Handicapping Flawed AL East Teams for Maximum Profit: MLB Picks

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 1:07 PM UTC

Tuesday, May. 19, 2015 1:07 PM UTC

There is parity in the American League East and if you are putting together MLB picks you have two ways to interpret this and develop your battle plan against the sportsbooks and their betting odds.

You can plow ahead with this collection of teams that all have serious flaws and convince yourself that if you just keep grinding away, something good will happen. Or you could do what smart MLB baseball handicappers realize, opportunities will be available when teams go into hot or cold stretches and get money when it looks to be best available.

Understand this division presently, the first place New York Yankees have the worst record among the division leaders and last place Toronto has the best record among squads in the basement. Check out the overview for each team and what their schedule looks like.

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Yankees – Overcoming Life on the Road
Every team has to go through this and New York is waddling their way through it. From May 1st thru June 3rd, the Yankees schedule featured 22 away contests and just 10 home games, a difficult period. Fortunately for them they have pitching staff that is Top 5 in ERA and OBP and has helped them wade through these treacherous waters.

Having two days off this week will help this weary club, who still needs more from Stephen Drew (.177 BA), Carlos Beltran (.234 BA) and Chase Headley (.236 BA) to be a better offensive team.

The road trip continues with two tough games against the smoldering Nationals, before home series with Texas and Kansas City. Next will follow their first trip West to the Oakland and Seattle before spending more time in the Bronx. The Yankees look like a spot play squad.


Rays – Living On Pitching
Tampa Bay exemplifies the AL East, doing a couple things really well and being below average in others. The Rays are in the Top 3 of the AL in ERA, OBP, OPS and they have the second-best save percentage. In other words the Rays have the pitching to win. Unfortunately, when two of your leading hitters are Logan Forsythe (.300) and David DeJesus (.319) it makes sense you will be scoring four runs a game.

Tampa Bay has a pair of interleague contests at Atlanta coming up, before going home for seven contests with Oakland and Seattle, which appears to be a solid opportunity for MLB picks against the MLB odds in backing them. However, a quirky road trip to Baltimore, Anaheim and at the Mariners might not be so enjoyable.


Red Sox – Trying to Hang In
A strong case could be made Boston should be in last place in the division with a -33 run differential, which is the worst in the AL. Instead of being just a couple games below .500, their profile is that of team that should have a 15-23 record.

The Red Sox just completed their longest road trip of the season at 5-5 and didn’t really lose any ground. Pitching has been a problem since Day 1 this season and while it was generally improved, it still only ranks 14th in ERA.

While pitching is important, Boston plays in Fenway and has the highest payroll in team history because they wanted more offense. Thus far they are averaging 4 RPG (if you round up from 3.97) and this month are averaging a pathetic 2.2 RPG and as a team have two more home runs than Bryce Harper (12 vs. 10). With runners in scoring position the Red Sox are 29th in baseball and not helping themselves.

Maybe coming home will help to take on the Rangers and Angels, but the latter has really been pitching well, before heading out to Minnesota and Arlington for seven tilts. Hard to find many good times to back the BoSox with no offense.


Orioles – Offense Has Disappeared
After scoring six or more runs 10 times in April, more than halfway through May, Baltimore has reached that plateau twice. This has dragged their scoring average down nearly a half a run per game which explains the Orioles losing nine of 13.

Other than Adam Jones (.381 OBP) and Jimmy Paredes (.375 OBP), too many other Baltimore players are not on base and offense is down to 4.4 RPG. Where will the spark come from, possibly playing a lot of home games. On this homestand, in which they are 3-3, the Mariners are in next and in the same boat as the O’s. A quick trip to Miami might prove fruitful before Houston and Tampa Bay are in town to close out the month. You should back the Birds at places like GTBets, only if the offense perks up.


Blue Jays – Vastly Inconsistent
Toronto leads the AL in scoring at 5.1 RPG, yet as we have witnessed all season, they are just as likely to score two runs as they are eight. Couple that with the worst pitching in their league, and the Blue Jays being in last place adds up.

Toronto is averaging 5.0 RPG against RH starters yet is only 11-19 in those contests. Besides their own poor pitching, one 11 run outburst cannot cover up the next three games tallying three times in each game.

Though the Jays are in last, they are not in terrible shape, but a stellar 10-game homestand versus the Angels, Mariners and White Sox might propel them up the standings, if they pitch and hit with consistency.

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