MLB Betting – Do Phillies Deserve To Be World Series Favorites?

March 20, 2012 by Ken Daly 

With the March Madness betting tournament winding down past the Sweet 16, and the MLB regular season right around the corner, baseball fans are already placing their future bets on who they think will win the 2012 World Series. The Philadelphia Phillies are the sports betting favorites at 11/2 odds, moving up a spot from last year’s spring training rankings, where they were second on the list to the Boston Red Sox. Every baseball fan knows the story about what happened to those favored Red Sox last year, and the question now is whether or not the Phillies deserve to be considered the outright favorites for 2012.

The best starting rotation in baseball is certainly a good start, and there is no doubt that Philadelphia owns it with Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Cliff Lee three potential aces that will all pitch for the same MLB club. Factor in Vance Worley after the strong season that he had a year ago as a 24-year old starter that will be mentored by that big three, along with a strong bullpen that added Jonathan Papelbon, and the Phillies undoubtedly have the best pitching staff in baseball. The problem for Philadelphia though could be their offense, which is now likely to be without Chase Utley for the beginning of the year. Utley was diagnosed with patellar tendonitis in February last year, but opted to rehab rather than have surgery, and is now having problems with his knees again in spring training. The Phillies don’t have a ton of offensive depth with  Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollin, and not much else, and after being blanked by the St. Louis Cardinals 1-0 in an elimination game in last year’s playoffs it could come back to haunt them that they didn’t bring in any more power to help in that area.

So with Philadelphia considered to be a strong contender with the best pitching in baseball but some suspect hitting, it is time to consider their top competition. The New York Yankees are listed at 13/2, and undoubtedly have the offense to win games, but their problem may be the opposite of the Phillies with too much offense and not enough quality pitching. The Detroit Tigers are listed at 8/1, but the Prince Fielder signing is a wash without Victor Martinez, and Justin Verlander is a man among boys in their starting rotation. The one intriguing team near the top of the list has to be the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, which are listed at 7/1 Betonline odds. The Angels made a big splash by signing both Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson in the offseason, but the truth is that they already had several key pieces to begin with in Jared Weaver, Dan Haren in the rotation and a quality offense. Pujols and Wilson could very well make Los Angeles the most complete team in baseball, and at 7/1 odds, they could be the team that surprises and comes through to win it all.

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