The Baseball Savant

where sabermetrics & betting collide with our national pasttime

Talking Baseball Futures – 2012 World Series Champions

BetUS has released their baseball futures and this being my first entry, I figured let’s go over some betting! I’ll break things down into 3 tiers as this makes the most sense with 30 teams in baseball although the tiers are 9-10-11. I felt like this was a more natural breakdown as Tier 3 is +6000 and worse. We are going over World Series champions today so let’s take a look.

TIER 1

Philadelphia Phillies +475
New York Yankees +550
Los Angeles Angels +550
Detroit Tigers +800
Texas Rangers +800
Boston Red Sox +900
Miami Marlins +1200
Arizona Diamondbacks +1600
San Francisco Giants +1600

One team that really sticks out here is Miami. They are the 8th most likely team to win the World Series according to Vegas? Whew! The Marlins did add Heath Bell, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes & Carlos Zambrano which does make them rather formidable. If guys like Mike Stanton, Gaby Sanchez, and Logan Morrison keep getting better then the Marlins are going to be a difficult out in the National League & will certainly give the Phillies a run for their money. The one problem I have with them is their new manager Ozzie Guillen. I simply don’t trust the guy to win a championship even with the knowledge that he has a World Series title with the White Sox back in 2005. I don’t know if there are any value picks here given that these are the teams with the best chance to win, but Boston looks pretty good at +900. If the rotation can stay healthy & the team can avoid injuries, Boston can hang with anyone. I think the Angels are being paid too much credit for simply signing Albert Pujols. That offense is terrible and a declining Pujols isn’t going to off set that trend. Texas isn’t getting back. San Francisco doesn’t have enough offense. Watch out for the Tigers. I thought Detroit had the best chance to win the World Series when we got to the championship round, but came up short against Texas. Verlander won’t repeat his 2011 in 2012, but if Scherzer & Porcello can take steps forward, then the addition of Prince Fielder gives Detroit more than enough offense to crush the AL Central. I probably should say something about the Yankees & Phillies. The Yankees have to hope their pitching staff after Sabathia comes together. I think the offense can stave off Father Time for another year, but they need starting pitching to cash in. Philly is probably in the opposite situation. They need their hitters to come through while the pitching staff keeps on pitching like they have in the past. A quick note here on Arizona. The Diamondbacks are getting some love here at +1600 and they deserve it after the season they had last year, but I can’t see them getting to the World Series. If I had to pick a winner to come out of the West it would be Arizona only because San Francisco can’t hit at all, but once you get into the playoffs it’s all about a short series and I don’t see Arizona topping Philadelphia in that regard.

Best Bets: Detroit Tigers +800; Boston Red Sox +900
Worst Bets: Los Angeles Angels +550; Miami Marlins +1200

TIER 2

Tampa Bay Rays +1800
Atlanta Braves +2000
Cincinnati Reds +2000
Washington Nationals +2000
St. Louis Cardinals +2500
Milwaukee Brewers +2500
Toronto Blue Jays +2500
Los Angeles Dodgers +2500
Colorado Rockies +4000
Chicago Cubs +4000

A lot more interesting here. Tampa Bay is an exceptional play here at +1800. Matt Moore is a star and let’s not forget that Jeremy Hellickson was thought by most to be a #1 starter in training. Along with James Shields & David Price, the Rays in my opinion have the potential to have the very best rotation in all of baseball. They need Evan Longoria to step up his production and Carlos Pena to be the hitter he was in Tampa the last time he was there, but a full season of Desmond Jennings is going to help tremendously as well. The Reds are a very interesting pick at +2000. The NL Central isn’t that good and Mat Latos is a legitimate #1 starter if he puts it all together. The Reds have more than enough offense to win games so if the pitching is there, Cincinnati can run away with the Central. Remember that the Cardinals are losing Albert Pujols, Dave Duncan & Tony LaRussa. Milwaukee lost Prince Fielder. Houston, Chicago & Pittsburgh aren’t very good. The other really interesting team here is Toronto. They have a mountain to climb playing in the AL East, but if the Blue Jays were in any other division, you’d give them a legitimate shot at winning a division title. The Jays should have no problems scoring runs so it’ll be up to Henderson Alvarez & Kyle Drabeck to come through as backend starters. They should be good enough to beat anyone on any give night. So what about the worst odds on the list? The Nationals at +2000 is too high. Washington could be pretty good, but Bryce Harper isn’t there yet and their backend rotation is a mess behind Zimmerman & Strasburg. The Rockies & Cubs aren’t exactly projected to be contenders, but even at +4000 seems odd. The Cubs have absolutely no chance with an offense that horrific. The Rockies #1 starter was pitching for the Orioles last year if that gives you any indication of how bad Colorado might be. I don’t know how Atlanta translates offensively & that will keep them from beating Philadelphia and likely Miami. The Brewers & Cardinals are losing dynamite players. Milwaukee has the potential to be a huge threat if the starting pitching goes wild, but Gamel isn’t replacing Fielder’s production. The last really interesting team on this list is the Dodgers. The ballpark will help out Aaron Harang who should be a #4/#5 starter behind Kershaw, Billingsley & Lilly. The NL West isn’t crazy good and if LA’s offense can get going behind Matt Kemp, they certainly have a rotation/bullpen good enough to win quite a few games.

Best Bets: Tampa Bay Rays +1800, Cincinnati Reds + 2000, Toronto Blue Jays +2500, Los Angeles Dodgers +2500
Worst Bets: Atlanta Braves +2000, Washington Nationals +2000, Chicago Cubs +4000

TIER 3

Chicago White Sox +6000
Cleveland Indians +6000
Minnesota Twins +6000
Pittsburgh Pirates +6000
New York Mets +7500
Oakland A’s +7500
Kansas City Royals +7500
Seattle Mariners +7500
San Diego Padres +8000
Baltimore Orioles +15000
Houston Astros +20000

Obviously these are huge long shots to win a World Series title in 2012. At this point I think you need to look for favorable divisions for lesser known quantities to exploit. The obvious choice here to start is in Pittsburgh. The Pirates aren’t awful really offensively with a budding superstar in Andrew McCutchen. Throw in guys like Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez, Garrett Jones, Jose Tabata, Nate McClouth and Casey McGehee and it starts looking like it’s possible for Pittsburgh to score some runs. It’s also interesting that Pittsburgh brought in Erik Bedard on an incentive laden deal and traded for AJ Burnett. Burnett has been healthy the last 4 seasons and he’ll be going to a much easier division than pitching in the AL East. Bedard has electric stuff if he’s healthy which is a HUGE IF. I really like James McDonals’s stuff and Kevin Correia isn’t horrible. There are a lot worse plays at +6000 than Pittsburgh and you can envision that the NL Central could implode. Dusty ruins a few arms in Cincinnati. The Brewers & Cardinals can’t get past the loss of their sluggers. The other team with opportunity here is Oakland. At +7500 the A’s have a ridiculously tough hill to climb with both the Angels & Rangers in front of them, but maybe the pitching can sustain itself and Texas & LA disappoint a bit. The rest of the teams simply have no chance. The White Sox, Twins, Royals & Indians are so far behind Detroit that it’s a foregone conclusion that the Tigers win that division. The Mets are behind 4 other NL East teams any of which wouldn’t surprise me if they made the playoffs. Forget Baltimore. They have absolutely no pitching in a division where they aren’t going to outscore anyone. Houston is so bad it’s frightening.

Best Plays: Pittsburgh Pirates +6000, Oakland A’s +7500
Worst Plays: Baltimore Orioles +15000, New York Mets +7500

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February 27, 2012 - Posted by | Futures, World Series

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