MLB

NL West Betting Preview

The Arizona Diamondbacks emerged as a longshot division champion last year and will now try to parlay their combination of good pitching and timely hitting into back-to-back crowns.

But they'll have their hands full with the still pitching-rich San Francisco Giants and possibly even the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are hoping to put the McCourt era behind them.

Here's a quick summary of the upcoming season in the NL West, and a look at the NL West betting board posted at Bovada.

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NL East Betting Preview

The National League East has been in the sole possession of the Philadelphia Phillies for the last five years ans they are favored to win it again this year.

But the Miami Marlins might have something to say about that, as well as the Atlanta Braves and maybe even the Washington Nationals.

In other words, we might get a good race in the NL East this year.

Here's a look at the upcoming season in the NL East, and divisional futures odds courtesy of TopBet.com.

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AL West Betting Preview

Even though it might only come down to be a two-horse race, the battle for the AL West crown this year should be a dandy.

The Texas Rangers have won the West (and the American League pennant) the last two seasons, but their main competition, the Los Angeles Angels, opened their fat wallet this off-season and brought in a big bopper from the National League and stole away one of the Rangers' starting pitchers.

Let the fun begin.

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AL Central Betting Preview

The Detroit Tigers won the American League Central last year by 15 games. Then over the off-season they pulled off a shocker when they won the Prince Fielder sweepstakes.

So Detroit goes into this season as a heavy favorite to win the Central again. Is there any team that might challenge the Tigers? Here's a quick look at the AL Central betting board at TopBet.

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AL East Betting Preview

The New York Yankees are the favorites to win the American League East this year, as they are almost every year.

But the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays, and maybe even the Toronto Blue Jays, are pining to give the Yanks a fight. Here's a quick look at the AL East futures board at TopBet.

New York won the East last year with 97 victories. The Yanks, as they always do, scored a ton of runs, but it was the starting pitching that eventually let them down.

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Bautista leads home run odds list

Jose Bautista has won two straight AL homer titles and Albert Pujols has won two of the past three NL homer titles.

Small wonder they top the list of who will hit the most home runs in 2012 odds lists at most sportsbooks.

Bautista, the Toronto slugger who hit 43 in 2011 after clubbing 54 in 2010, is the 13/2 favorite. He came out of nowhere two years ago and proved is power was no fluke.

Now oddsmakers have to respect him and they give him the ultimate respect by topping this list at Bovada.

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Mariners vs Athletics Odds Preview

The Oakland Athletics look to rebound from an opening game loss to Seattle when they battle at Tokyo Dome on Thursday.

A 3-1 Wednesday night result saw hometown hero Ichiro Suzuki pound out four hits for Seattle.

Thursday's match pegs starter Jason Vargas for the Mariners on the hill facing Bartolo Colon for the Athletics. Vargas brings a 10-13 mark from last year into the game, while Colon was 8-9 last season.

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Seattle vs Oakland: Season opening odds

Baseball wagering starts early with Oakland and Seattle playing a series in Japan this week to kick off the 2012 MLB season.

The battle on Wednesday at Tokyo Dome pits Mariner ace Felix Hernandez against Brandon McCarthy.

The total opened low (7 at TopBet)

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MLB Spring Training Betting

First pitch for baseball's spring training schedule is set for this week, and MLB betting opportunities are ready to launch at the online sportsbooks.

Baseball's exhibition season gets started in the Cactus League on Friday afternoon, with the Oakland Athletics taking on the Seattle Mariners. A line for the contest will be available at Bovada.

Arizona's slate for Saturday then has Oakland at Seattle again, along with Cleveland at Cincinnati, Colorado (split squad) at San Francisco, and Arizona at Colorado (split squad).

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Prince Fielder: Tigers Odds Improve

On Tuesday, the Detroit Tigers were a 14/1 longshot to win the 2012 World Series.

Their starting catcher Victor Martinez blew out his ACL and nobody expected Justin Verlander would be able to carry the team like in 2011.

Then Prince Fielder signed for the princely sum of $214 million over nine years and suddenly the Tigers were 9/1 odds.

Detroit will still chase the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox for the shortest odds in the AL, with the Texas Rangers and Anaheim Angels pushing hard with their offseason signings of Yu Darvish and Albert Pujols respectively.

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