The FIFA World Cup in Qatar is finally upon us after years of anticipation and we're into the quarter-finals, with some huge soccer games set for the knockout rounds. The last eight teams in the tournament contain seven of the group winners, with some highly impressive individual and team performances in the last round standing […]
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Dodgers, Nationals Have Highest Bovada 2015 Win Totals
There can be no argument that the Washington Nationals, especially after signing former AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, and Los Angeles Dodgers, led by three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, have the two best pitching staffs in the majors. Thus it's also probably not a coincidence that the Nationals and Dodgers have the highest posted win totals for the 2015 on Bovada at 92.5.
It's All About Pitching
Both the Washington and L.A. rosters appear pretty much set although that's not to say each club doesn't have questions heading into spring training. For Washington, former third baseman Ryan Zimmerman moves across the diamond to be the new first baseman and Yunel Escobar will settle in at second base in a new-look right side of the infield.
Scherzer's addition gives the Nationals the best rotation in baseball. A group that includes Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez helped Washington lead all major league rotations with a 3.04 ERA last season. The acquisition of Scherzer likely moves promising young right-hander Tanner Roark to the bullpen unless the Nationals trade either Zimmermann or Fister, both of whom will be free agents after this season.
Manager Matt Williams is back for his second season as the helm. In his first year, he guided the team to the best record in the NL. He did that despite having key players such as Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos miss a lot of time because of injuries. Over 92.5 wins is the slight favorite at Bovada for the Nats.
The Dodgers traded outfielder Matt Kemp to make room for rookie Joc Pederson, so he has big shoes to fill in center field. Despite his remarkable season last year at Triple-A, he still needs to demonstrate he’s ready to be an everyday player in the majors. Plan B could involve some shuffling, including playing Yasiel Puig in center.
The Dodgers had trouble filling the innings in front of closer Kenley Jensen last season and must get that squared away. GM Farhan Zaidi said he's confident the bullpen will be improved behind Jansen, "even though we didn't get high-dollar guys." They did deal for Joel Peralta, Chris Hatcher, Juan Nicasio and Adam Liberatore, and the non-roster list includes Sergio Santos, David Aardsma and David Huff to go with returnees J.P. Howell, Brandon League, Pedro Baez, Paco Rodriguez, Yimi Garcia and Daniel Coulombe. Both over and under 92.5 wins for the Dodgers are -115 at Bovada.
Long Season In Philly
The Philadelphia Phillies are given the fewest wins total at 68.5, both -115. The Phillies began their long overdue rebuilding plan over the offseason and more trades of veterans are possible during spring training. Ryan Howard could be flat-out released. The back of the rotation must be pieced together behind veterans Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, assuming neither is traded. Rumors of Hamels being dealt to Boston persist. The Phillies seem to be waiting for the Red Sox to relent and include catching prospect Blake Swihart or infielder Mookie Betts in a potential trade for Hamels.
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The FIFA World Cup in Qatar is finally upon us after years of anticipation and we're into the last 16 stage, with some huge soccer games set for the knockout rounds. We will see the winners and runners-up of the eight groups so far in this competition go head-to-head in the first knockout round of […]
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