Badger of Predictem.com

Major League Baseball will have its Opening Day in just a few short weeks, sandwiched in between college basketballs Elite Eight and
Final Four, so for many people it may go under the radar.

But for those of you looking for a way to catch up on whats happened
in MLB since the New York Yankees beat the Philadelphia Phillies in
six games last October, here are team-by-team capsules and breakdown
of their chances at a pennant in 2010.

Futures odds are provided by Bovada.lv, Sportsbook.com,
SportsInteraction.com. The best odds for each category are listed.

Odds to win AL East Sportsbook: even
Odds to win AL Championship BoDog: 7-to-4
Total Wins Over/Under 94.5 at SportsInteraction

The Yankees will be going for title No. 28 this year, and without a
whole lot of fanfare (alright, less then in previous years) the
Pinstripes may have actually improved in the offseason. They upgraded
in centerfield by trading for Curtis Granderson from Detroit, then
added righty Javier Vasquez from Atlanta who instantly becomes the
leagues best fourth starter on any roster. They might miss DH Hideki
Matsui and his bat in the lineup a little, but on paper, theyre
still stacked.

Its never fun to take the favorite for a futures bet, so Ill let
you decide if 3-to-2 is worth it. Their over/under total of 94.5 is
certainly high, but if they won 103 games last year, Im not sure why
they would lose nine more games this year with an arguably better team.

Odds to win the NL East Sportsbook: 1.75-to-1
Odds to win NL Championship BoDog: 3-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 92.5 at SportsInteraction

The Phillies are also out in front of the pack, as far as oddsmakers
are concerned, which is not surprising considering they added the
best pitcher in the game the past few seasons by working out a deal
for former Blue Jay Roy Halladay. They also added set-up man Danys
Baez to help ease the pressure on closer Brad Lidge, whos coming off
knee surgery. The only change in the Phillies big-bopping lineup will
be to swap Pedro Feliz for Placido Polanco at third, so little to
nothing will be lost offensively.

But even though the lineup is potent, and the rotation is still strong enough to take the NL East easily, Im starting to think the
oddsmaker at SIA got it right on the number 92 wins. Im also
staying away on their short 3-to-1 odds as NL champs, for the simple
reason that winning a third straight NL pennant is a rare occurrence
and one thats bound to fail at some point.

Odds to win AL East SportsInteraction: 2.25-to-1
Odds to win AL Championship SportsInteraction: 3.5-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 94.5 at BoDog

The Red Sox nation watched the Evil Empire lift the trophy last year,
so they went out and followed the Yanks blueprint from last year,
sort of, to try and get back to the party. They overspent but landed
the best pitcher in free agency, John Lackey (LA Angels), but thats
where the copycat games ended. The rest of the Red Sox changes in the
offseason (Mike Cameron in CF, Marco Scutaro at SS and Adrian Beltre
at 3B) seem to be more about adding defense than offense.

With teams in the AL East deeper and better, it could be a stretch
for the Red Sox to win more than 94 games in 2010, even with a new
dedication to pitching and defense. You can argue that they did win
95 last year, but the Sox are getting older and losing offense, which
in my book makes me skeptical.


Odds to win the NL Central Sportsbook: 1.2-to-1
Odds to win NL Championship SportsInteraction: 5.5-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 88 at Sportsbook

When the Cardinals resigned free agent outfielder Matt Holliday to
hit behind Albert Pujols they instantly became a strong favorite in
the National League race, but its their pickup of free agent pitcher
Brad Penny that will determine the Cards fate in 2010. If Penny is
healthy and can regain some of his old form it gives St. Louis a
solid 4-deep rotation with Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Kyle

The Cards do have some questions though, especially at third where
rookie David Freese will try and win the everyday job in Spring
Training. Ryan Franklin finally emerged as the closer last year, but
if he has issues the Cards bullpen might not be strong enough come
playoff time.

Im a little stunned that oddsmakers believe the Cards are only an 88-win team. It makes me wonder if its a trap, but I think St. Louis to
win the NL Central (at 1.2) and the over of 88 wins are both solid

Odds to win the NL West Sportsbook: 1.8-to-1
Odds to win NL Championship BoDog: 8-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 84.5 at SportsInteraction

Not much happened out in Hollywood this offseason, as the Dodgers
spent more time in divorce court than they did on free agency. The
Dodgers still have a solid lineup with a young core of Matt Kemp,
James Looney and Andre Ethier backed by solid vets Casey Blake,
Rafael Furcal and Manny Ramirez, so all of the questions this year
revolve around their pitching staff.

Youngsters Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsly have become the Dodgers top two starters, and when you have Hiroki Kuroda and Vicente Padilla as the No. 3 and 4, you can understand why the Dodgers have
major questions about their pitching.

They still have enough talent from last years 95-win team to win a
watered-down NL West (at 1.8-to-1), but Im not so sure their chances
of taking the NL pennant are as strong as 8-to-1.

Odds to win the NL Central SportsInteraction: 3.5-to-1
Odds to win NL Championship SportsInteraction: 13-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 83.5 at Sportsbook

The Cubs were another team that really didnt do too much in the
offseason in regards to free agency. They were able to dump Milton
Bradley in a trade with Seattle, but their pickups of Marlon Byrd and
Xavier Nady to fill his role fails to make a big impression. The loss
of lefty Ted Lilly for the first few months could be huge for a
pitching staff that is suddenly just Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster
and last years rookie surprise Randy Wells and a bunch or retreads
(Carlos Silva, Tom Gorzelanny and Shawn Marshall).

With a much weaker pitching staff its hard to imagine the Cubs
winning more games then they did last year, which just so happened to
be 83 games. The Cubs are one of the publics favorite teams to wager
on, and also one of the oddsmakers favorite teams to inflate their
numbers on, so taking them at 3.5-to-1 for the NL Central or at 13-
to-1 for the NL pennant is too high and not enough value in my book.

Odds to win AL West Sportsbook: 3-to-1
Odds to win AL Championship Sportsbook: 12-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 82.5 at Sportsbook

The Mariners became this years trendy pick to surprise everyone with
the busiest offseason of any team, picking up third baseman Chone
Figgins in free agency and landing lefty Cliff Lee in a trade with
the Phillies. With Lee and Felix Hernandez at the top of the rotation
the Mariners could be a scary team to face in a short 5-game playoff
series, but the question is do they have enough talent to get into a
playoff series.

The Ms rotation falls apart after those two (Erik Bedard is a huge maybe, Ian Snell and Ryan Rowland-Smith) and the lineup will need big
seasons out of Bradley, Casey Kotchman at first and Jack Wilson at
short. The Mariners also have a huge question at catcher, where
backup Rob Johnson now is the de-facto starter.

At 3-to-1 the Mariners are a great bet to win the wide-open AL West,
but after that I just dont see the value in their futures odds.
Seattle should also be a good bet to get more than 82.5 wins too,
since they did win 85 last year and theres little doubt they are
better on the field.

Odds to win AL West Sportsbook: 1.8-to-1
Odds to win AL Championship Sportsbook: 10-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 84.5 at BoDog

No team in baseball took more of a hit in free agency this year than
the Angels, losing their top starter in John Lackey as well as
Figgins to the rival Mariners. They also parted ways with longtime DH/
OF Vladimir Guerrero (also with rival Texas), so the Angels are not
the same team that has dominated the AL West in recent seasons.

But even though the Angels lost Lackey, they still have the AL Wests
best rotation top to bottom with holdovers Jared Weaver, Ervin
Santana, Joe Sanders joined by Scott Kazmir and free agent pickup
Joel Pineiro. The added former Tiger Fernando Rodney to an already
strong bullpen and their acquisition of former Yankee Hideki Matsui
at DH will add some pop to a lineup that still has Torri Hunter,
Bobby Abreu and Kendry Morales.

The Halos had 97 wins last year, so its surprising to see that their
season wins over/under number has dropped all the way to 84.5. While
I think 97 again this year is a major stretch, 85 in my opinion is
not, so thats a great bet.

Odds to win AL Central SportsInteraction: 2.5-to-1
Odds to win AL Championship SportsInteraction: 12-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 84.5 at Sportsbook

This is why its important to pay attention to Spring Training. A
week ago the Twins would have been one of my favorites this year due
to a great offseason, but when news of closer Joe Nathans arm
problems broke (and possible season-ending surgery) my attitude
changed entirely.

I still love the Twins improvements in the offseason, especially up the middle with shortstop J.J. Hardy and 2B Orlando Hudson, to add
depth to the lineup. The Twins also resigned Carl Pavano to sit right
in the middle of a rotation thats not quite the Yankees, but still
young and good enough to get more out of guys like Francisco Liriano
and Nick Blackburn.

Until more is disclosed with Nathan and his torn ulnar collateral ligament, Im going to sit in a holding pattern with the Twins and
futures bets.

Odds to win AL East SportsInteraction: 5.5-to-1
Odds to win AL Championship BoDog: 10-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 89.5 at Sportsbook

The Rays broke through a couple of years ago with an unexpected World
Series run, and since then theyve failed to reach the higher
expectations that come with it. At 10-to-1 to win the AL pennant, it
appears at least the oddsmakers still consider the Rays a strong

The problem is Im not sure where they got better in the offseason.
They traded for Rafael Soriano from the Braves to try and fix their
closer situation, but Im not sure his 43 career saves in 57
opportunities is good enough to hold the job. The lineup is strong
with Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton in front of Carlos Pena and Evan
Longoria, but with both Crawford and Pena in the last year of their
contracts it could be a go-for-broke approach if their still hanging
around at the trading deadline.

If they Rays were treated more like a middle of the pack team (say,
like 10-to-1 for AL East or 25-to-1 for the AL crown) instead of such
a strong favorite there might some value at taking a chance. With a
deeper, better AL East I dont see how the Rays get to 90 wins
either, what would be a 6-game improvement over last season.

Odds to win the NL West Sportsbook: 3-to-1
Odds to win NL Championship Sportsbook: 13-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 82.5 at BoDog

If the Mariners are the hot team in the American League, then the
Giants are the hot one from the National League. The Giants, a team
that won 88 games and hung around in the NL wildcard race till the
final week last year, upgraded their weakest link by addressing their
lack of offense in the offseason by bringing in Mark DeRosa, Edgar
Renteria and Aubry Huff. They also resigned catcher Bengie Molina to
the surprise of many, so the Giants might have enough offense around
Aaron Rowand and Pablo Sandoval.

Two-time Cy Young Tim Lincecum tops a rotation with Barry Zito, Matt
Cain and Jonathan Sanchez thats easily the strongest in the NL West.
They also added lefty Jeremy Affeldt for depth at the back end of the
bullpen, so the pieces are definitely in place for the G-men to make
a serious run at a NL West title.

With all of the solid additions to an 88-win team, the fact that the
Giants over/under wins total sits at 82.5 at all three sportsbooks is
a stunner to me. Even though something smells fishy, Id still wager
on the Giants getting close to 90 wins again this season. I also like
the Giants at 3-to-1 to win the NL West.

Odds to win the NL East BoDog: 8-to-1
Odds to win NL Championship Sportsbook: 18-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 81.5 at Sportsbook

The Mets were one of the favorites in the NL last year and this
season you can get them at 18-to-1, so thats how far theyve dropped
in perception after last years struggles. It certainly doesnt help
that center fielder Carlos Beltran is out for a few months after knee
surgery and shortstop Jose Reyes is missing Spring Training with a
newly diagnosed thyroid condition.

The Mets did land Jason Bay in free agency to play left field, but
its yet to be determined if the spacious Citi Field saps his power
numbers like they did to David Wright last year. The Mets can get by
with Beltran for a while with the addition of Gary Matthews as the
fourth outfielder, so the Mets offense will hinge on whether new
first baseman Daniel Murphy can replace Carlos Delgado in the order.
Ace Johan Santana needs to return to his dominating form because the
Mets No. 2 through 4 starters of Mike Pelfrey, John Maine and a
rehabbing Oliver Perez shouldnt scare too many.

I think theres better value available to you with other NL East
teams (Florida, Atlanta), and I dont think the Mets have enough
pitching to make a legit run at an NL pennant. My gut says that with
a tougher NL East that 81 wins might be the peak, so I would tend to
side on the under for season win totals.

Odds to win the NL East SportsInteraction: 4-to-1
Odds to win NL Championship BoDog: 10-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 85.5 at Sportsbook

Believing they had enough pitching, the Braves made news by dealing
Vasquez to the Yankees for their new leftfielder, Melky Cabrera. That
puts more pressure on youngsters Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson, and
a post arm-surgery Tim Hudson to pick up the slack. They also added
Billy Wagner to be their closer, so their pitching relies on health
more than other NL East contenders.

Atlanta added Troy Glaus to play first base and add pop to the lineup
with Chipper Jones and Brian McCann, but if their young middle
infield of Yunel Escobar and Martin Prado doesnt continue to improve
they could fall short offensively.

At 4-to-1 the Braves could be a middle for the NL East crown, but
theyll have to play out of this world and have the Phillies implode
for them to win it in my opinion. Their odds for the NL pennant
arent good enough either, and I think if the Braves get over 86 wins
it will be just barely by the hair on their chinny chins, so Im
passing on those futures too.

Odds to win the NL West Sportsbook: 2.5-to-1
Odds to win NL Championship BoDog: 9-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 84.5 at SportsInteraction

The Rockies put together another improbable playoff run last year,
climbing from double digits below .500 to the NL wildcard spot over
the span of the final three months. But the Rockies seem content to
take their shot at it again with the team they currently have after
doing little to nothing in the offseason.

Colorado brought back team leader Todd Helton to finish his career in
a Rockies uniform, and to help mentor along a young but talented
everyday lineup. The Rockies will need SS Troy Tulowitzki and new 3B
Ian Stewart to provide power and run production behind speedsters
Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzales. The pitching rotation returns
lefty Jeff Francis after a year off following arm surgery, but they
must have the Jorge De La Rosa that went 16-9 with a 1.38 WHIP in 32
starts last year and not the one that was 25-31 with a 5.60 ERA in
his previous 64 MLB starts.

Clearly this team overachieved and won 92 games last year, so a 7-
game drop down to 85 wins (or 84.5) isnt that far fetched. As with
any really young team, they could either progress or regress, and I
think they regress a little pack to the pack this season.

Odds to win AL West SportsInteraction: 2-to-1
Odds to win AL Championship BoDog: 13-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 83.5 at Sportsbook

If it werent for the Mariners trumping their offseason with bigger
moves, we all might be talking about the Rangers as this years AL
sleeper. While they have improved and boast a solid young team, I
just dont think they have the guns to get to playoffs yet.

As always, the Rangers pitching is razor thin with their offseason
acquisition of Rich Harden as the only addition to their staff of
young starters (Scott Feldman, Colby Lewis, Derek Holland and Tommy
Hunter). Rookie Julio Borbon will likely start in center, making the
Rangers very young and green up the middle with SS Elvis Andrus, 2B
Ian Kinsler and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. They also added Vlad
Guerrero from the Angels to team up with Josh Hamilton for some more
pop, but it will be interesting to see how much he has left in the
tank and if Hamilton can stay healthy (already issues in Spring

If the Rangers do win the AL West I will be surprised because they
have the 4th-best rotation in the 4-team division, so at 2-to-1 youd
be crazy to let it fly with that staff. I do like them to get over
83.5 wins though, as they should be better then last season and they
somehow found a way to get 88. It will be real close though.

Odds to win AL Central Sportsbook: 1.6-to-1
Odds to win AL Championship SportsInteraction: 18-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 82.5 at BoDog

The White Sox also made some solid offseason moves to remake a team
that relied on homeruns into one that should be more balanced this
season. Of course two of the Sox moves were done last August to try
and win the AL Central, trading for Jake Peavy and Alex Rios, but
this winter they added Juan Pierre to add some speed to the top of
the order and Mark Teahan to solve their yearly quest to find a
steady third baseman.

If Peavy is healthy and back into his old form, the White Sox will
have the best rotation in the Central, with Mark Buhrle, Gavin Floyd
and John Danks all sliding down one spot to create matchup advantages
in the No. 2 through 4 spots. The White Sox also added J. J. Putz to
help the back end of the bullpen, so they certainly plugged their
holes from last season to make a run at it this year.

Chicago is good enough to win the AL Central outright, but with the
Twins closer Nathan likely out people are going in droves to lay
money on the Sox and it in turn has crushed their futures odds and
value. At 18-to-1 they are a solid middle pick for the AL pennant,
but the best wager you could put down is on the over of 82.5. They
won 79 last season, and theyve improved more than three games in the

Odds to win AL Central Sportsbook: 5-to-1
Odds to win AL Championship Sportsbook: 20-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 80.5 at BoDog

The Tigers were once again busy at the winter meetings, trading away
Curtis Granderson and pitcher Edwin Jackson and letting Placido
Palanco walk to clear away some salary space. Some of that saved
money was spent on former Yankee Johnny Damon, but for the most part
the Tigers are going to try and win it with a combination of veterans
like Miguel Cabrera, Brandon Inge and Maglio Ordonez and youth like
rookies Scott Sizemore (2B) and Austin Jackson (CF).

The rotation also features a plethora of young fireballers like
Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello, Jeremy Bonderman and Armando
Galarraga, who are joined by another young flamethrower Max Scherzer
from the D-Backs in the Jackson deal. Perhaps the Tigers biggest move
was to sign free agent closer Jose Valverde to be the stopper they
have struggled to find the past few seasons.

At 5-to-1 the Tigers are the best value to win the AL Central. But
relying on rookies up the middle and with a very young pitching
staff, I think an AL Central title would be about the limit. Id
also lean on the over of 80.5, since they won 86 last year and should
be just as competitive even though the entire division got better as


Odds to win the NL East Sportsbook: 8-to-1
Odds to win NL Championship BoDog: 15-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 80.5 at BoDog

The Florida Marlins seem to write the same script every season, play
well and hang in the pennant race till the trade deadline, then fade
at the tape when they dont have the payroll to make that playoff-
pushing trade. The 2010 season looks like a carbon copy, again.

The Marlins always seem to have good young players, like last years
Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan, that come out of nowhere. Then
there are guys like center fielder Cameron Maybin, who come in with
the hype only to fall on their face. Those two will be back along
with SS Hanley Ramirez, 2B Dan Uggla and 3B Jorge Cantu to give the
Marlins lineup some punch. The same story can be said about the
rotation young and talented (Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco), but also
inconsistent and injury prone (Anibal Sanchez).

Theres good value for the Marlins at 8-to-1 to win the NL East, but
I just dont think they have the guns to get it done. Young teams
like the Marlins are hard to wager on because they cause lots and
lots of heart aches. But I do think they are worthy of 81 to 85 wins,
which makes the over look like the best bet.

Odds to win the NL West SportsInteraction: 5-to-1
Odds to win NL Championship SportsInteraction: 25-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 82.5 at BoDog

The D-Backs are a nice team with some good young talent. Guys like 3B
Mark Reynolds, SS Steven Drew and RF Justin Upton are all exciting
guys with more upside than most youngsters, and Arizona went out and
brought in Kelly Johnson and Adam LaRoche to fill the right side of
the infield with a veteran presence.

But the D-Backs chances have already been dealt a big blow when
manager A.J. Hinch admitted that ace Brandon Webbs shoulder is not
completely rehabbed and hell likely have to start the year on the
DL. Suddenly the top of the rotation is Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson,
leaving the bottom three-fifths to youngsters (Ian Kennedy and Billy
Buckner) and retreads (Rodrigo Lopez).

With Webb the D-Backs had a chance in the wide-open NL West, but if
he misses a significant portion of the season their year will look
more like last years 70-92 campaign. Arizona will be better than
they were last year, but 13 games better in order to go over the 82.5
win total, I dont think so.

Odds to win the NL Central SportsInteraction: 8-to-1
Odds to win NL Championship Sportsbook: 23-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 80.5 at BoDog

Despite having the worst starters ERA in all of the National League,
the Brewers still won 80 games last year. So the Brewers went out and
picked up two lefties to add to the rotation by signing Randy Wolf
and Doug Davis, both pitchers who had 20-plus quality starts in 2009.
Wolf and Davis will be sandwiched around Yovani Gallardo to form a
solid No. 1 through 3 in the rotation with Dave Bush, Manny Parra,
Chris Narveson and Jeff Suppan fighting for the final two spots. The
bullpen should be better on the back end with the addition of LaTroy
Hawkins and the resigning of closer Trevor Hoffman.

The lineup still features the one-two punch of Ryan Braun and Prince
Fielder, but this year it will also features new speedsters SS
Alcides Escobar and CF Carlos Gomez at the top. A healthy return for
both Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart would give the Brewers enough
offense to compete in the NL Central.

The Crew could upset the Cards and sneak away with the NL Central if
the pitching holds up, and at 8-to-1 they offer great value. But
thats probably about as far as they can go. Although Im not sure
why a team that was struck with injuries and bad pitching and still
won 80 games last year opens the year at 80.5 over/under win total.
Milwaukee has improved and (so far) has returned to health, so they
should go over 80.5 this year.

Odds to win the NL Central BoDog: 10-to-1
Odds to win NL Championship BoDog: 25-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 79.5 at SportsInteraction

The Reds made a huge statement when they outbid everyone for the
services of the young Cuban lefty, Aroldis Chapman. That statement
read like yeah our pitching is bad so we NEED something, anything.
Whether or not Champan makes the big league club on Opening Day
remains to be seen, but if Aaron Harang and Johnny Cueto dont
rebound from bad years in 09 it might not matter much.

The Reds improved their offense by picking up shortstop Orlando
Cabrera in free agency and getting Scott Rolan at the deadline last
year, so now Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto wont have to do it all
by themselves. But if they cant stop teams from scoring it wont
matter how good their offense has improved.

Cincinnati won 78 games last year, and with an improved lineup its
not a stretch to see them win a few more games and go over the 79.5
over/under win total. But they just dont have enough arms on the
mound to make a serious run at the NL Central or NL pennant.

Odds to win the AL West BoDog: 10-to-1
Odds to win AL Championship SportsInteraction: 33-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 78.5 at Sportsbook

The Oakland As are sort of the forgotten team in the AL West since
everyone and their brother is either picking the Mariners or the
Rangers to topple the Angels. While the As did make some offseason
moves to help the team, like signing Ben Sheets to be the ace of the
staff, signing a leadoff hitter in Coco Crisp and trading for third
baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, the truth is it likely wont be enough to
get them to the top.

Young guys like Cliff Pennington at short, Rajai Davis in leftfield and Daric Barton at first need to pick up their games quickly in
order for the As to hang with the rest of the AL West. Meanwhile,
youngsters like Dallas Braden, Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzales will
have to show the pitching potential they have to justify all of the
trades in the past few seasons.

Im sorry but most of the As moves were cosmetic at best, and they
just dont have enough proven MLB talent to justify any of my money
wagering on them.

Odds to win the NL Central Sportsbook: 30-to-1
Odds to win NL Championship Sportsbook: 50-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 74.5 at BoDog

On the surface the Astros did a nice job of adding good ball players
to the team in the winter, guys like pitcher Brett Myers and 3B Pedro
Feliz are solid additions. But if first baseman Lance Berkman has to
play with a cranky knee all season, the Astros little chance will get
flushed quickly.

Roy Oswalt and Wandy Rodriguez will get help from Myers in the rotation, but after those three it falls off fast. And without a
proven closer, as Matt Lindstrom and Brandon Lyon will battle for the
gig in Spring Training, the Stros bullpen has big questions to
answer too.

Houston is in the same boat as 28 of the 30 teams in MLB, missing the quality depth of pitching needed to make a legit run at a pennant.
The Astros did win 74 games last year, so the over of 74.5 might be
worthy of a small wager, but otherwise its not worth a wager in my

Odds to win the AL Central SportsInteraction: 14-to-1
Odds to win AL Championship SportsInteraction: 50-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 74.5 at BoDog

How far have the Indians fallen? It was only a few short years ago
the Tribe was playing playoff baseball, but when two straight Cy
Youngs get traded (Sabathia and Lee) what do you expect.

We should see the results of those trades this season, as LF Matt
LaPorta (Sabathia trade) and catcher Lou Marson (Lee trade) are set
to start for the Tribe this season. Russell Branyon was signed to try
and add some pop to the lineup at first along with holdovers Grady
Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo, but the Indians lack the firepower to
hang in the race all season. When Jake Westbrook, a guy missed two
years with elbow issues and only made 5 starts last year, is listed
as your No. 1 starter you know you are in for a world of hurt.

The Indians would need to win 10 more games this season in order to
get over 74.5, a nearly impossible task with their rotation. Id stay
away from everything Cleveland in futures.

Odds to win the AL Central SportsInteraction: 14-to-1
Odds to win AL Championship Sportsbook: 50-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 71.5 at BoDog

I will give the Royals credit, at least the did something this
winter. They signed veterans Scott Podsednik, Rick Ankiel and Jason
Kendall to try and bring some maturity to the clubhouse, but all
three of them are on the downside of their careers so what really did
they do realistically? Put lipstick on a pig.

The Royals have two great starters in Zach Greinke and Gil Meche, but
after that its mediocrity at best. The good news is that if the
Royals do have a lead late in games, the backend of their bullpen
with Joakim Soria, Kyle Farnsworth and Juan Cruz are proven commodities.

A 7-game improvement to 72 wins is possible, but I for one am not
going to take the chance on the Royals. If youre betting on them to
win the pennant you need to close your account and find a new hobby.

Odds to win the AL East Sportsbook: 100-to-1
Odds to win AL Championship SportsInteraction: 80-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 70.5 at BoDog

With ace Roy Halladay gone the Blue Jays are starting over again.
The Jays still have some proven Major League stars, like Vernon
Wells, Lyle Overbay and Aaron Hill, but the list stops there.

Most of the prospects they received in the Halladay trade (P Kyle
Drabek, C Travis DArnaud) will likely need another year in the
minors, so they will rely on a bunch of unproven starters like Ricky
Romero, Brandon Morrow, Shaun Marcum and Brett Cecil to fill the void
again this year.

For a team to be a true long shot contender they have to have a legit chance, which the Blue Jays do not. No way, no how. You might as well
go pull some slot machines to waste money, at least then you have a

Odds to win the AL East SportsInteraction: 66-to-1
Odds to win AL Championship SportsInteraction: 66-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 74 at Sportsbook

I am totally blown away that the oddsmakers give Kansas City and
Toronto a better chance at winning than the Orioles in 2010. Sure
they play in the AL East, but at least the Orioles addressed some of
their needs in the winter, picking up Kevin Millwood to serve as
their ace, bringing back Miguel Tejada to play third and getting
Garrett Atkins to play first. Those moves certainly wont move them
ahead of the Yanks or Red Sox, but when you combine those guys with
the Os youngsters Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters youre
certainly better than the Royals and Jays.

The Orioles rotation also has young arms Brad Bergesen and Brian
Matusz, who both showed decent potential in late season callups last
year. Baltimore isnt close yet, but I wouldnt be surprised if they
go over 74 wins by a game or two.

Odds to win the NL West SportsInteraction: 40-to-1
Odds to win NL Championship Sportsbook: 50-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 71.5 at BoDog

The Padres are a mirror image of the Blue Jays, trading their ace Jake Peavy in order to gut the team and start over. The big question
is whether or not they ship first baseman Adrian Gonzales out of town
too before the deadline.

Young guys like Kyle Blanks, Will Venable and Chase Headley have some upside, but the Padres veterans like David Eckstein are Scott
Hairston are role players that are now starters which makes their
lineup suspect. The Padres also picked up Jon Garland to team with
Chris Young and Kevin Correia at the top of the rotation until guys
like Mat Latos and Wade LeBlanc are ready to step up to their potential.

Theres just too much uncertainty in San Diego for me to even
consider taking the under of 71 wins. The Padres will win some games
if Gonzales stays, but if he goes so do they Padres victories.

Odds to win the NL Central Sportsbook: 100-to-1
Odds to win NL Championship SportsInteraction: 100-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 69.5 at BoDog

Seriously, how do the Pirates still have any fans? Every year the
Pirates lose over 90 games, and every offseason their management does
absolutely nothing to change their losing ways. Its such a shame too
because PNC Park is awesome, and the Pirates owner and GM fill it
with a borderline Triple-A team every season.

The Pirates prize pickup this year was second baseman Akinori
Iwamura, a nice player but not the kind of guy you build a franchise
around. Garrett Jones, and all of his 103 games and 23 career
homeruns becomes the Pirates top power hitter. While Paul Maholm,
Ross Ohlendorf and Zach Duke anchor the rotation. The good news for
Pirates fans is that theyve traded away all of their good players at
the deadline over the last few years that theres nobody left that
anyone wants anymore, so this team is likely to stay in Pittsburgh
all season.

Go watch the Penguins skate for another Stanley Cup and forget about
wagering on the Pirates for at least another year.

Odds to win the NL East SportsInteraction: 80-to-1
Odds to win NL Championship BoDog: 75-to-1
Total Wins Over/Under 71 at Sportsbook

The Nationals were actually really busy this winter improving their
club, but it doesnt appear that oddsmakers or anyone else for that
matter seem to care at all. The Nationals spent money on a new ace
(Jason Marquis), a closer (Matt Capps), a catcher (Ivan Rodriguez)
and a second baseman (Adam Kennedy, all of which will help but it
still might not get them out of the NL East cellar.

Marquis, John Lannan and Scott Olsen are a decent top three in the
rotation, but when you consider that none of them would be more than
a No. 3 or No. 4 starter on any other team and you start to realize
the uphill climb the Nationals face. The reality of the situation is
that the Nationals best pitcher, top pick Stephen Strasburg, has yet
to even throw a Major League pitch.

With 59 wins last year, the Nationals would need to improve by 12 games in order to go over the 71 season win total set by Sportsbook.
Not yet.


Heres where Im going to be placing my futures wagers this season.

AL East Boston Red Sox (2.25-to-1)

Im not so sure the Sox have enough to overtake the Yankees, but Im
not going to take the Yanks at even money or less so the Sox are the
lesser of two evils.

AL Central Detroit Tigers (5-to-1)

I was all over the Twins up until Nathan hurt his arm. His injury is
enough to make me jump ship to the Tigers, who have under achieved
since making the blockbuster deal with Florida a few years back. This
is finally their year.

AL West Los Angeles Angels (1.8-to-1)

Even though Seattle and Texas have made strides, I still think the
Angels have the deepest rotation and enough offense to stay at the top.

AL Wildcard New York Yankees

Since I took Boston above, I have to put the Yankees here, but it could be the other way around when its all done.

NL East Atlanta Braves (4-to-1)

The Braves will have a hard time overtaking the Phillies, but for the
same reasons I cant take the Yankees is the same reason I cant take
the Phillies.

NL Central St. Louis Cardinals (1.2-to-1)

You could argue the same point here, but the Cards are the class of
the division and should run away with it.

NL West San Francisco Giants (3-to-1)

The Giants are the only team in the division that doesnt have issues
on the mound, and they improved their offense enough in the offseason
to lead me to believe they can overtake the Dodgers.

NL Wildcard Philadelphia Phillies

See Yankees, New York, above.


So with my futures breakdown of the MLB regular season, its time to
place a final wager on the big enchilada. As always, I follow a short-
middle-long approach to World Series futures.

Short Favorite New York Yankees (2.75-to-1 at SportsInteraction)

I hate taking the favorite as my short, but I honestly cant see anyone overtaking the champs. Ill gladly double my money if it means
taking the Yankees.

Middle of the Road St. Louis Cardinals (13-to-1 at Bodog)

The Cards should get into the playoffs rather easily, and once they
are in their top three starters can go pitch-for-pitch with the
Yankees (or other AL representative).

Longshot San Francisco Giants (30-to-1 at Sportsbook)

The Giants are a true long shot here, but again, with their starting
pitching they could be a tough matchup come playoff time. Lincecum
wins a third start on short rest to give the Giants an unexpected title.