MLB Picks: AL East Betting Trends

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 3:14 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jun. 17, 2014 3:14 PM UTC

The American League East might have three teams with winning records, yet it is still the only division with just one club in the black in run differential. Clearly, no easy choices for making MLB picks.

Let’s review what these teams have been up to since the previous post, and where they could be headed in the next few weeks.

Toronto Blue Jays
After their 19-4 Usian Bolt sprint to vault to first place, Toronto predictably cooled down and has won three of their next nine games. The culprit has been the offense, scoring just 2.2 runs per game in this stretch, being shut-out three times.

Baseball handicappers realize the offense is better than what they have shown of late and not as prolific as it was when they could do no wrong.

What you have to like about the Blue Jays is their 19-11 road record, being the most profitable team away at +11.2 units. They will spend the rest of this week in the Bronx and trip over to Cincinnati. Upon returning home, Toronto has a nine-game homestand with a quick turnaround with the Yankees, followed by the White Sox and Milwaukee.

 Baltimore Orioles
The good news for Baltimore is they remain in contention in the division. The bad news is the Orioles are about as run of the mill as it comes when surveying all the hitting and pitching statistics.

When reviewing the MLB odds from the sportsbooks, you have to treat each Baltimore matchup on the merits of both teams, not really being able very often to establish an edge for or against the O’s.

This week they are on the road at Tampa Bay and at the Yankees. A .500 trip at least places them in position for what could be a very telling homestand, facing three beatable clubs over 10-games in the White Sox, Rays and Texas.

New York Yankees
Over the next two and half weeks, watch the betting odds on New York, who will be playing 11 of their next 14 games in the Bronx. Every contest home or away will be versus an AL East opponent, which could work for or against them depending on how they perform.

New York is merely 13-16 at Yankee Stadium (-7.2 units) and needs better pitching at home, where they have a brutal 5.03 ERA. While it is only June, the Yankees will not have a better opportunity until September, facing so many division partners, where they can really do damage. If manager Joe Girardi’s squad can take advantage of this situation, they could be in first place by July or they could be sinking further behind Toronto.

Boston Red Sox
While certainly not out of the race, Boston has to start making up ground before August 1 or it will be a lost season. It might be already with a stumbling offense.

The Red Sox are third in ERA in the American League, but you cannot average four runs a game at Fenway Park and expect to win consistently. This is why Boston is 18-19 at home (-6.3) and if you cannot score at home, chances are the road will not be any kinder, leading to the BoSox 14-19 mark outside Massachusetts.

After wrapping up the homestand against Minnesota, Boston has a nasty 10-game excursion to Oakland, Seattle and back to Yankee Stadium. With sports picks, the BoSox give the appearance of Play Against material.

Tampa Bay Rays
It has already been a long season for Tampa Bay. The Rays are far and away the worst bet in baseball and this has come as a major shocker, when you consider oddsmakers have only made them an underdog 18 times (5-13 record) among their 70+ contests.

As we have documented previously, losing as much starting pitching as Tampa did had to affect them, nonetheless, having the 27th ranked offense at 3.66 runs per outing has nothing to do with the Rays pitching.

Joe Maddon’s team has played somewhat better recently versus similar competition and is at the Trop right now facing Baltimore, Houston and Pittsburgh, which could lead to positive results on the money line. This is still a floundering team with no real signs of turning around their season.

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