Every MLB Team's Odds of Winning the 2013 World Series
The 2012 World Series will begin Wednesday night, but for teams of the other 28 fanbases, attention has already been turned to the 2013 season and where their team may be at this time next year.
An offseason of additions and subtractions always changes the outlook of team moving forward, but it's never to early to start looking at team's chances of competing for a title next year.
So here are my early odds on each team's chances of winning the World Series in 2013, based on their current roster. Expect this to change significantly in the months ahead, but this gives you a preliminary idea of where everyone stands entering the offseason.
The Astros will continue their full-scale rebuilding efforts in 2013, and they'll have to do it in the ultracompetitive AL West as they'll change divisions and leagues next season.
They've moved nearly all of their veteran pieces and will continue to funnel in homegrown talent when they prove ready to step in. Expect to see top prospects Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton at some point in 2013, but also expect the team to top the 100-loss mark again.
The Indians took a step in the right direction with their signing of Terry Francona, but the team still has a lot of work to do as far as the active roster is concerned.
They have a nice core of young hitters in Asdrubal Cabrera, Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis but they have absolutely no pitching and little to be excited about in the farm system. Expect Justin Masterson and Shin-Soo Choo to be trade bait, and expect a last-place finish in the AL Central.
Much like the Indians, the Twins' deficiencies lie in a complete lack of starting pitching, and there isn't much in terms of internal help on the way.
However, the Twins do boast an above-average offense and if they can get a few things to break right on the pitching side and perhaps make a signing or two, they could be better off than people may expect. Still not contenders, but with plenty of room to improve in their 2012 finish.
The rebuilding effort is under way in Chicago. With Starlin Castro re-signed and Anthony Rizzo making an impressive debut in Chicago, they appear to have at least two superstar building blocks for the future.
The front office has begun to address the organizations glaring lack of pitching from top to bottom, but they are still a few years away. They're building the team the right way, but don't expect it to be a quick turnaround.
Kansas City Royals
A quick look at the core of returning Royals players sums up the current state of their franchise pretty well. They have a good, young lineup and a terrific bullpen, but zero in the way of reliable starting pitching.
Jake Odorizzi will likely open the season in the rotation and the team could look to bring back Jeremy Guthrie, who was impressive after coming over at the deadline, but they need a workhorse staff ace to anchor their young group.
The debut of Wil Myers and a full season of budding star catcher Salvador Perez should mean an even better offense, which at the very least should mean a better record.
The Rockies were dealt a big blow when they lost Troy Tulowitzki to injury, but the offense was not the problem in Colorado as the team posted an MLB-worst 5.22 ERA this past season.
A full season from Jhoulys Chacin and continued development by Drew Pomeranz and Alex White should yield better results, but the team is in desperate need of a front-line starter or two to anchor its staff.
The Marlins went for the quick hit last offseason, spending big in hopes of opening their new stadium with a bang. Instead they came up short and wound up selling big at the deadline, and they now appear headed for a youth movement.
Manager Ozzie Guillen was fired, and Hanley Ramirez and Heath Bell have been traded. While they still have a solid group of talented young players, they will likely refrain from spending big again this offseason and instead look to implement some of their younger players.
San Diego Padres
The Padres are a franchise headed in the right direction, and their re-signing of Huston Street and Carlos Quentin shows that they are planning to return to contention sooner rather than later.
Their rotation is thin, and in-house reinforcements are still a few years off. However, the addition of prospect Jedd Gyorko (.311 BA, 30 HR, 100 RBI in minors) to the lineup and any improvements they can make to the rotation behind Clayton Richard should mean an improvement over their 2012 record.
This is a team that is capable of putting it all together and surprising a lot of people.
There are few teams in baseball with as bright a future as the Mariners, as the pitching prospect trio of Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton will soon join Felix Hernandez to form one of the game's best young rotations.
On the offensive side of things, the team will continue to plug in homegrown pieces, with shortstop Nick Franklin likely the next to move into an everyday big league job and last year's No. 1 pick, catcher Mike Zunino, on the fast track as well.
They could be a legitimate title contender by 2015, but for now they're still in the early stages of building something great.
Boston Red Sox
It's hard to foresee where the Red Sox organization is headed as of now, but one way or another it will have a much different look to open the 2013 season.
John Farrell has replaced Bobby Valentine as manager, and the team has oodles of money to spend after unloaded the trio of Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford on the Dodgers. They'll likely try to avoid getting locked into more massive long-term deals and as a result they could be headed for a rocky next few seasons. However, if they stay healthy and add a starting pitcher or two, who knows?
Chicago White Sox
Many expected the White Sox to enter the 2012 season as a team looking to sell off some veteran pieces and begin rebuilding. Instead, they made a serious run at a the AL Central title, as a number of players enjoyed bounce-back performances.
There is plenty of good to be taken away from the season, with the emergence of Chris Sale as a staff ace and positive results from Hector Santiago and Jose Quintana in their rotation debuts. However, they remain a team with far too many aging, expensive pieces and could be without the likes of Jake Peavy, A.J. Pierzynski and Gavin Floyd. They're better than expected, but their need to rebuild has not diminished.
New York Mets
The Mets looked like legitimate contenders when they went 46-40 in the first half and entered the All-Star break just 4.5 games back in the NL East. However, they fell off badly in the second half, finishing the season 74-88 for a fourth-place finish in the division.
There is no question they were playing over their heads in the first half, but there is reason for optimism moving forward. Re-signing David Wright and R.A. Dickey have to be viewed as their top priority, but if the team can upgrade their bullpen and the catcher position, they have a number of good young pieces who should only get better. A rotation of Dickey, Matt Harvey, Jon Niese and Zack Wheeler, alongside one of a number of other options, gives the Mets a good foundation for success.
Toronto Blue Jays
No team in recent memory has been hit harder by injuries than the Blue Jays were this past season, and as a result any hopes they had of contending in the AL East went down the drain.
They have a solid offense provided everyone is healthy and Edwin Encarnacion can backup his breakout season. Their pitching rotation has plenty of promising young options. If they can add a front-line starter or if Ricky Romero can bounce back after a disastrous 2012, they have all the pieces to be a fringe contender.
The Pirates have built an impressive lineup of homegrown players, fronted by superstar center fielder Andrew McCutchen and top-tier second baseman Neil Walker. Their rotation will get an infusion of in-house talent as well in the near future with the impending debuts of pitching prospects Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon. Jeff Locke and Justin Wilson are also promising young arms.
With the addition of those young pitchers to the rotation, there will no doubt be some growing pains, but after making legitimate runs at the postseason each of the past two years, they should again push for a winning record in 2013 with room for much, much more if things break right.
Thanks to one of the best offenses in the National League and solid performances from some of their young starting pitchers, the Brewers made a nice run to close out the season. While they came up short of the playoffs, it is certainly something they can build off of in 2013.
With Zack Greinke already gone and Shaun Marcum perhaps departing in free agency as well, they'll need their young starters to come through again. If they can meet or perhaps exceed expectations, the Brewers have the offense to be players in the NL Central race.
The Phillies suffered through a tough season in 2012, and they certainly showed signs of age as no one outside of Cole Hamels performed up to expectations.
That said, they made a solid late-season run and will have a full season of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, barring any further injuries. They're by no means front-runners in a tough NL East, but if they stay healthy they still have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball and a decent lineup.
After surprising to win the NL West in 2011, the Diamondbacks were a disappointment of sorts in 2012 as they hung around in the postseason picture but never really hit their stride.
The team has a good bullpen and a terrific young rotation, which should get even better once Trevor Bauer settles into the big leagues. The lineup has some holes and could certainly use a bounce-back season from Justin Upton, and it will be interesting to see what sort of moves they make this offseason.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays battled through the loss of Evan Longoria to injury this past season, and there is no question that their offense needs to improve to back their impressive young starting pitching.
These odds could certainly shoot up based on what the team does this offseason, especially if they opt to trade one of their starting pitchers to boost an offense that is lacking in impact bats beyond Longoria and Ben Zobrist.
The Orioles entered the 2012 season with the second-worst odds of any team in baseball to win the World Series at 150-1 (h/t The Spread). Instead they managed to make the postseason, as a young lineup and a patchwork rotation won 93 games.
They need to figure out exactly who will be in their rotation, including what to do with uber-prospect Dylan Bundy, but it looks like the Orioles are for real. Their largely homegrown lineup should be even better with a full season from Manny Machado and a healthy Nick Markakis. Expect them to once again be in the hunt for a postseason spot.
The A's roared into postseason relevancy with a terrific second half and wound up capturing the AL West title on the last day of the season. An incredibly young pitching staff, made even younger by the losses of Bartolo Colon and Brandon McCarthy during the season, performed better than anyone could have ever expected.
Bringing back McCarthy would be nice, but even if they lose him their rotation should be formidable for the next decade with all the talented young arms they've stockpiled. They'll need to figure out who plays shortstop and will need guys like Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss to spend the entire season playing like they did in the second half. Still, there's a lot to like about the A's in 2013.
New York Yankees
The Yankees could be headed for a major overhaul this offseason after being embarrassed in the ALCS in getting swept by the Tigers, as their offense went completely cold.
These odds reflect the team as is and will certainly change with their upcoming offseason moves. The team will need to find a replacement for Nick Swisher, bolster its pitching staff, find a catcher and perhaps look to shop the likes of Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson.
It'll be a busy offseason, and I, for one, am curious to see what the roster looks like when they come out the other side.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Much like the Yankees, the Dodgers' odds will likely change following what is expected to be a busy offseason. The lineup is more or less set following a busy year of trades, but the team is expected to add a starter or two off of the free-agent market.
As it stands, their lineup has the potential to be among the best in the league and Clayton Kershaw remains among the best pitchers in baseball.
After holding the top wild-card spot in the National League seemingly all season, the Braves were knocked off in the one-game playoff by the St. Louis Cardinals as their postseason run ended before it got off the ground.
Replacing Chipper Jones on the field and in the locker room won't be easy, and the team also has to deal with the impending free agency of speedster Michael Bourn. However, getting full seasons in the rotation from Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen should make the pitching staff that much better, and Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward should continue to emerge as offensive superstars.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels failed to live up to lofty expectations in 2012, failing to make the playoffs after spending big on Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson in the offseason. However, they have a great core of guys in place for the foreseeable future and they will have a real shot at title contention again this coming season.
The lineup is solid, with emerging superstar Mike Trout joined by Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo and trade candidate Kendrys Morales among others. In the rotation, both Ervin Santana and Dan Haren could have their options declined and Zack Greinke is a free agent, but they'll have the money to either retain Greinke or spend to replace those guys. Whether or not to bring back free agent Torii Hunter is also an important decision.
St. Louis Cardinals
While they came up short in letting the Giants rally from down 3-1 in the NLCS, the fact that the Cardinals were in the postseason to begin with speaks to the type of sustainable success the organization has built.
They'll likely need to find a replacement for Kyle Lohse in the rotation, but aside from that they'll return essentially the same team and they should once again be squarely in the postseason picture next October. If any team has proven that you need only get to October, it's the Cardinals.
After letting the AL West title slip through their hands, then being ousted in the one-game wild-card playoff, it's safe to say the Rangers' 2012 season fell well short of expectations.
Now, the team has to deal with the free agency of Josh Hamilton, as well as Mike Napoli and deadline acquisition Ryan Dempster. They'll need to sort out their starting rotation, and perhaps more importantly find a way to implement youngsters Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt. How the team handles the Hamilton situation will go a long way toward determining their 2013 outlook, but for now 15-1 seems fair.
The Reds were the class of the NL Central from start to finish in 2012 and they benefited greatly from having their starting rotation stay healthy for the entire season. They have top prospect Tony Cingrani waiting in the wings, but they'll return the same five starters in 2013.
Offensively, they'll need to replace or re-sign Ryan Ludwick in left field and will no doubt look for an upgrade in center field, where Drew Stubbs has struggled to make enough contact. Even if they don't replace him and field essentially the same team as 2012, they're good enough to make a run at the World Series.
San Francisco Giants
It's taken winning six elimination games, but the Giants are back in the World Series after winning it in 2010. Their wildly inconsistent offense has hit its stride at the right time, thanks in large part to the heroics of unheralded Marco Scutaro.
It'll be a busy offseason for the Giants, who will need to re-sign Scutaro and sort out their outfield situation with Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera both headed for free agency. If they can bring back Pagan and sign another impact bat to play left field, their lineup should again be good enough to contend, as Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval will be back as well.
The pitching staff will be led by one of the best in the business in Matt Cain and will hope for a bounce-back season from Tim Lincecum and for Madison Bumgarner to pitch like he did in the first half, rather than like he did down the stretch and in the postseason. Still, they've got all the pieces to be right back where they are right now in 2013.
The Nationals came up short this season, but their rise to prominence in the NL East is far from a one-year phenomenon, as they should be among the league's best teams for the next several years at least.
Aside from Edwin Jackson (free agent) and Adam LaRoche (mutual option, likely to decline his end), the Nationals bring back their entire team. With Stephen Strasburg likely to be turned loose this coming season, a healthy Drew Storen, an improving Bryce Harper and anyone they may bring in via free agency, the Nationals should be even better in 2013.
After struggling to secure the AL Central crown before getting hot down the stretch, the Tigers have finally played up to expectations this postseason and have won the AL pennant with a sweep of the Yankees.
They'll return essentially the same team, though they'll have decisions to make regarding Delmon Young (free agent) and Jhonny Peralta ($6 million option) as well as finding a fifth starter with Anibal Sanchez a free agent.
Getting back Victor Martinez will be a huge addition, and if guys like Max Scherzer and Doug Fister can perform up to their abilities all season behind Justin Verlander, the Tigers should be able to run away with the AL Central and again be World Series contenders in 2013.