Even though the 2012 MLB season just ended on Sunday, it is never too early to look ahead to next season. With proper research and a bit of luck, a preseason bet can deliver huge returns, as the odds to win the next season’s championship trophy are quite high for most teams (unless there is a clear cut favourite).
Let’s break down the 2013 World Series odds by looking at the favourites, as well as a few sleepers.
New York Yankees (+540 to win the 2013 World Series)
The early offseason favorites to capture next season’s crown, the Yankees aren’t a great value pick here, as they have a lot of question marks heading into the offseason. They recently announced that they will pick up the club options on the contracts for Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson, both of who struggled mightily in the 2012 postseason. That being said, Granderson’s 84 home runs over the past two seasons are the most in the majors. The Yankees will always be in the mix with their budget and deep lineup, but the rest of baseball has caught up.
The Yankees need to sort out the A-Rod situation and add some bullpen depth, but their roster holes aren’t as significant as most other teams in baseball.
Washington Nationals (+650 to win the 2013 World Series)
The Nationals are very talented, and they are only just getting started, too. A fully healthy Stephen Strasburg will headline arguably the best pitching staff in baseball next year, and Bryce Harper will hope to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump. The Nationals are for real, and even with these low odds, they are a solid pick to capture the title in a year’s time.
Youth could work against them if they find themselves up against a more experienced team in the postseason, though.
Texas Rangers (+650 to win the 2013 World Series)
Josh Hamilton is inarguably the biggest free agent available this winter, and it doesn’t sound like he will be returning to the Lone Star State. Blue chip prospect Jurickson Profar isn’t a lock to play in Texas next season, but he has incredible upside and will likely force his way into the Rangers every day lineup one way or another. The Rangers will once again field a potent lineup, even if Hamilton decides to move on.
Tampa Bay Rays (+900 to win the 2013 World Series)
Unless they find a way to add some offense (or their current hitters find a way to magically improve), the Rays will be in tough to win the World Series next year. They have the deepest pitching rotation in baseball, but their sluggers couldn’t hit their way out of a paper bag in 2012.
Detroit Tigers (+800 to win the 2013 World Series)
The best pitcher in baseball and the best hitter in baseball will be back for another season. Detroit will have a giant chip on its shoulder next season after getting embarrassed in the World Series against the underdog San Francisco Giants.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (+1000 to win the 2013 World Series)
The Angels are hoping to re-sign star pitcher Zack Grienke soon, as he is slated to hit the open market this winter. They recently traded inconsistent pitcher Ervin Santana to Kansas City, and they are also looking to trade Dan Haren, as well. Like the Yankees, money is no option to this team (Vernon Wells and his $20 million salary say hello), but as we see year after year, a lot more than a large payroll is necessary for a team to capture the World Series.
San Francisco Giants (+1300 to win the 2013 World Series)
It may be surprising to see the Giants ranked below several other teams when it comes to winning next season’s World Series, but on paper at least, they don’t have the strongest club in baseball. They could be compared to the New York Giants of the NFL – not the most talented team, but they seem to find their groove at the right time, and they always play with a ton of confidence thanks to terrific coaching. It is hard to ignore two World Series titles in the past three years. This is a great value bet to take.
Cincinnati Reds (+1300 to win the 2013 World Series)
The Reds are a pretty balanced team right now, and they will be returning most of their impact players from last season (save for one – slugger Ryan Ludwick). They are led by superstar Joey Votto and a deep and talented pitching staff. It must have stung to see the Giants win it all, as the Reds held a 2-0 series lead on San Francisco in the NLDS before losing three straight games. Along with the Nationals, they probably have the best team on paper in the NL right now.