Daily Distractions: The Dodgers are the new World Series favorites.

Yasiel Puig fans

Dodgers fans have pushed the team to first in Major League Baseball in attendance. (John McCoy/Staff Photographer)

The Dodgers’ fortunes came full circle today, when online oddsmaker Bovada released its list of World Series favorites with the Dodgers on top at 9 to 2.

To recap, then:

The Dodgers have gone from the preseason favorites with baseball’s highest payroll, to midseason busts on the verge of firing their manager, to favorites once again by winning 40 of 48 games.

Friday served as a reminder of how things might have been when the Philadelphia Phillies, the Dodgers’ weekend opponent, fired manager Charlie Manuel with 40 games left in their season. Ryne Sandberg will take over on an interim basis.

It was supposed to be Don Mattingly not long ago. Now it’s Mattingly who will be opposing Jim Leyland from the opposite bench in the 2013 World Series, if these odds are any indication:

Los Angeles Dodgers   9/2
Detroit Tigers    5/1
Atlanta Braves    13/2
Boston Red Sox    15/2
St. Louis Cardinals    10/1
Tampa Bay Rays    11/1
Texas Rangers    11/1
Cincinnati Reds    12/1
Oakland Athletics    12/1
Pittsburgh Pirates    12/1

On a related note, Gary Sheffield is buying in. He tells Dodgers Nation: “I think they have the chips to make it.”

Some bullet points for the weekend:


• As predicted here: ESPN selected the Dodgers-Reds game on Sept. 8 at Great American Ball Park for its 5 p.m. Sunday Night Baseball broadcast. There will be others.

• In that story, I mentioned that Kobe Bryant joined the #Vote4Puig movement. Left on the cutting room floor (just kidding, newspapers don’t have those anymore) were these tweeters: George Lopez, Samuel L. Jackson, Funny or Die, the Young and Reckless, Josh Groban, Alyssa Milano, Pau Gasol, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Olivia Munn, Larry King, Jason Bateman, Adam Devine, Terrell Owens and Rob Delaney.

• The photo above was pulled from this photo gallery by John McCoy, whose tireless passion and expensive lens might have captured you in the stands at a recent Dodgers game!

• A day after Jerry Hairston Jr.’s comebacker hit him in the groin, Mets reliever LaTroy Hawkins said he isn’t about to start wearing a cup. (Note the very-New-York-Post URL “Cup? Are You Nuts?”)

The Pacific Coast League is realigning.

R.I.P. Marty Adler, who kept the Dodgers alive in Brooklyn, one student at a time.

MLB.com went to the Dominican Republic to talk to Cuban-born baseball players about something Yasiel Puig won’t — leaving Cuba.

Alex Rodriguez providing the names of fellow Biogenesis clients to the media raises a big problem for the MLB Players’ Association.

• Looking for the connection between ACES, the agency that represents Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis, and Biogenesis? MLB thinks they’ve found the man and are targeting Juan Carlos Nuñez, writes the New York Daily News.

• Vex Ruffin must be a new act to Peanut Butter Wolf’s label, Stones Throw Records, because I’ve never heard of them until a bunch of tracks just popped up on my SoundCloud. “No Escape” is my definition of a guilty pleasure — mindless, but for some reason I want to listen to it again:

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