The Ball Four-cast is our look at the 2012 MLB Season where we provide a bet for every single baseball team. Opening day is April 4th so use these resources to enjoy your summer, knowing full well you’ll have a return on your investment come October.
Say what you want about the NL West but it’s definitely an interesting division full of colorful characters. One team has a long haired pitcher with a medicinal marijuana addiction and another team was just purchased by a Point Guard from across town. It’s clear to Vegas that this is anybody’s division…well, except the Padres. Shall we go west?
The oddsmakers like the Diamondbacks chances this season as they’re listed as 1.6/1 favorites to win the West, second only to the Giants. Arizona won the NL West last season and many of the core regulars that made it possible are back, with some new role players sprinkled in the mix. The 8/1 odds to win the NL pennant are a little rich, especially when it might be hard for Arizona to even get out of their own division. After winning 94 games last year, Vegas is expecting a return to form by placing the total for 2012 at 86, in which I like the under. That being said, with a down year expected, I find it hard for Ian Kennedy to replicate last season’s 21-4 record.
Season bet Ian Kennedy under 13.5 wins
San Francisco Giants
The Giants will be reloaded on offense this year with the return of Buster Posey and the signings of Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera to boost the top of the order. This should improve Tim “Smoke” Lincecum’s Win total with some run support and look for Matt Cain to have a huge season in a free agent year. The odds for the Giants to win the division are 1.4/1, which leaves no room for any action. With a healthy Brian Wilson and if Posey holds up, I see the Giants sailing over the total of 87 wins. Taking the Lincecum over of 14.5 wins on the year is also tempting but I think Cain is able to win this bet.
Season bet Matt Cain over 13.5 wins
The Dodgers have been thrown around like an innocent kid in a child custody battle. Fortunately, a foster dad has appeared and his name is Magic Johnson. Earvin is part of a group that has agreed to buy the Dodgers and he already has showtime in the outfield in the form of Matt Kemp. Matt has set his sights on a 50/50 season which would make the over of 29.5 home runs seem a lock. This is the 50th year for Dodger Stadium and they might finally unload some of the original batch of Dodger dogs. Overall, I think it’s going to be a bounce-back, special year for the Dodgers and when you combine a solid W every time Clayton Kershaw takes the mound and the new ownership looking to make a trade deadline splash, there is a solid bet here:
Season bet Dodgers over 81 wins
Major League 9 could be set around this year’s Colorado Rockies. As the curtain raises, a number of washed up old veterans band together for one last run. Starring in the real life version are Rockies additions Jamie Moyer, Michael Cuddyer, Ramon Hernandez, and Casey Blake. The Rockies rotation must be workmanlike to see any success this year, which is never easy to do playing in Colorado. I think the odds are a little low on Colorado to win the West this year at 4.5/1 and personally I don’t see Troy Tulowitzki matching his 30 Home Runs of last year (over/under 28.5). The breakout star for The Rockies this season will be Carlos Gonzalez, who is 30-1 to win the MLB Home Run Title this year. While I don’t think he’ll take the title, I do like another bet.
Season bet Carlos Gonzalez over 27.5 Home Runs
San Diego Padres
The Padres are in a gap year while they wait for some of their prospects to develop. That being said, they’re not exactly scrap heap worthy. Newcomer Carlos Quentin will likely struggle in the huge new ballpark but that might make him alter his game from swinging long each at bat. Andrew Cashner is a nice young prospect from the Cubs that will help get the ball to new closer Huston Street. Even though this might sound like a promising year, don’t waste your money on the 7/1 division odds. The Padres will be looking to unload after falling far behind the superior talented division teams and will aim to acquire more young talent.
Season bet Padres under 74 wins