The Tigers are your 2013 World Series favorites!

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Too soon?

Nah, it’s never too soon from the gambling folks at Bovada.  Before you place your wagers, however, just remember that everyone had the Orioles and A’s in last place this year, the Marlins, the Red Sox the Angels and the Phillies as playoff locks and the Nationals as at least a year away from contention.  Anyway:

Odds to win the 2013 World Series

Detroit Tigers                                         6/1

New York Yankees                                7/1

San Francisco Giants                             10/1

Texas Rangers                                      12/1

Washington Nationals                            12/1

Los Angeles Angels                               12/1

Philadelphia Phillies                               14/1

St. Louis Cardinals                                 14/1

Cincinnati Reds                                     14/1

Atlanta Braves                                       14/1

Los Angeles Dodgers                             18/1

Tampa Bay Rays                                   20/1

Boston Red Sox                                    22/1

Arizona Diamondbacks                           25/1

Baltimore Orioles                                   25/1

Milwaukee Brewers                                25/1

Oakland Athletics                                  25/1

Chicago White Sox                                28/1

Pittsburgh Pirates                                  30/1

Toronto Blue Jays                                  35/1

Seattle Mariners                                    40/1

Miami Marlins                                        40/1

New York Mets                                      40/1

San Diego Padres                                  60/1

Minnesota Twins                                    66/1

Chicago Cubs                                        75/1

Cleveland Indians                                   75/1

Colorado Rockies                                   75/1

Kansas City Royals                               75/1

Houston Astros                                      150/1

James Paxton will “nerd out big-time” to stay healthy next year

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To the surprise of, well, very few, the Mariners didn’t make the cut for the postseason this year. While they threw their hats in the ring for a wild card berth, their pitching staff just couldn’t stay healthy, from the handful of pitchers who contracted season-ending injuries in spring training to Felix Hernandez‘s shoulder bursitis to structural damage in Hisashi Iwakuma‘s right shoulder. Left-hander James Paxton missed 79 days with a lingering head cold, strained left forearm and pectoral strain. Heading into the 2018 season, the lefty told MLB.com’s Greg Johns that he plans to “nerd out big-time” in order to prepare for a healthy, consistent run with the club.

So far, Johns reports, that entails a new diet and workout program, hot yoga sessions and blood testing. “I just think there’s more I can do,” Paxton said. “I haven’t done the blood testing before. Finding out if there’s something I don’t know about myself. It’s just about learning and trying to find what works for me.”

When healthy, the 28-year-old southpaw was lights-out for the Mariners. He helped stabilize the front end of the rotation with a 12-5 record in 24 starts and supplemented his efforts with a 2.98 ERA, 2.4 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 136 innings. Despite taking multiple trips to the disabled list, he built up 4.6 fWAR — the most wins above replacement he’s compiled in any season of his career to date. Had he not been felled by a pectoral injury in mid-August — one that came with a five-week trip to the disabled list — the club might have been been able to make a bigger push for the playoffs.

Of course, even if Paxton manages to stay healthy next season, the Mariners still have the rest of the rotation to worry about. They cycled through 17 starters in 2017 and tied the 2014 Rangers with 40 total pitchers over the course of the season. Per GM Jerry Dipoto, their top four starters (Paxton, Hernandez, Iwakuma, and Tommy John candidate Drew Smyly) only contributed 17% of total innings pitched, just a tad below the 40% average. Finding adequate big league arms and compensating for injured aces (both current and former) will be tough. Still, getting a healthy, dominant Paxton back on the mound for 30+ starts would be a huge get for the team — whether or not the postseason is in their future next year.