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Spring Training in Major league Baseball is officially underway for all 30 teams, each with the same goal in mind.
Win the 2014 World Series.
There is only one team that will end the season with that goal achieved. There is also just one team entering this season as the defending champions. That would be the Boston Red Sox, coming off of a third World Series title since 2004, the most of any team during that span. Expectations are high once again for Boston, but they are not at the top of the list of 2014 World Series favorites to repeat their championship.
To find the World Series favorite, you would have to go completely across the country to Los Angeles, California where the Dodgers out of the National League lead the way. Los Angeles was hot in the second half of last season, reaching the NLCS. With the Dodgers bringing back a great lineup and a dynamite pitching staff, big things are expected. Locking down CY Young winner Clayton Kershaw was big, as he is the most dominant pitcher in MLB currently.
A wager on the Dodgers is currently paying out 13/2 at Bovada Sportsbook. This is just over a 6 to 1 profit margin. As the season moves forward, these payouts will shift according to how teams perform (good or bad).
Behind L.A., there are several contenders with close payouts. The top favorites are well rounded from both the NL and AL. Three of the top-five teams are from the AL, two from the NL. Directly behind the Dodgers are the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees. The Tigers have been successful in the AL Central, giving themselves many opportunities to reach the postseason, which includes a World Series title several years ago. As for the Yankees, a team that didn’t make the playoffs a year ago usually isn’t this high up. But then again, it’s the Yankees. New York tried to address their biggest needs, specifically in the starting rotation. Detroit is slightly ahead of the Yankees on the betting line, set at 9/1. A bet on New York is paying out 10/1.
The St. Louis Cardinals and the Red Sox round out the top-five favorites, both going off at 12/1.
The AL East has three of the top-10 favorites to win it all this season, with the Tampa Bay Rays in the mix. This could be the toughest division in baseball by the end. The NL Central isn’t far behind, with the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates up near the top-10 as well.
All of the betting lines for the 30 MLB teams can be found below courtesy of LatestBettingOdds.com and Bovada Sportsbook.