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The pitchers and catchers are in camp and we are getting ready for a big baseball season. We have all had enough of winter, especially those of you back East.

I know for a fact from my trip last week to Steubenville. To warm things up, just in case you have some money to invest in baseball futures, here are some winners.

American League East: This could be the year for betting against the not so mighty Yanks! They will be overpriced as usual, don’t have the pitching, hitting or bullpen plus CC Sabathia has some arm issues and hat issues.

Mariano Rivera is coming back from knee surgery and that puts big question marks on both. A-Rod is out and Jeter is starting to show signs of getting old. Teixeira, Cano and Granderson cannot carry this team. Bet against them!

The new power in the AL East comes from Toronto and Baltimore. Boston is in change with a lot of new faces and a new manager who will need to fit together. It will take time and the Red Sox could challenge, but need to take a wait and see approach.

American League West: Angels-Angels-Angels! With their new TV contract Arte Moreno has buckets of money to spend. Pujols, Hamilton and Trout will supply the power for a great pitching staff.

Oakland and Texas will battle it out for second, but neither has the firepower to match the “Halos.” The Mariners will improve and offer some betting value during the season.

American League Central: The Tigers are the team to beat no doubt. The Royals are making a bid to win it, but will come up a little short. However KC does offer betting value. The White Sox and the Indians will both be around .500, while the Twins will be last.

National League East: Just gotta love the braves with the best young outfield – the Upton brothers and Jason Heyward plus Freddie Freeman at first base. Washington will be Atlanta’s prime challenger, but will only go as far as Stephen Strasburg lasts. If he can go 200 innings and they get big time performances once again from Zimmerman and Gonzalez the Nats will make it very interesting down to the wire.

The Phillies will be right there, but will be sitting in third most of the way and could move into second if Strasburg has any problems. The Mets and Marlins will be also-rans as they struggle along.

National League Central: As much as I would love to pencil in the Pirates to finish over .500 mark I just can’t. The Pittsburgh Post last week, said the Buccos have some hope, but the Central belongs to the Cardinals and the Reds. Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, Bronson Arroyo and Mat Latos provide Cincinnati with a great starting rotation.

If the Reds add Aroldis Chapman to the rotation they may have one of the best in the NL. Joey Votto leads a strong lineup with the addition of Shin-Soo Choo from the Indians. I see the Reds winning the division. The Cardinals are without ace Chris Carpenter for the season.

The St. Louis lineup is a year older and Carlos Beltran will always miss games. Matt Holiday and Yadier Molina are getting up in age. I like the Cards and St. Louis is a great sports city, but the ghost of “Stan the Man” will only carry them to second and a wild card. The Brewers, Pirates and Cubs fight it out for third.

National League West: This may be the best division in baseball. The Giants have won two of the last three World Series, the Dodgers have spent a ton of TV revenue money, the D-backs have reshuffled their roster, the Rockies are always a contender and the Padres can be spoilers.

This year we could see an all LA World Series or an all California one. Yanks-Red Sox may bring in the TV ratings, but the real rivalries are in both the AL and NL West this year.

Next week: Some OVER/UNDER regular season baseball wins. Don’t miss out. Remember the Pirates last year.

Johnny Avello will be having a big free Academy Awards party in the Wynn race and sports book. This will be great fun if you just want to get out and have a good time. He will be offering some great stuff and surprises. Get there early and find a good seat. Never know who you may run into on the big Awards night.

Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper. Contact Richard at [email protected].

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