The Detroit Tigers (+250) are still the top choice in the AL and have given very little indication they will not remain in that position. The offense has picked up, averaging close to five runs a game and the pitchers are now holding the opposition to 3.8 runs a contest. The bullpen still has a high ERA of nearly five, but progress is being made in that area and they already have the largest lead of any division leader, which affords them time to figure this out and continue to beat the betting odds.
Oakland (+450) is the second choice in the AL and after a weekend sweep of Washington is back over .500 at home and will look to match their sparking 13-6 number on the road. The A’s are potent and have the best run differential in baseball and at this time have the fewest visible weaknesses as any squad in the junior circuit.
Room with a View
The L.A. Angels (+650) have closed the gap on Oakland in the AL West and are the top scoring team in the American League. Another huge positive is they have shown the ability to trot out four reliable starting pitchers to this point and like Detroit has possibilities for an improved bullpen.
Boston (+650) has shown signs of life the past week in posting a winning record and if the offense begins to come around as presumed, the Red Sox could take charge of run of the mill division. Certainly not a sure thing for those generating daily sports picks, but the BoSox are worth keeping an eye on.
First Floor by the Pool
The New York Yankees come in third at +600, however in thinking about MLB picks, the pitching ERA is middle of the pack and the offense is in the same range for scoring runs. The sense is because it’s the Yankees, sportsbooks have this team overvalued.
Baltimore’s recent uptick has sent them into first place in the AL East, but few are impressed and they are +1200. For the second time in three years, the Orioles are winning one-run games with unusual regularity at 9-3. Maybe it should be a credit to Buck Showalter as manager, but most MLB handicappers just see good fortune on the O’s side to this point.
Texas (+1000) and Tampa Bay (+1200) remain on the AL radar as contenders but the Rangers offense is no longer in its salad days and the Rays pitching is giving them a devil of a time.