Most of the usual suspects top the odds when it comes to MLB futures action, but where might the value lie on the updated pennant betting boards?
The Detroit Tigers top the betting in the American League at odds of 9/2. Detroit has made the playoffs the last three seasons, and won the pennant two years ago. As well, the Tigers still own one of the best starting rotations in baseball, even after trading Doug Fister.
The defending champion Boston Red Sox come next in baseball pennant odds for the AL 6/1. Boston bounced back last year after a dismal 2012 season to win it all, taking the pennant at odds of 15/1. Can the Sox avoid a letdown this year?
The New York Yankees missed the playoffs last year, so they broke out the checkbook and bought Dustin Pedroia, Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Masahiro Tanaka.
The Yankees now go off this season as a 13/2 choice to win the American League.
Those pesky Tampa Bay Rays, who have won at least 90 games each of the last four seasons, are also getting 13/2 to win the pennant.
The Texas Rangers, with four straight playoff appearances, come next at 8/1. And the Oakland A's, who have won the AL West but lost to Detroit in the ALDS the last two seasons, are getting 9/1 odds to win the American League pennant this season.
The Los Angeles Angels, who haven't made the playoffs in five years, come next at 11/1, followed by, among others, the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays at 14/1, the Kansas City Royals at 16/1 and the Cleveland Indians at 18/1.
Over in the Senior Circuit the Los Angeles Dodgers, they of the largest payroll in the major leagues, lead the betting at 11/4. Los Angeles got to the NLCS last year before falling to St. Louis.
Any betting exuberance toward the Dodgers, though, might be tempered by the news that Los Angeles had to place two-time Cy Young Award winner Clay Kershaw on the DL with a sore back.
In fact, the Dodgers were listed at 3/1 to win the pennant just a few days ago, so they've already seen their pennant odds get longer.
The pitching-rich Washington Nationals are the second pick on the board at 4/1. Washington began last season as the favorite to win the National League, then missed the playoffs.
The defending National League champion Cardinals come next at 9/2. St. Louis won a league-high 97 games last season, then claimed its second pennant in the last three seasons at odds of 10/1, before falling to Boston in the World Series.
The San Francisco Giants follow at 8/1. San Francisco won the World Series in 2010, then missed the playoffs, then won the Series in 2012, then missed the playoffs last year. Do we spot a trend?
And the Atlanta Braves, who have made the playoffs three of the last four seasons but haven't been able to get past the divisional round, are also getting 8/1.
The Cincinnati Reds, who have also made the playoffs three of the last four years, come next at 12/1, followed by, among others, the Pittsburgh Pirates at 14/1 and the Philadelphia Phillies at 20/1.
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