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2012 MLB Free Agent Betting Predictions – Top Major League Baseball Free Agents For 2013

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 10/30/2012 6:04:40 PM

The end of the World Series has officially brought about the hot stove portion of the baseball calendar. Which high-profile players will go on the market? The maneuvering to reshape rosters for the coming 2013 season is already beginning. Here's an overview of the free-agent landscape as October ends, November arrives, and the hot stove heats up.
Betting experts are quite aware that the two biggest names on the free-agent market are Texas Ranger outfielder Josh Hamilton and Los Angeles Angel starting pitcher Zack Greinke. Hamilton is an imposing hitter, but his time with the Rangers is up after injuries and then an alarmingly indifferent September at the plate made him a value-negative presence in the Texas batting order. Hamilton did not fight very hard in a number of his at-bats during the Rangers' collapse, punctuated by a loss to the Baltimore Orioles in the American League's one-game wild-card playoff on Oct. 5.

The spectacular nature of Hamilton's implosion – which also included a horrible fielding error in game 162 of the regular season against the Oakland Athletics, enabling the A's to mount a comeback and win the division – virtually guarantees his presence on the free-agent list. Hamilton, who has battled alcohol addiction in the past, will likely benefit from a change of scenery. His time in Texas has brought forth some of the best baseball of his career, but it has also witnessed some traumatic experiences and sharp reversals of fortune.

You don't have to be an mma betting expert to realize that among starting pitchers, Greinke is going to be a hot commodity. He isn't quite the dominant force he was with the Kansas City Royals, but he turned in solid work for the Angels and is still a guy who can throw seven strong innings any day he gets the ball from his manager. For the right price, Greinke would make a great No. 3 starter in a pitching rotation on a club loaded with quality arms. He would be a decent No. 2 starter for a downmarket club that stands in dire need of reinforcements.  

While some people focus on NFL betting, the baseball junkies in America will focus on the other free-agent names behind Hamilton and Greinke. Outfielder B.J. Upton will be the latest member of the cash-strapped Tampa Bay Rays to seek a big payday on the open market. He's not an elite player, but his talent is going to be hard for some team to pass up. He's only 28 years old, which means that a team in search of a spark can reel him in and hope that the next four years will be prosperous with Upton in left or center field.

Michael Bourn, the speed-burner and leadoff hitter who has clearly improved the Atlanta Braves' offense over the past few seasons, will make an attractive addition to another team's batting order. Jake Peavy, the solid starting pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, will put himself on the market at age 31, with more fuel definitely left in his tank. Nick Swisher and Hiroki Kuroda of the New York Yankees will be in the free-agent mix. David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox and Anibal Sanchez of the Detroit Tigers will find their way into this conversation as well.



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