By Steve Silverman
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One season ends and the new season begins.
While you were busy watching the NFL on Sunday, it may have filtered through that the Major League Baseball season came to an end.
The San Francisco Giants finished the season by sweeping the Detroit Tigers and taking their second World Series in the last three years.
That’s not bad for a team that had gone 56 years since its previous championship.
At that time, the Giants played in New York in a facility called the Polo Grounds. A guy named Willie Mays played center field.
If your grandfather ever told you anything good about the Polo Grounds, he was fudging the truth. That place was a dump, even by 1940s and ‘50s standards.
But we’re not here to go down memory lane. The people in Las Vegas and online who like to offer fans the chance to predict the future have already come out with the odds on next year’s World Series champions.
The two favorites, according to Bovada.com, are the Detroit Tigers (6-1) and the New York Yankees (15-2). The Giants? They are the third choice at 10-1.
If you are of a mind to make a futures bet, think twice about plunking your money down on either of those first two choices.
The Detroit Tigers may have won the American League this year, but they are not a good team. They got hot at the right time of the year. They have the best pitcher in baseball in Justin Verlander and they have two explosive hitters in triple crown winner Miguel Cabrera and the rotund Prince Fielder.
But that’s where it stops.
They play in a weak division and they couldn’t shake the Chicago White Sox until the final week of the season — and they only did that because the undermanned Sox went into dreadful slump in the last two weeks of the year.
The Tigers have no understanding of how to run the bases and they are one of the worst fielding teams in baseball. They got just what they deserved when they lined up against the Giants.
It may be even worse for the Yankees, at least as they are presently constituted. The Yankees have gotten old and their atrocious performance against the Tigers will not be forgotten any time soon.
While there’s no reason to think that Robinson Cano will ever go through the postseason problems that he did this year, what are the Yankees going to do with the likes of Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher?
The Yankees picked up the options for Cano and Granderson, but that latter move is extremely questionable. Granderson is a strikeout machine and he’s not that good in center field.
Brian Cashman is going to have to do a lot better than picking up Granderson’s option if the Yankees are going to be the Yankees.
The American League East will belong to the Orioles and the Rays next year unless the Yankees do something magical in the offseason. They are too old, too injured and they are not good enough as presently constituted.
Perhaps they can play well for a month or two, but they don’t have enough to last a full season any longer.
Why the oddsmakers like the Angels and Rangers as the fourth and fifth choices is beyond my understanding.
The team they list as the sixth choice, the Washington Nationals, probably would have won the World Series this year had they decided to let Stephen Strasburg pitch through the end of the season.
This is a young team on the rise that will play with an edge next year. They appear to have the best chance of anyone of having their moment in 2013.
Who do you think should be the World Series favorite for 2013? Be heard in the comments below…