Those making sports picks and baseball handicappers have or should be reviewing the second half of the schedule for opportunities. This is something we will be doing, trying to understand weaknesses we can exploit especially over the next several weeks versus the sportsbooks. Here is what we have uncovered in the American League East.
Like most constructing MLB picks, we were impressed with Baltimore’s closing 10-3 run (+8.15 units) before the break as they built the second-largest lead among division leaders at five games.
The Orioles accomplished this as many of the best teams this year by being confident on the road, where they are 26-19 (+13.2 units) and are the second-highest scoring team at 5.2 runs a contest. Also, the O’s lineup has taken full advantage of opposing right-handed starters with a 39-29 record, making them betting-wise the best wager against the betting odds at +12.6.
We will find out right way how good Baltimore is playing their first 26 games, starting Friday, against teams with a .500 or better record, which includes a 10-game road trip to Oakland, Anaheim and Seattle! Holy Snikes!
Toronto Blue Jays
One of the issues when your offense is built around going yard, you are susceptible to scoring droughts. This is precisely what has happened to Toronto as they tumbled out of first place with a 4-10 record the last 17 days.
The offense has evaporated like a puddle in the desert sun, as the Blue Jays have only reached a five-run or higher total three times in 14 games. Without big bopper Edwin Encarnacion in the lineup, others have to step up and have not.
Toronto has a real chance to get right back in the race, partly because of Baltimore’s schedule and the fact they open a home series against Texas and Boston, followed by a doable road trip to the Yankees, Red Sox and Astros, before taking on the Birds on Aug. 5.
New York Yankees
Manager Joe Girardi is right, “We (The Yankees) still have shot at winning the division”, being five out in the loss column. What you have to ask yourself is how does New York propel themselves into the race?
Their run differential is essentially the same as Boston’s (-37 vs. -38) which points to the Yankees overachieving already at 47-47. Their offense is 11th in the American League and they just lost their best pitcher in Masahiro Tanaka.
The Pinstripes have seven tilts with Texas still this month, along with home games with Cincinnati and Toronto. It would seem the Yanks would have to go at least 9-4 against the MLB odds to truly leap into the race.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox offense has been stuck in neutral all year and with more young players playing all the time, it is a changing of the guard in Bean Town. The Red Sox are averaging 3.86 RPG which might work in Petco Park, but not in Fenway.
Boston will talk about retooling, not rebuilding, but the golden era of Bo Sox baseball is over and they are making the changes which they hope will bring them back.
With nothing to play for but pride, Boston appears to be play against material.
Tampa Bay Rays
The most intriguing aspect of the Rays the rest of this month is will they trade David Price? Tampa Bay is the worst bet in baseball at -22.6 units.
Here is what does not make sense about the Rays this season: They have been favored for a sports pick in 72 of their 97 games (74.2%) and they have lost -21.4 units in this role, with an average money line of -138. Other than when Price has pitched, why do oddsmakers keep making them a betting choice since they are clearly failing?