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  • Play ball    March 31 
The Dodgers will beat the Rays to win the World Series, says sabermetrics

Baseball is finally back. Alright, so baseball has technically been back since the Dodgers and Diamondbacks squared off last weekend in Australia, but the season really gets going Monday with Opening Day games taking place stateside around the league.

The beauty of Opening Day is that every team still has a shot at winning it all — maybe even, with a lot of luck and a big bag of voodoo dolls, the lowly Astros. But of course a few teams are better positioned than others to win the World Series. So who's most likely to go the distance this year?

According to Baseball Prospectus' preseason playoff odds, the Dodgers have a league-best 19.1 percent chance to win the World Series. The Rays, at 10.3 percent, are a distant second. The Dodgers also have the best shot at a title per Fangraphs' calculations (12.9 percent) though the site pegs the Tigers (10.2 percent) as the best team in the American League.

Of course, anything can happen over the long 162-game season. Pretty much everyone picked the loaded Nationals to win the World Series last year; they flamed out and missed the playoffs. And pretty much everyone thought the Red Sox were destined for another disappointing season; they won the World Series. So who knows, maybe the Mets will shock the world and not stink for once. Then again, they are the Mets. So scratch that: I'll guess the Rays beat the Cardinals in the World Series.

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