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March 31, 2014

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. Jon Terbush

8:07 p.m. ET
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The final Republican presidential debate before Tuesday's New Hampshire primary kicks off Saturday at 8 p.m. EST in Manchester, New Hampshire. The debate hosted by ABC News marks the first since Monday's Iowa caucuses. Participating are Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Candidates Jim Gilmore and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina did not make the cut.

Catch the full debate livestream below or at ABCNews.com. Becca Stanek

2:19 p.m. ET
Timothy A. Clary/AFP/GettyImages

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced executive orders Saturday intended to ban LGBT conversion therapy in the state, BuzzFeed News reports.

Both public and private insurers are banned from reimbursing the therapy, which aims to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity, for minors. And facilities funded, licensed, or operated by New York will not be allowed to offer conversion therapy to minors.

"We will not allow the misguided and the intolerant to punish LGBT young people for simply being who they are," Cuomo said in a statement.

New York joins Washington, D.C., and states including Illinois, New Jersey, and California in banning conversion therapy. In April, President Obama called for an end to the practice. Julie Kliegman

1:40 p.m. ET

Don't panic, but Twitter might shake up your reverse chronological feed as soon as next week, BuzzFeed News reported Friday. They're already testing a new feature — an algorithm designed to put tweets you want to see near the top of your feed — with a small number of users.

There's reason to believe the switch, which would look a lot like your Facebook feed's out-of-order posts, will be optional:

Twitter declined to comment on feed changes. Julie Kliegman

12:55 p.m. ET

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) is in the middle of dealing with a crisis in Flint, where lead pipes have contaminated the drinking water. While addressing a grave concern in an impoverished city, Snyder celebrated his wife's birthday with quite an upscale-looking cake from an Ann Arbor bakery, MLive reports:

Interesting choice of optics. Julie Kliegman

12:22 p.m. ET
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MSNBC pundit Melissa Harris-Perry called out the Democratic Party on Saturday for a lack of diversity in an "anemic" candidate pool.

"I would argue that for me, Thursday night, watching Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders — we are in New Hampshire — and our party is so anemic. We are down to two candidates, right?" Harris-Perry said. "Say what you want to say about the mad house going on on the Republican side."

For Harris-Perry, the primary field bears some resemblance to a certain other much talked about national event: "It's whiter than the Oscars up in here." Julie Kliegman

11:37 a.m. ET
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You may or may not be excited for football, but chances are you're pretty amped about the food associated with Super Bowl Sunday.

Here are some striking numbers courtesy of ABC News regarding what U.S. viewers are expected to wolf down as the Denver Broncos face the Carolina Panthers:

12 million — Americans watching from restaurants and bars

48 million — takeout and deliver orders

139.4 million — pounds of avocados

1.3 billion — chicken wings, a 3 percent increase over 2015

$15.5 billion — total Super Bowl spending

Happy eating. Julie Kliegman

10:51 a.m. ET

Saturday would've marked Babe Ruth's 121st birthday. To honor The Great Bambino, relive the glory of his first-ever New York Times profile. It's from way back in 1915, and it has some real gems:

The paper of record described the soon-to-be-record-setting slugger as "peculiar" and "built like a bale of cotton."

"What the Yanks evidently need are some peculiar left-handed pitchers," the profile went on to say, to counter Ruth, who then pitched for the rival Boston Red Sox.

Either that, or perhaps they just needed to make the trade of the century. Julie Kliegman

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