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Injuries Starting To Play A Part In MLB Betting Futures

Before the Major League Baseball season begins gamblers have a long-standing tradition of trying to predict which teams will win divisions, and which will fizzle out by year's end. Las Vegas sports books take millions of dollars in bets each season on betting futures.

This year, many of the usual suspects have risen to the top of the standings in the first half of the season. Among the division leaders are the Phillies, Giants, Yankees, Rangers, and Cardinals. All of those teams had short odds to win their respective divisions, and the Yankees and Phillies were World Series favorites.

With the All-Star game less than a week away, injuries have started playing a part in which teams reach their season betting win totals, and which will not. Teams such as the Mets, Cardinals, and Red Sox are all experiencing a tough stretch without some of their top players.

The Mets are as big of a feel-good story as there is in the league this year. New York came into the season with many analysts predicting the Mets would be fourth or fifth in the National league East. The team has dealt with injuries to Johan Santana, Jason Bay, Ike Davis, Chris Young, and now Jose Reyes, yet they still sit two games above .500, and only 6.5 games out of the wild card lead.

Those who bet on St. Louis before the season began received possibly the biggest scare of the year last month. Albert Pujols went on the disabled list with a wrist injury, and was expected to miss two months. Pujols was activated Tuesday by the Cardinals from the disabled list after missing just one month.

Boston had a miserable start to the season, but then rebounded to catch fire and take the division lead in June. By the end of the month, however, the Red Sox had fallen back behind the Yankees, in part because of an injury to Carl Crawford. The prize of last season's free agent class is expected back shortly after the All-Star break.

Cleveland is a team that has given underdog gamblers something to get excited about. The Indians are sitting in first place, on the opposite side of the standings than many analysts had predicted. The Indians have one of the youngest teams in baseball, but have played inspired ball in the first half, and have thus far held off perennial contenders Chicago, Minnesota, and Detroit.

Out West, it is the Seattle Mariners that are threatening to blow up the hopes of bettors who placed money on Texas or Los Angeles. Seattle has one of the best rotations in baseball, with veterans Eric Bedard and Felix Hernandez having big seasons. Rookie Michael Pineda is making a run to be the Rookie of the Year in the American League, and has given Seattle three top of the rotation starters.

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