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Friday, April 25, 2014

Who is going to win this year's World Series?

The 2013 season was one of the most exciting in recent memory as a number of surprise teams emerged to challenge for baseball’s greatest prize.

So as the 2014 Major League Baseball season takes shape and punters try their hands at betting on baseball (don’t forget Spreadex is the only firm to offer both baseball spread betting and baseball fixed odds betting from the same account) we take a look at some of the main contenders for this year’s Fall Classic.

Boston Red Sox
The reigning World Series champions have spent much of the off-season trying to mould a roster that will help them repeat their 2013 success. Although centre-fielder, Jacoby Ellsbury was lured away by the Yankees, the Red Sox have a number of younger players coming through the ranks such as centre-fielder Jackie Bradley Jr and shortstop Xander Bogaerts. The pitching also remains strong with veterans Jon Lester and John Lackey leading a formidable line-up. But although the future looks bright, a successful run at the 2014 World Series might be too much to ask this season.

Washington Nationals
Although the Nationals struggled for the first half of last season, they recovered to post a 26-12 record in the final 38 games – the highest in baseball. Washington boasts an outstanding four-man rotation which includes Stephen Strasburg and new acquisition Doug Fister. Their batting line-up is also impressive with big hitters like Jayson Werth and MVP nominee Bryce Harper. Although the bull-pen may be short on quality relief pitchers, the Nationals have a deep, talented roster. They’re also in one of the weakest divisions in baseball, the National League East which bodes well for any World Series aspirations they might have.

St Louis Cardinals
Runners-up in 2013, the Cardinals are well-placed to mount another campaign at the World Series. The team has arguably the most depth in the game with no less than eight pitchers capable of starting games. Their outfield is also loaded with talent – so loaded in fact, that one of baseball’s most exciting prospects, Oscar Taveras, will have to make do with Triple A baseball for the time being. The offseason signings of Johnny Peralta and Peter Bourjos have also gone a long way in addressing the team’s weak spots. And despite a strong National League Central, the Cardinals should have little trouble in reaching the playoffs.

Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays have been World Series contenders for a number of years. Unfortunately, the presence of the Yankees and Red Sox in the same division has curtailed their World Series ambitions thus far. But with a possible transition year in the offing for the Red Sox and a Yankees team that is still flawed despite big offseason signings, it may very well be the Rays’ time. They managed to retain the services of star pitcher David Price who heads a solid pitching rotation featuring Alex Cobb and Matt More. The addition of Logan Forsythe, Heath Bell, and Juan Carlos Oviedo will also help the Rays remain very competitive against the star-laden Yankees and Red Sox.

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