Although the Hot Stove League has just begun there are some outstanding angles to consider as we look ahead to the 2012 season.
One of the best ways to handicap baseball is with a long term outlook and to consider each team like you would a commodity on the stock market. The old adage about “buy low and sell high” certainly comes into play as there are teams that exceeded or fell far short of their expectations and or capabilities in 2011 and that likely means a potential “market correction” on the MLB betting is the place to look for odds for 2012.
A good place to start is with the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals. The Redbirds pulled off a stunning comeback season as they were over 10 games out of a wild card spot with a month to play before catching fire and winning at a 70 percent plus clip in the final weeks which coincided with an epic collapse by the Atlanta Braves in the National League wild card race. With the retirement of manager Tony LaRussa and the unique set of circumstances that surrounded the Cardinals title run it is possible that the Redbirds will be over-valued in 2012 as a “name brand” team that garners plenty of public attention and dollars.
Speaking of the Braves they will also face a lot of skepticism in 2012. The question must be asked as to whether or not Atlanta can recover from that collapse of the ages this past September or if that was a portent of things to come. The Braves certainly must address their anemic batting lineup that offered their solid pitching staff no run support down the stretch. Atlanta must bulk up on run production if they are to get back into the post season and not allow their good arms to go to waste as they did in 2011.
The ultimate “sell stock” for 2012 in MLB betting is likely to be the Arizona Diamondbacks who became a “worst to first” story in 2011 with their long shot run as National League West Division champions. Nobody saw the D-Backs coming and it will be hard for a team that came from the bottom of the division to repeat as champions with San Francisco likely to roar back into contention for 2012.
A good potential “buy stock” in 2012 also comes from the NL West as the Colorado Rockies fell far short of preseason expectations as a team that was picked to win the West but instead ended up 73-89.