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MLB Baseball Betting – Five Things To Watch Heading Into Spring Training

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 2/7/2011 5:12:27 PM
mlb baseball betting

Online betting players are beginning to do their research for the upcoming MLB season as pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report as early as February 13th for some teams, while the rest will be there as late as February 22nd. Here is a look at five major storylines to watch as players start to report, and the start of what should be a very intriguing season for MLB betting players.

Can San Francisco Repeat?

No one really thought the Giants could win their first World Series since 1954, but they managed to come away with it behind some timely hitting and a pitching staff that was brilliant from top to bottom. Now, the Giants may have the toughest job in baseball, and that is to repeat, which hasn’t happened since the New York Yankees won three in a row from 1998 to 2000. The pitching staff is still led by Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and closer Brian Wilson, but the Giants didn’t add any bats, so the question will be, can they get more clutch hits?

How High Is The Ceiling In Philadelphia?

The Phillies are the MLB betting favorites to win it all after picking up Cliff Lee to go with Cy Young winner Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels in a rotation for the ages. Philadelphia was decimated by injuries to their lineup last year, with Chase Utley and Jimmie Rollins missing time, which put a lot of pressure on Ryan Howard. Raul Ibanez also must have a better year, and how confident are Philadelphia fans when it comes to closer Brad Lidge? One thing is for sure: it’s going to be fun to watch the starters, and if all stay healthy, the Phillies will turn their games into a seven or eight-inning affair, which helps out the bullpen, as well as their MLB betting odds.

The AL East Is Up For Grabs

The American League East may be the toughest division in all of sports, and this year is no exception. The Yankees are getting older in the field, they missed out on Lee, and Andy Pettitte just retired, although Phil Hughes looked really good last year. Boston picked up Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, but they’ll need a better year out of Josh Beckett and of course, everyone will be watching to see if David Ortiz can throw off Father Time one more season. Tampa Bay didn’t stand still, turning back to clock to snag Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon, but how much will they miss Matt Garza in the rotation? Even Toronto (getting rid of Vernon Wells’ massive contract) and Baltimore (picking up Vladdy Guerrero) made some moves. This is going to be a wild year in the AL East, maybe more than usual.

The Albert Pujols Situation

Pujols is universally known as the best player in baseball, he has been for a few years now and the first baseman would like to be paid as such. He gave St. Louis a discount on his last contract, and now it’s time to get his money. Pujols wants this deal to get done by the beginning of spring training, and the Cardinals will have pitchers and catchers in on February 13th, and wrapping up on February 19th. Pujols doesn’t want this to be a distraction during the season as he heads into the last year of his current deal, and apparently, the two sides aren’t close on a contract. Pujols is 31 years old, and the Cardinals are likely skeptical on a 10-year deal for $300 million (Pujols wants $30 million a year, which would be more than Alex Rodriguez’s deal). It’ll be interesting to see if this gets done, because Pujols is the key to St. Louis’ MLB betting chances, but will they pay up for him?

Is Cincinnati For Real?

The Reds will be looking towards this Pujols situation after they dethroned the Cardinals in the National League Central, which was the biggest surprise in baseball. Toronto’s Joey Votto won the Most Valuable Player award to lead the Reds to the playoffs, while Bronson Arroyo had the best season of his career, Johnny Cueto showed he was going to be a promising starter, and even though they flamed out in the playoffs, the Cardinals were playing with house money because no one expected them to be there in the first place. Now, the Cardinals may have the toughest job in baseball, possibly second to San Francisco’s quest to repeat as World Series champions: can they do it again? St. Louis will be hungry to get their title back, and that could be the most interesting race to watch for sports betting players.

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