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MLB Season Betting Preview

The New York Yankees’ World Series defense gets going on Sunday with the start of the 2010 regular season. Can the Yanks add a 28th World Series title to their crowded trophy case?

If you want to believe the oddsmakers, the Yankees are destined to win back-to-back title this season. On the latest MLB futures the Bronx Bombers are +300 favorites to go all the way again. With a pitching staff that includes CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and new acquisition Javier Vazquez and a lineup loaded with the likes of Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson, and Robinson Cano, is that even a surprise?

Get the full list of MLB Futures

The only other teams the oddsmakers are even giving at shot at taking down the Yankees are Philadelphia and Boston. The Phillies at +600 and the Red Sox at +700 are the only other teams in the league getting triple-digit odds on the World Series futures.

The Phillies fell to New York in last year’s Fall Classic, but made a play to improve their chances this year by swapping Cliff Lee for Roy Halladay. Halladay’s record of 18-6 and 2.84 ERA versus the Yankees will definitely come in handy if a World Series rematch happens in October.

The BoSox also made some key moves in the offseason, landing John Lackey to bolster the rotation and changing the left side of the infield with Marco Scutaro at short and Adrian Beltre at third. However, the biggest challenge may be replacing the run production lost by the exit of slugger Jason Bay.

In other futures the AL is the heavy favorite to win the World Series overall. The NL’s list of true contenders gets a little thin after Philadelphia and St. Louis, while the AL’s legitimate World Series challengers include the Yankees, Boston, Tampa Bay, and even Minnesota if they can find a closer. No wonder the AL is a -170 Series favorite, while the NL is a +140 underdog at Bovada.

One futures wager bettors should be very interested in this season is the home run leader. Last year Albert Pujols led the majors in dingers for the first time in his career. No one has repeated as home run champ since Mark McGwire did it in 1998-1999, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Pujols isn’t favored to be the home run king again.

The home run favorite is two-time home run champion Ryan Howard at +400. He’s followed closely by Prince Fielder at +500 and Pujols at +700. The home run race was very close last season with Pujols cracking 47, Fielder 46, and

Howard 45. It’s almost a given that, barring a rash of injuries, one of them will lead the majors again this season. Good luck figuring out which one it will be.

If you’re looking for what should be a surefire winning bet take the OVER on Halladay’s win total. His total was set at 15.5 with the OVER listed at -145 at Bovada. It’s not worth a whole lot, but Halladay should easily hit 16 wins as long as he stays healthy. In his last four years in Toronto he picked up at least 16 wins each season. If he can do that for a mediocre Toronto team in the tough AL East he should easily do it again in Philadelphia.