Tigers favored over Giants in World Series

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San Francisco won six more games than Detroit during the regular season, but the Tigers are sizable favorites over the Giants in the World Series.

Bovada has Detroit as -180 favorites, which means you’d have to risk $180 to win $100 on the Tigers and means they’d have to win the series 65 percent of the time for that bet to be profitable.

Fresh off a dominant sweep of the Yankees and with a fully rested Justin Verlander matched up against Barry Zito in Game 1 it’s definitely not surprising that the Tigers are favored–Lance Berkman agrees, for instance–but -180 is maybe a little surprising considering the Giants have homefield advantage.

I’ll keep an eye on the betting line to see if it moves strongly one way or another before the first pitch tomorrow night.

Mike Napoli and Rays have “mutual interest” in a deal

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.

Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.

Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.