Major League Baseball's regular season has come to a close and the post season is finally upon us. The 2012 World Series Odds officially have the (surprise) New York Yankees as the favorites to win. The playoffs get underway on Friday afternoon with both Wild Cards games.

The Washington Nationals finished with the best record in baseball this season, surprising a lot of people by winning 98 games on the season. Despite shutting phenom youngster Stephen Strasburg down because he reached his innings limit set prior to the season, the Nats were able to win the National League East and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2005. Right on their tails were the Atlanta Braves, who finished the regular season with a record of 94-68. They will play last year's World Champion St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card game on Friday. That game will be played in Atlanta with a 5:07 p.m. first pitch on TBS.

In the other Wild Card game, played in the American League, the Texas Rangers will take on the Baltimore Orioles for the right to play the New York Yankees in the divisional round. That game is scheduled for a start time of 8:30 pm on TBS. On the other side of the American League bracket, the Detroit Tigers, winners of the American League Central, will take on the impressive Oakland As, who were 13 games behind the Rangers in the American League West at the All-Star break but rallied to win the division on the last day. In fact, they had to beat the Rangers two consecutive days to clinch that American League West crown. The As are an incredible story and have earned the right to be in the playoffs.

The only problem for the As is that they have to travel to Detroit for the first two games of the playoffs, and it isn't exactly West Coast or Texas weather in the Motor City. It's been in the 50s the past week and the air is considerably cooler than what Oakland is used to the past few weeks. To top that off, the Tigers took the season series from the As, winning four of the seven games played between the two clubs so far this season.

The below odds on winning the 2012 World Series are courtesy of BetOnline.ag, one of the premier online sportsbooks in the world that releases lines worldwide. The Yankees are considered to be the team with the best chances to win the Fall Classic while the Nationals and Reds are the top teams in the National League, according to BetOnline. The Tigers are right behind the Yankees in the American League as far as odds are concerned at 5.5/1. Their opponent, the As, are right behind them. As you can see, the teams in the Wild Card games have the weakest odds to win. Obviously winning a one-game playoff and then hosting the Yankees and Nationals respectively and that puts those teams behind a bit of an 8-ball and the odds reflect that.

2012 World Series Odds

New York Yankees                4/1
Washington Nationals           5/1
Cincinnati Reds                     5/1
Detroit Tigers                        5.5/1
Oakland As                           6.5/1
San Fransisco Giants            7/1
Texas Rangers                       8/1
Atlanta Braves                      12/1
St. Louis Cardinals               16/1
Baltimore Orioles                  16/1

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