MLB: Who’s hot and who’s not heading into the 2015-16 season

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Who will win the upcoming MLB season is anyone’s guess. A raft of off-season moves, be they on the playing roster, in management or in various front-offices makes this one of the more open campaigns in recent memory.

As Spring Training rumbles on and lineups are honed, news.ladbrokes has had their say over who’s hot and who’s not at this early stage of proceedings:

Hot

Washington Nationals: 5/1 to win the World Series

Ladbrokes make the capital’s baseball team the favourites to win it all come November and for good reason.

The Nationals have assembled arguably the most feared starting-pitching rotation since the 2011 Philadelphia Phillies boasted Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt.

A bad sign for the Nats is that the Phillies couldn’t win the World Series with that group, but with Max Scherzer joining Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez there’s certainly reason to believe Washington can go one step further.

Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs: 19/5 to win National League Central

Third-baseman Bryant has set a lot of tongues wagging during pre-season. After lighting up two minor-league levels with 43 home runs last season, the 23-year-old has since struck nine more in the spring to send Cubs fans’ excitement spiralling.

Not

Philadelphia Phillies: 20/23 to win under 68.0 games

That 2011 golden rotation seems a hell of a long way away now, as the Phillies have shed assets in the offseason.

Star pitcher Hamels is all that remains as a positive for a side that are widely regarded to own baseball’s worst record once all is said and done this season.

Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankes: 20/23 to win under 81.5 games

Rodriguez is one of the most recognisable names in baseball, but has been rarely seen around the country’s ballparks for the last two years.

Hip surgery limited him to just 44 games in 2013 before he missed the entire 2014 campaign through suspension for his part in the Biogenesis drug scandal.

As he returns to a likely bit-part role on an ageing offense, how he is received remains to be seen.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.