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May 31st MLB news ... Welcome to Baseball betting odds online, the home for those that love to bet on baseball.
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Whether you are a recreational bettor or a seasoned pro, this site will assist you in increasing your winnings over the long run.
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AL Playoff Races
Now that the All-Star game has passed and the trade deadline is approaching, all eyes in baseball are focused on the pennant races. As “the dog days of August” approach, here’s a look at what baseball fans can expect to see in the American League divisional and wild card races.
AL West: Texas has continued to separate from the rest of the pack, now holding a seven game lead over Los Angeles. Seattle has fallen 19 games back and is out of the race after a dismal offensive showing this season. For a while, it appeared to be a two-team race between Texas and Los Angeles, who has had a stranglehold on the division in recent years. However, Oakland has shown signs of life, winning 8 of their last 10 games to claw within 7 ½ games of Texas.
As of now, it appears to be the Rangers’ division to lose. Led by Josh Hamilton and Vladimir Guerrero, they have one of the best offenses in baseball. Their starting pitching has been decent but it got a huge boost with the addition of Cliff Lee, who will give them an undisputed ace with experience pitching in big games. The Angels figure to have a better shot than Oakland but they will need to start hitting and improve on their .257 team batting average. The bold acquisition of pitcher Dan Haren shows they haven’t given up. Despite this persistence, they can be expected to eventually fall short of Texas. The line at www.sportsbook.com on the Angles winning the AL West is +1500, and for a team who has won the division so many times as a baseball bettor you know they know how to win it.
AL Central: With three teams bunched within two games of the division lead, this may be the tightest division in all of baseball. The Chicago White Sox hold a very tenuous one game lead over Minnesota, with Detroit two back.
This one figures to be competitive all the way to the end as none of the three teams have a distinct advantage. The White Sox seem to be the most well rounded of any team, led by three very powerful bats and a well-balanced starting rotation. However, it’s been a few years since they’ve been in contention so there’s no telling how the inexperienced players will respond to the added pressure. Led by two of the best players in the American League, Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer, Minnesota knows what that feeling is like, too, having missed the playoffs every year since 2006. The Tigers have an MVP and Triple Crown candidate in Miguel Cabrera and will be desperately trying to atone for last year’s late-season collapse; the biggest question mark for them is inexperienced starting pitching. This division is so hard to call and it may even come down to the last day but in the end, I give a slight edge to Minnesota.
AL East: Few people would argue with the opinion that this is the best division in baseball, especially with three teams who can call themselves championship contenders. Unfortunately, only a maximum of two can make it to the playoffs so either New York, Boston, or Tampa Bay will be left out. The Yankees are currently in control of the division and it would be hard to envision them missing the playoffs altogether. They currently have the best record in baseball to go along with a potent lineup, a good corps of starting pitchers, and the best closer in baseball. Tampa Bay is three games behind them and holds baseball’s second best record. The Rays starting pitching has been outstanding and if their offensive production increases just a little, they could challenge the Yankees. The real unlucky team in this division is the Red Sox, who are eight games back but would be leading the AL Central with their 55-44 record.
The Red Sox could make a run at the division but in the end, their best chance will be to win the wild card. Their line at www.sportsbook.com is +3000 to win the AL East this year, which is a very intriguing baseball bet. If they do end up as the wild card that leaves the Yankees and Rays for the division and I smell an upset here. The Rays have been one of the top two teams in baseball thus far with an offense that has largely underachieved. If players like Carlos Pena, B.J. Upton, and Jason Bartlett can get things going, the Rays will win at a greater pace than before. The Yankees just lost Andy Pettitte to the DL and it’s unclear how long he’ll be out; he has been the Yankees best pitcher and his absence could really hurt. Also, the Yankees are an older team and in the past, they’ve begun to rest players once it’s clear they’ll make the playoffs. If they clinch a playoff spot early and the past holds, they may ultimately not care if they’re the AL East champion or Wild Card winners.
Wild Card: That effectively leaves the Red Sox and Yankees for the wild card.
Although other teams are within range of the Red Sox, it’s unlikely that they’ll sustain the same pace for an entire year. The Red Sox have tremendous team power and a good group of starting pitchers but they’ve simply had too many injuries this year. Daisuke Matsuzaka and Josh Beckett were supposed to be big contributors on the mound but have missed significant time, as have Jacoby Ellsbury and former MVP Dustin Pedroia. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Red Sox make a run but the injuries have caused a deficit to the Yankees that will ultimately be too much to overcome.
Weekend MLB matchups
For a matchup in the west, fans will be looking towards San Francisco and Colorado this weekend. Normally nowhere near the top, San Francisco is enjoying a nice start to their season, 4 games ahead of the Dodgers and Colorado is in the perfect position to take over that spot as they are just one game behind. Check out the lines at www.sportsbook.com where everybody bets.
The Rockies find themselves with a bit more of a disadvantage given the current holes in their pitching lineup. With 2 starters on the disabled list, including Jorge De La Rosa, they are likely to start Esmil Rogers on Saturday. With only one start last season it will be interesting to see how he handles the pressure. And don’t forget, the team is still spinning from their first ever no-hitter. Not a bad way to kick off the 2010 season.
The Giants will likely open with Matt Cain, who has an 8-6 record with the Rockies. Having faced the Rockies more than any other club, 18 times, he should be able to walk out with confidence, knowing he is the more experienced pitcher. Cain has a good shot of taking this home field advantage and advancing his record against Colorado.
Sunday, the Rockies will probably plan Jhoulys Chacin who is coming off a great win against the Diamondbacks (12-1). He has proven his ability to master the fastball at this level and might just be able to work his magic again against the Giants.
That being said, the Giants will be bringing out Jonathan Sanchez, whose amazing statistics might be enough to rattle the young pitcher. Having logged his first every back-to-back double digit strikeout games against Pittsburgh and Sand Diego he is itching to improve his record against the Rockies.
The Giants have started their season hot. The Rockies have been contenders for the past few years and the Giants are working hard to prove they are worthy of their position. They know working the numbers this early in the season could help to promote their confidence as a team as well as, hopefully, drum up some fan support. I think the Giants will do anything they can to keep their current position over the formerly dominating force of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Look for them to be on fire this weekend.
As for the Rockies, it’s a rough road back when you are dealt such harsh blows early in the season. Their pitching staff has taken a major hit. But like many before them, they might just be in the position to see their club come through by calling up young talent. Starting brings pressure, but these guys are hungry. If they can stay focused they might just prove themselves as the right man to fill out the pitching staff.
Giants pitching staff need to watch out for Ian Stewart and Clint Barnes. Ian is hitting at .310 right now and some think Clint is ready for his next home run. The Rockies should look out for Eli Whiteside who has been on a bit of a hot streak, taking advantage of runners on base to make the Giants leap ahead.