The Nationals may still have big decisions to make regarding their roster in 2013, but whatever happens Vegas thinks they will be fine either way.
Bovada released betting odds for the 2013 World Series and Washington places right at the top with a 17/2 mark. Tied with the Nats are the L.A. Dodgers, who just added Zack Greinke to their rotation, and the Detroit Tigers who were the World Series runner-ups in 2012.
Looking around the N.L. East, they place the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies at a tie for tenth with each holding 16/1 odds at winning at all. The Mets come in at 23rd with a 66/1 chance and the new-look Miami Marlins come in second-to-last in the majors with 200/1 odds.
The Nationals were the league’s biggest surprise in 2012 and look poised to contend for a title in 2013, most would agree. It appears Vegas thinks the Nats will be even better next season no matter who starts at first base, Adam LaRoche or Michael Morse. The additions of Denard Span and Dan Haren may have helped their cause as well.
The Nats do look like an improved team heading into next season with whatever direction they choose at first. For one, they won 98 games in 2012 despite dealing with major injuries. Second, some of their best players are young and could conceivably be even better in 2013. Throw in a full season by Stephen Strasburg and another step can be taken.
But while the odds of the Nationals contending may be high, sports are unpredictable and anything can happen. In March of this year Bovada had the Phillies as the most likely team to win the World Series and they missed the playoffs. The Tigers and Giants were slotted fourth and seventh, respectively, and both ended up winning pennants. Also included in their top ten before the last season were the Marlins, Red Sox, and Angels.
NOTES: The Phillies are still looking to make changes for 2013 and, according to CBSsports.com, explored a trade for former Nationals outfielder Alfonso Soriano. Philly reportedly offered Dominic Brown to the Cubs, but it fell through and they may look for a cheaper option.