By record, three of the best five teams in the American League reside in the AL West. If you believe in run differential like many MLB handicappers do, the three finest clubs are in this division.
This will make their confrontations filled with intrigue and when they match up with cellar dwellers Texas and Houston, they will be hefty favorites from sportsbooks on the money line. Here is a look at all five squads and what their immediate future looks like.
As I have been saying for months, the Athletics have the most complete roster in baseball and while some who even make MLB betting picks are not familiar with their roster, they have collected the wagering profits.
If Oakland was in a major market, the world would know every player and marvel about the talent this club has and how masterfully Bob Melvin has managed this group.
Those pouring over the MLB betting odds daily understand how good this team is with their 57-24 record as favorites (+24.7 units) and being thoroughly dominant with a 28-8 mark in outcomes of four or more runs.
Of any team in visible playoff contention, the A’s have the easiest schedule the rest of the way and almost one-third of their remaining games (22 of 67) are against Texas or Houston.
Los Angeles Angels
Quietly, the guys with the red hats in Anaheim have essentially caught the best team in the big leagues, trailing Oakland by one game in the loss column. Making sports picks with the Angels has been like insider trading, racking up +14.35 units just since June 20, thanks to their 19-4 spurt.
With baseball’s most explosive offense, if C.J. Wilson (when he comes off the DL) and Hector Santiago start throwing to capabilities, skipper Mike Scioscia has five reliable starters and an improving bullpen.
The Halos are a baseball bet 32-15 (+11.9) at the Big A and have a loaded opening homestand, facing Seattle, Baltimore and Detroit. This is immediately followed by a trip to Camden Yards and Tampa Bay, before an I-5 Freeway four-game series with the Dodgers. Let’s see where the Angels are on Aug. 8 after that arduous slate.
There is a great deal to love about the Mariners this season. Seattle has the third-best run differential in the AL thanks to an 18-8 record in contests determined by four or more runs. They are 27-18 on the road (+14.1) and crushing left-handed pitching with a 21-12 mark (+11.5). And their pitching numbers run neck and neck with the A’s for the best in the AL.
Why then does Seattle worry me? The M’s home record of 24-26 is a concern, because you have to be clutch at home in a pennant race and are still scoring under four runs a game, places a lot of pressure on the pitching staff to be nearly perfect every night, which can take a toll.
Seattle has the third-most games remaining versus .500 or better competitors in the league and has three separate road trips into the Eastern Time Zone, plus 16 tilts with the A’s and Angels. Not a road easily traveled.
Texas was supposed to be a contender in the AL West, yet those working the MLB odds early in May understood the Rangers were frauds, lacking the arms to get outs and a choppy lineup card. Texas is 14-32 in four or more run finishes and given who they will start in the second half other than Yu Darvish, the Rangers could finish minus 30 units for the season.
Given the fact Houston has been an underdog in all but seven encounters this season, it is remarkable they are only -2.4 units. Of their 37 outright victories as underdogs, more than half (20) have been at +130 or higher, accounting for their almost profitable season despite their actual record.
But with so-so starting pitchers likely to wear down, a lineup with holes and 23 remaining contests with the three best teams in their division, not sure Houston does not become play against material.