Pitchers and catchers have already begun to report to their team’s spring training sites with the full squads due later this month, as the start of another Major League Baseball season is right around the corner. Bovada recently released the odds for each team in the American League to win this year’s Pennant so we decided to select our favorite, contender, and longshot to make it all the way to this year’s World Series.
The Favorite- Los Angeles Angels 3/1
It has been a couple of years since the Los Angeles Angels have been considered a favorite to win the AL West Division, but with the addition of first baseman Albert Pujols and right-handed starter C.J. Wilson, they have been elevated to the odds-on-favorite at 3/1 to win the entire American League.
The Angels won the AL West from 2007 to 2009, but have taken a back-seat to Texas the past two seasons. They came close to making the playoffs last season as a wildcard with an overall record of 86-76. This success prompted LA to pull-out all the stops to land this offseason’s biggest free-agent prize as well as steal one of the starters away from the rival Rangers. With Pujols and Wilson now in the fold with an already talented roster, the Angels should be the team to beat in 2012 in the AL.
The Contender- New York Yankees 7/2
New York is very familiar with the role of being a perennial favorite to win the American League, but the problem is it has been unable to actually do it since beating the Phillies in the 2009 World Series. Last season, the Yankees won the AL East with the second-best record in baseball at 97-65, but could not get past Detroit in the Division Series.
Not much has changed with New York’s roster heading into this season as it remains littered with high-priced talent including a few future Hall of Famers, but you have to begin to wonder how much longer the window of opportunity will remain open as the years continue to take their toll on these aging superstars.
One offseason move that should inject some youth and hopefully some additional wins into the starting rotation was the trade with Seattle for right-hander Michael Pineda, who was last season’s AL Rookie of the Year. The Yankees should once again win the East, but how far they go after that will depend on a couple of wiley old veterans like Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and C.C. Sabathia coming up big when it matters the most.
The Longshot- Tampa Bay Rays 12/1
There are few teams in Major League Baseball that have done more with less than the Tampa Bay Rays. Despite playing in the most competitive division in the league, they have managed to work their way into the postseason in three of the last four seasons.
Last year, the Rays made it in as a wildcard with a record of 91-71, but ran into a Texas buzz saw in the Divisional Series. Before that, they won the AL East in 2010 and made it all the way to the World Series in 2008.
This offseason, Tampa added the bats of Carlos Pena and Luke Scott to improve a lineup that was ranked next to last in the AL in hitting with a .244 team batting average. It also went out and added the arms of Burke Badenhop and Fernando Rodney to bolster the bullpen. Skipper Joe Madden was just signed to a three-year extension to add even more stability to one of the most consistent winners in the league, which could all add-up to another magical run to the AL Pennant in 2012.
For the Latest MLB Odds Visit 5Dimes
Baltimore Orioles +7500
Boston Red Sox +450
Chicago White Sox +4000
Cleveland Indians +3000
Detroit Tigers +300
Kansas City Royals +2500
Los Angeles Angels +400
Minnesota Twins +5000
New York Yankees+300
Oakland Athletics +7500
Seattle Mariners +5000
Tampa Bay Rays +800
Texas Rangers +400
Toronto Blue Jays +3000
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.