MLB Picks: American League Future Odds

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 5:10 PM GMT

According to sportsbooks, there are only two legitimate teams in the American League with a chance to win the pennant, with four other clubs much further back (by the odds).

Let’s delve into these six squads and try and figure out who are really contenders and which are pretenders.

Penthouse Picks
The Detroit Tigers were the preseason choice against the MLB odds to be the AL champs and still are at +275 according to 5Dimes.eu. Early on it appeared the Detroit would have their division clinched by the All-Star break, but recent developments have at least cast a shadow for the time being how legit the Tigers really are.

Detroit has lost 11 of 15 and their starting pitching ERA is over 6.00 and their bullpen earned run average is only ahead of Houston and Toronto. It is expected Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer will get back in a groove, but does anyone really feel confident about backing this MoTown team at the moment?

A much better value World Series future’s choice against the betting odds is Oakland at +410. The Athletics have the best record in the AL and second-best in baseball and are truly dominant. How so, they average beating opposing teams by a gargantuan two runs a game and are an eye-ball popping 18-3 in games decided by four runs or more. Also, backing the A’s as run line favorite has been a very wise choice since they have the best record in the Majors at 27-21. for a nicely profitable +9.45 units.

No question as very strong value for futures bet.

First Floor by the Pool
The separation in the AL is much larger than in the National League. The next group encompasses the Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees and Toronto.

The Angels are the third choice overall at +700, however, MLB baseball handicappers are alert to the Halos losing seven of their past 10, with the starting pitching ERA up and the runs scored sinking, which all told has combined for a negative 0.52 runs differential change since May 24, explaining why using L.A. with sports picks has been a poor choice.

The Yankees at +730 is merely fool’s gold as they have the fourth-worst run differential in the AL and based on the numbers should be closer to a 25-32 record compared to 29-28. New York’s success is large predicated on a 10-7 record in interleague play, something they always do well at.

Compared to the other two aforementioned teams, Toronto at +750 is a virtual bargain making MLB picks. The Blue Jays have the second-best offense in the big leagues at 5.02 runs per game and led by Mark Buehrle, their starting pitchers have the third-best ERA in the junior circuit and they are tied for third in fewest home runs allowed. The holdback on Toronto is the bullpen. While they are second in save percentage in the AL, they allow opponents back into games with the worst league ERA (4.79) and OBP (.348).

Bates Motel
The defending World Series champions are still on the radar, but just barely. Boston (+1150) is transforming its roster to become younger and the growing pains are obvious with a 10-game losing streak flowed by a seven-game winning streak and next falling twice in a row. The Red Sox are going nowhere unless they do better than 12-17 (-7.9 units) in the mediocre AL East.