MLB Picks: Betting Trends in the AL West

Doug Upstone

Thursday, May 22, 2014 12:25 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 22, 2014 12:25 PM UTC

The American League West is starting to look like California Chrome at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, with the leader pulling away, which will raise the betting odds on the favorite. We are here to help you determine if they should be among your sports picks.

Oakland A’s
“Godzilla” may be in the theaters, but he also seems to wreaking havoc on the baseball diamond. The Athletics have been dominating the competition, winning by over two runs a contest, leading to them easily being the top team in The Majors in run differential. 

Thought far from a “public” team, oddsmakers have been inching up the MLB odds on Oakland, as more bettors are jumping on the MLB bandwagon for a complete club that is seldom losing. The only ordinary aspect of the Athletics is their home record as 12-10, where they will return to on Memorial Day, after finishing road trip in Toronto. Oakland will be tested at the Coliseum facing Detroit four times and weekend series with the Angels.

Los Angeles Angels
If there is club who could present a challenge to the A’s it’s the Angels. The team from Anaheim, similar to their rivals, has not played well at home at 13-12, and is in the red for backers using them for MLB picks. Nonetheless, the everyday lineup has been one the best in baseball all year, averaging five runs a game, and manager Mike Scioscia has been unafraid to use younger players to improve his depth, with mostly positive results. 

Right now the weaknesses are in the pitching staff, with an unsettled bullpen and a search for a competent No. 5 starter. The only other hurdle is mental, as this team lacks the fire against top competitors and will play down to weaker teams. 

The Halos have three more contests at the Big A against Kansas City, before heading out on an important divisional road trip which will take them to Seattle, Oakland and Houston. 

Seattle Mariners
For those who saw the Mariners in the spring, you realized they would be improved after not finishing close to .500 in four years. Robinson Cano has been the professional player everyone expected in the Northwest, and though his power numbers are down (two homers), his batting average and on-base percentage have been tremendous.

One area the Seattle front office was hoping for is their core of homegrown players would follow Cano’s lead, but that has not happened. While the season is just over a quarter of the way complete, Dustin Ackley, Justin Smoak, Kyle Seagar and Michael Saunders are putting up the same dismal digits of previous years, which makes MLB baseball handicappers wonder if this contingent is just run of the mill. 

The Mariners are just 8-10 at Safeco Field and have a massive 11-game homestand versus the Astros, Angels and Tigers to show they are better than what they shown thus far.  

Texas Rangers
It has been a rough go for Texas thus far. Thought to be a contender in the AL West by sportsbooks, they are under .500 and have the second–worst run differential in the junior circuit, largely due a 7-13 record in games determined by four or more runs. Having 13 players on the DL has undermined their efforts. The starting staff is now Yu Darvish and the unknown Rangers and Prince Fielder has been a bust, but at least we know why with a herniated disc in his neck.

By the time Texas is back home on June 3, they could much further behind in the standings and piling losses with long road excursion to MoTown, Minesota and D.C. 

Houston Astros
Houston recently enjoyed a nice little spurt in winning six of nine, putting hefty offensive numbers. Unfortunately, the Astros have to score, since they are surrendering five runs a game. 

The starting pitching has been improved the last couple of weeks, having moved up to 9th in ERA and 8th in on-base percentage. Nonetheless, the starters cannot go nine innings, and skipper Bo Porter has to turn to the worst bullpen in the AL, which turns out to be a fire-starter instead of flame retardant. 

The Astros will continue to be mostly road underdogs in Seattle and Kansas City the next week before traveling back to H-Town to be mostly home dogs, against the Orioles and Angels. 

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