The Latest Odds on American League Division Winners

Encarnacion
Encarnacion
Edwin Encarncion leads the league with 24 homers but can he lead the Blue Jays to an East Division Title?

The latest odds from our friends at Bovada are out on Major League Baseball’s division winners. Today I’ll be looking at the American League. I’ll give you a breakdown on whether the current leaders are safe bets and whether or not there are teams to consider that could be serious contenders down the stretch.

AL East

Toronto +140

NY Yankees +200

Baltimore +250

Boston +800

Tampa Bay +6600

The Blue Jays have played well in stretches but they’ve also benefited from disappointing seasons from the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. What will be interesting is whether the Red Sox will feel they are close enough to a playoff a spot a month from now to warrant making some moves.

The Rays have already started discussions about moving pitching ace David Price according to ESPN’s Buster Olney but the Rays haven’t gone that far yet. There’s very little chance Tampa Bay is going to make the playoffs so getting rid of Price sooner rather than later makes sense. St. Louis is rumored to be a leading contender to gain his services.

While Baltimore has been fairly impressive this season the real team to watch is New York. The biggest reason is that they will go out and get talent regardless of price to make a return to the playoffs. At this point, I like New York to catch the Jays for the division.

Sanchez
Anibal Sanchez has been great for Detroit since his arrival.

AL Central

Detroit -400

Kansas City +350

Cleveland +800

Chicago +5000

Minnesota +5000

Just when I start to think the Tigers are going to let everyone back in the AL Central Division race then rip off more wins. This is exactly what the Tigers have done as they’ve won seven straight heading into last night’s action. It wasn’t that long ago they lost three of four to the Royals and found themselves in second place.

Detroit now has a 4.5 game lead and Kansas City has stumbled going just 4-6 in their last ten games. Cleveland is 6.5 back but I’m just not sure how serious to take the Indians. They lack consistent starting pitching and while the team is fourth in the AL in hitting, it just hasn’t been enough.

Minnesota is 8.5 back and has lost three straight. This isn’t surprising because the youth movement is on in the Twin Cities and everyone knows it. The White Sox are a little different. They might even be disappointing to put it mildly and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Manager Robin Ventura in some hot water as the season progresses.

I think the Tigers will have some issues especially in the bullpen in the second half of the season, but I like them as a lock for the division title.

AL West

Oakland -250

LA Angels +225

Seattle +750

Texas +5000

Houston +20,000

I’m going to tell you right now that I’m not taking the Astros to catch the Oakland A’s but I like the improvement that is happening in Houston.

Speaking of Oakland, they have a 3.5 game lead over the Angels right now in the West. Both teams have gone 7-3 over their last ten games but the Angels have won six straight games. The A’s lead the American League in both hitting and pitching so it’s no surprise they are leading the West. The Angels aren’t far behind in either category so I like this race to continue into the early fall.

Seattle has managed to stay close and is just 6.5 games back but will they have the horses to contend down the stretch? Texas has been hit too hard by injuries and has had really poor pitching. I don’t see them being a factor.

I believe Oakland will hang onto this division but I also like the Angels to get a Wild-Card.

 

Updating Baseball’s World Series Favorites

Hudson
Hudson
Tim Hudson leads the Giants in quality starts and has a 7-2 record this year.

We are a little less than a month away from Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game and already we have division leaders separating themselves from the pack. We also have races heating up that should last throughout the summer and right into September. The latest odds on who will take home the World Series Trophy are out from our friends at Bovada.

I’m telling who you should strongly consider and who you should say ‘no thanks’ to so let’s get to it.

San Francisco 11/2 – The Giants lead the National League West by five games over the LA Dodgers. Many are expecting LA to heat up again as they did last year this time but these Giants seem to have staying power. They aren’t in the top five in batting or pitching but they are doing all of the little things correctly. They are limiting opponents’ batting while taking advantage of opponents’ pitching later in games.

Oakland 6/1 – It’s not a secret as to why the Athletics are leading the American League West and are currently the AL’s top favorite to win the title. Oakland leads the Majors in both hitting and pitching. Pretty simple right? The A’s also have MLB’s best road record (tied with MIL at 23-14) which gives them the confidence they need to get things done in the playoffs.

Verlander
Justin Verlander was rocked again this week and that has become the norm rather than the exception this season.

Detroit 16/2 – Lets get to the heart of this team right now; they are not winning the World Series. The last six weeks has proven that General Manager Dave Dombrowski has once again failed to address the bullpen problems and that will cost this team. Throw in the fact that Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer have been terribly inconsistent as starters and you’ve got a real problem. The Tigers fell out of first place last night for the first time all season and don’t be surprised if the slide continues.

Toronto 8/1 – The Blue Jays have recently cooled off after an extremely hot run but they still lead the AL East by three and half games over second place New York and by four games over the Orioles. Toronto currently ranks third in batting which has been their overwhelming strength so far this season because their pitching isn’t exactly on par with the team’s overall performance. The Jays currently rank 22nd in the Majors in team pitching and if this team is to be taken seriously then that will have to improve.

LA Dodgers 9/1 – The Dodgers rank ninth in batting and 13th in pitching and have that five game deficit in the NL West. Colorado is in third, nine games out of first so I this division as a two-horse race. A lot was made of the Dodgers’ epic run last year (41-8 at one point) and that’s pertinent here because the Giants have lost four straight games while the Dodgers are in the midst of a 7-3 stretch in their last ten games. I think this will be one of the top two races down the stretch in Major League Baseball and if the pitching comes around more than look out.

St. Louis 9/1 – The Cardinals have won five straight games and have a streak of eight wins over their last ten games. After seeing the Milwaukee Brewers come flying out of the gate in the National League Central, the Cards have slowly made up ground behind their league-leading pitching staff. Pitching, as most of you know, can typically carry you further than top hitting. St.Louis still needs to improve upon their 25th position in the Majors in hitting if they are going to make another run to the World Series.

My top pick: Oakland

Team to run and hide from: Detroit