Best MLB prop bets for 2012

Tommy Hanson tops a rotation that could lead the Braves to the NL East crown. Daniel Shirey/US Presswire

When you look at the history of sports, you'll always find gambling. The laws concerning gambling vary by country and state, but whether legal, illegal or walking that vague line between, where you see sports, you'll tend to find people betting on those sports.

Gambling is designed to be lucrative for the house, so it's hard to finish in the black. In the long run, the house always wins, so when you're gambling against the house, it makes sense to pick and choose your spots. Vegas' lines are usually very accurate -- while sportsbooks set lines to maximize their payout and not necessarily to pick the correct outcome, the wisdom of crowds can be hard to overcome.

Like a lot of other math-and-sports nerds, I like to put some of my disposal income into making a variety of bets. Baseball seasonal prop bets are always fun because they give you a season's worth of anticipation, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite bets for the 2012 season. I used to the ZiPS projection system to highlight wagers where my projections and Vegas have the widest gap to give you what I think are the best MLB prop bets for 2012.

This is one article for which I have some skin in the game -- I've already placed bets on most of these. So if you follow me, at least we're in it together.

Atlanta Braves (Line: 9-2, ZiPS: 2.4-1) or Miami Marlins (Line: 9-2, ZiPS: 3-1) win NL East