Ryan Howard Continues to Impact Baseball Odds for Phillies

Baseball odds continue to favor the Philadelphia Phillies and one reason why is their man at first base, Ryan Howard.

The slugger is going to be with the Phillies for a long time as he signed a five-year contract extension that will keep him with the Phillies through 2016.  The Phillies are the favorite in baseball lines to win the National League again this season.

Baseball odds list Philadelphia at 4-1 to win the World Series.  The Phillies have perhaps the best first baseman in the game in Ryan Howard and one of the best pitchers in the game in Roy Halladay.  They definitely look like World Series contenders again this season.  Locking up Howard for the long term also seems like a good move.

Howard is now guaranteed at least $125 million.  He will be paid $20 million for the 2012 and 2013 seasons and $25 million for each season from 2014-16. Howard's sixth-year option is worth $23 million.  There are other incentives in the contract as well and Howard also has a limited no-trade clause.

Howard is 30-years old and considered one of the premier home run hitters in baseball.  He is in fifth place on the Phillies' all-time home run list at 225. He won the National League MVP award in 2006 as he set the Phillies single-season club record with 58 home runs. Last year he made history as he reached the 200-career home run mark in fewer games than anyone in history. He was great least season in the National League Championship Series and won the MVP.  He holds the Phillies record for most post-season RBIs with 27.  Even though the Phillies lost to the Yankees in the World Series it was still another successful season a year ago for the Phillies and they look even better this season.

The Phillies are doing pretty much exactly what they did a year ago in baseball odds. They have a very potent offensive lineup.  Even with Jimmy Rollins out of the lineup with an injury the Phillies can still score runs.  With Howard in the middle of the lineup the Phillies can dominate many teams in run scoring.  Now that they have Roy Halladay, the Phillies can also dominate many teams in the pitching department. It all adds up to the Phillies being a series World Series contender in baseball lines again this season.