World Series Odds: Blue Jays, Tigers lead preseason betting

Al Messerschmidt

Josh Hamilton's decision to sign with the Angels moved the Halos near the top of World Series betting odds boards around the world. But a slew of trades and signings in Toronto pushed the Jays all the way to the top.

It's the 20th anniversary of Toronto's last World Series win and oddsmakers are sticking with the Blue Jays as World Series favorites as we head into march.

The Jays plundered the Miami Marlins - at the urging of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria - and traded for R.A. Dickey as they re-made last year's team that finished 16 games under .500.

While the battle for this year's World Series title should be a wide-open affair, Toronto tops the odds to win World Series 2013 menus at most sportsbooks, including Bovada.lv where they sit at 7/1.

Right behind them, the Detroit Tigers are nestled at 8/1. Armed with Justin Verlander and reigning Triple Crown champ Miguel Cabrera, they pose a real threat.

The Los Angeles Angels haven't made the playoffs the last three seasons, but with the addition of slugger Josh Hamilton to a lineup that already includes Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo, LA tops the betting on many World Series boards at 17/2.

Up the 5 from Angel Stadium, the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have added SP Zack Greinke to their collection of All-Stars, have identifical 17/2 odds on most baseball odds menus.

Ditto the Washington Nationals, who won a ML-high 98 games during the regular season last year.

The Toronto Blue Jays went 73-89 last year to finish fourth in the AL East for the fifth straight season. So why are the Blue Jays among the top teams on every World Series betting board going into this season, at 8/1?

Because they were the high bidders at a couple of fire sales that took place in Florida and New York, picking up SPs Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and RA Dickey and SS Jose Reyes. They also added OF Melky Cabrera, who was hitting .346 last year for the Giants before getting suspended for the last two months of the season.

The defending NL Central champion Cincinnati Reds are listed at around 10/1 on most World Series boards, but 12/1 at Bovada.

The defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants are getting around 13/1 to pull off a repeat.

The New York Yankees, after getting swept by Detroit in the ALCS last season, are 12/1 to win the Series this season.

The Texas Rangers, now without Hamilton, and the Atlanta Braves, with their two-Upton outfield, are both listed at 15/1 on most World Series boards.

The Philadelphia Phillies, who crashed last year after five consecutive division titles, are getting around 18/1 to bounce back and win the Series this season.

And the St. Louis Cardinals at 20/1 and Tampa Bay Rays at 22/1 are also in the conversation.

Elsewhere on the various World Series betting boards the Boston Red Sox, after a disastrous 2012 season, are listed at 25/1; the Oakland A's at 30/1; the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers at 40/1; and the Kansas City Royals and Arizona Diamondbacks at 50/1.

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