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MLB 2016 odds: Royals, Cubs among favorites on baseball division futures

The Kansas City Royals and the Chicago Cubs are two of the betting favorites on the odds to win their respective divisions this season.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

With a 95-67 record last year, the Kansas City Royals won the AL Central Division for the first time since the league realignment in 1994. The Royals followed that division title up with a World Series win in October, and they return to action looking to do the same again in 2016.

Kansas City is a +110 favorite on the odds to win the AL Central at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. With a strong young pitching staff, the Cleveland Indians are considered to be Kansas City's biggest threat in the Central with odds of +250. The Detroit Tigers, who had won the AL Central four seasons in a row before losing it last season, are going off at +400. The Chicago White Sox (+600) and Minnesota Twins (+1000) round out the division.

The NL Central was the best division in MLB last season with the top three teams owning the top three records in baseball. But with the St. Louis Cardinals (+250) and Pittsburgh Pirates (+300) failing to do much to improve this season, all eyes are on the Chicago Cubs in 2016. The Cubs are a 4/1 World Series favorite and a -150 favorite to win the NL Central. The Cincinnati Reds (+2500) and Milwaukee Brewers (+2500) will continue to rebuild.

The other four divisions look tougher to predict. The New York Mets have the best pitching staff in baseball and are coming off a World Series berth, making them a favorite in the NL East over the Washington Nationals (+110), Miami Marlins (+600), Atlanta Braves (+2500) and Philadelphia Phillies (+3300). A popular World Series pick one year ago, Washington could be a good candidate for a bounce-back this season with less pressure on them.

In the NL West, busy offseasons from the San Francisco Giants (+125) and the Arizona Diamondbacks (+300) have put these two teams in position to potentially dethrone the Los Angeles Dodgers (+150). The San Diego Padres (+1200) and Colorado Rockies (+5000) aren't likely to factor into the race.

The toughest head-to-head race to call could be in the AL East, where the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox are going off as +160 co-favorites to win the division. Boston should have the pitching edge with the addition of David Price, but Toronto still has what projects to be the best offense in baseball. The New York Yankees (+350), Baltimore Orioles (+900) and Tampa Bay Rays (+900) will try to play spoiler.

Perhaps the most wide open race is in the AL West. The Houston Astros (+160) are just a small favorite over the Texas Rangers (+210), Los Angeles Angels (+375), Seattle Mariners (+400), and Oakland Athletics (+1200).