MLB World Series Odds: Los Angeles Angels Team to Beat in 2012

by Bovada Sportsbook

Albert Pujols - MLB World Series Odds: Los Angeles Angels Team to Beat in 2012

The Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno was tired of seeing the Halos’ AL West-rival Texas Rangers reach back-to-back World Series, not to mention the Rangers having dethroned the Angels as the AL West champions the past two seasons.

So Moreno opened his wallet this offseason, and now L.A. is one of the World Series favorites in 2012. Los Angeles is 7/1 to win the Fall Classic on Bovada's MLB futures odds – behind only the Phillies and Yankees – and the 7/2 second-favorite to win the AL pennant.

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Of course the big signing for L.A. was future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols, who brought his three MVP awards and two World Series rings to Anaheim after spending his entire career with the St. Louis Cardinals. All it took was some $241 million over 10 years to lure Pujols. L.A. was just 10th in the AL in runs and eighth in homers a year ago and obviously those numbers should jump with Pujols in the three-hole – he has been good for at least 32 home runs and 99 RBIs in each of his 10 seasons.

The L.A. offense should also improve with the return to health of one-time rising star Kendrys Morales, who now moves to DH. He was coming off a 34-homer, 108-RBI season in 2010 when he broke his left after just 51 games. Morales hasn’t played a games since but is apparently healthy. He should hit cleanup behind Pujols. And Mark Trumbo, who had a strong rookie season, gives the Halos another major power bat at No. 5 – Trumbo is expected to move to third base from first.

While the lineup should be good, the rotation should be better with the free-agent addition of C.J. Wilson, which helped weaken those Rangers. He joins Jered Weaver (second in Cy Young voting last year, fifth in 2010), Dan Haren and Ervin Santana to give the Angels arguably the best Top 4 of any rotation in baseball. That quartet gives manager Mike Scioscia four starters who averaged 232 innings with a 2.97 ERA last year. Closer Jordan Walden also had a strong rookie season ago with 32 saves and a 2.98 ERA. But one concern is that Walden blew 10 saves and posted a 4.35 ERA in September. But it’s his job to lose.

This appears to be the best Angels team since their 2002 victory over the Giants in the World Series. But the AL West should be a dogfight with the equally powerful Rangers. The addition of a second wild card this season could really benefit whichever of those teams finishes second in the division. L.A. is the -125 favorite to win the West at Bovada.

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