While March Madness plays out on hardwood courts across the country and the NBA schedule is heading toward the postseason, Major League Baseball is amidst its spring training regime preparing for its 162-game schedule that starts in early April.
The baseball season will soon open and the Los Angeles Dodgers sit atop the futures board on Bovada and sportsbook.com to be World Series Champions.
Last fall when the World Series concluded, the Los Angeles Dodgers were opened on topbet and betonline as well as on other sports books as the favorite at 5 to 1 to win the World Series in 2014.
Since that time, their odds on the futures board have lengthened slightly to 6 to 1. The Dodgers are now co-favorites to win the title with St. Louis.
Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers ace pitcher, and his Dodgers teammates will open the season against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia.
Keeping the Dodgers at the top of the heap has been their ability to stay healthy, especially their pitching staff. Matt Kemp, who had offseason surgery in his ankle, is not likely to play before the opening series. However, he is expected to play for the opening season on the U.S. mainland.
When he returns to the lineup, Kemp will join Yasiel Puig the breakout star of 2013 for the Dodgers, who will look to build from his line from a season ago of a .319 batting average, 19 home runs and 41 RBIs.
In spring training, the Oakland A’s and Atlanta Braves have suffered the worst with injuries. The Braves are currently 15 to 1 to win the title and the A’s are 16 to 1.
Kris Medlen for Atlanta and Jarrod Parker for Oakland are both out for the season due to Tommy John surgery. Brandon Beachy of the Braves will get another opinion prior to getting another Tommy John surgery. A.J. Griffin from Oakland will be out three weeks with elbow inflammation.
Atlanta’s odds are slightly shorter than they opened last fall at 16 to 1. However, Oakland’s were lengthened recently from last fall’s 14 to 1.
These injuries will set both teams back, but are not devastating. Atlanta already has plugged a hole in their rotation by signing Ervin Santana a free agent.
Current odds for World Series in 2014
Los Angeles Dodgers 6 to 1
St. Louis Cardinals 6 to 1
Detroit Tigers 8 to 1
Washington Nationals 8 to 1
New York Yankees 12 to 1
Boston Red Sox 12 to 1
Tampa Bay Rays 12 to 1
Texas Rangers 15 to 1
Atlanta Braves 15 to 1
Oakland A’s 16 to 1