MLB Picks & Division Updates: AL West Mediocrity Found In Lack of Offense

Doug Upstone

Saturday, May 9, 2015 11:26 PM GMT

Only one division in the big leagues finds itself with a single club showing a profit versus the sportsbooks MLB odds and it is the AL West. Why such a poor showing, the offensive numbers tell the story.

There is one exception among its five members and we will explain how that has occurred and trust us when we say it more obvious than why the TV show “Fresh off the Boat” was cancelled.

 

Angels, Mariners and Rangers Cannot Score
The L.A. Angels were the top scoring team in baseball a year which was in part why they had the best record in the majors. But this year, other than Mike Trout and Cole Calhoun, there are few other teams who hit as many easy to catch fly balls or routine groundouts. Besides Trout, the vast majority of the everyday players are past their prime and the trades they used to acquire them might haunt this franchise for five to 10 years with the money tied up. Talent-wise the Halos can score more than 3.7 runs a game, but will this club have the same spark to reignite and be worthy of MLB picks?

Seattle thought the last piece to their offensive puzzle was the signing Nelson Cruz. It turns out Cruz needs some help, like somebody else to reach base would be a positive. Cruz is hitting a sizzling .339 with a baseball-best 14 homers and an OBP of .382. The second best BA and OBP on the team is Robinson Cano at .263 and .310. Little wonder why Seattle is ringing up only 3.7 RPG with Cruz not having anybody to drive in despite his production. Put this together with the M’s pitching not as good as last year and it understandable why MLB baseball handicappers and those making sports picks are either passing or playing against Seattle.

When the Texas pitching staff unraveled again, it was easy to ascertain another long season was coming for the Rangers. Nevertheless, what has many befuddled is the Texas offense, which has good players known for hitting but are not even close to be reaching their potential. Prince Fielder is back and much more at ease and is batting around .340 with an OBP of nearly .400. And the Rangers are receiving solid production from the first base tandem of Mitch Moreland and Kyle Blanks, with a combine BA over .300 and driving in as many runs as Fielder (14), the team leader. The rest of the players are simply not doing the jobs to help out their teammates. Texas is most likely not a .500 team and has no shot to reach that level or be considered a strong play against the MLB odds unless they start to hit.

 

Houston in First with Hitting and Pitching
The Astros have been taking cash from sportsbooks like GTBets with their excellent play this season. The pitching has been the biggest story for Houston, but they are second in the AL West in runs scored thanks being the top home run hitting team in the league. However, the main power sources are all around .200 or less for batting averages and well on their way to 180 to 200 strikeouts each. While the Astros might score in bunches, it will become increasingly more difficult to back this club with so much swinging and missing the back of the rotation below average.

 

Oakland Scoring but no Relief in Sight
The A’s are scoring 4.8 runs a contest, yet are one the worst bets in baseball. Coming out of Arizona for spring training, Oakland by all appearances was going to tally runs, with power the only concern and that has played to form. However, the lineup card has done more than most believed. The trouble for the Athletics is their 29th ranked bullpen whose ERA is well above 5, have nearly half of the team losses (9 of 19) and blows 60 percent of save opportunities.

In early spring the thought was Oakland was going to have a total collapse but it became clear there was enough talent to reach .500. But no amount of offense is going to overcome this conundrum unless it is repaired.