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Howard, Phillies 33/1 to win Series

Ryan Howard Phillies 2014 World Series odds MLB spring training

CLEARWATER, FL (The Spread) - Ryan Howard is optimistic about his health heading into the 2014 MLB season and apparently so is his team.

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Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg recently told the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News that he's optimistic about the health of his first baseman heading into spring training this year.

"Ryan Howard joined us in the last three games of the season and he looked good," Sandberg said. "Now he's had four months of training and working out in Clearwater. I know he's dropped some weight and doing some baseball activities."

Howard's surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee cut his 2013 season short, which was the second time in two years that injuries ended his year prematurely.

"I think he's going to be on the field and healthy and he's going to provide solid offense for us," said general manager Ruben Amaro. "And I know if he's on the field, that's what he's doing, and we'll win games because he is on the field. ... He's 100 percent. There's nothing medically wrong with him. His knee's fine. His calf's fine. It's time for him to play and produce."

Howard also told reporters that he feels as if he can play 162 games this season and dedicated his offseason workouts towards achieving said goal. He's currently in the third year of a five-year, $125 million contract and has only played in a total of 151 games the past two seasons. If he can stay healthy then the Phillies could be in the mix for at least a wild card spot, although their odds remain long to win the 2014 World Series.

According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, Philadelphia is currently 33/1 to win this year's Fall Classic. The Dodgers are favored at 13/2, while NL East rivals the Nationals are 12/1 and the Braves are 20/1.

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