MLB Picks: National & American League Betting Outlook

Doug Upstone

Monday, August 17, 2015 11:49 AM GMT

With seven weeks remaining in the regular season, sportsbooks have started adjusting MLB odds, making you pay a premium price on money lines to back the best teams as we head down the stretch.

That is not unfair, just a fact of life for assembling sports picks this time of year, as the cream of the crop has proven to all they are that good.

But what lies ahead? This is what baseball handicappers and those placing MLB picks have to look for, trouble spots or smooth sailing the next week. Here is a look at the contenders from both leagues.

 

National League Betting Outlook
The St. Louis Cardinals continue their homestand as they were fast team to reach 75 wins Saturday since the 2011 Phillies. The Cards are a sensational 44-18 (+18 units) at Busch Stadium and will have San Francisco in for three games before starting a western swing in San Diego and should be favored in each contest.

The division-leading New York Mets leave the confines of the Big Apple, starting a road trip against a hot Baltimore offense followed by a trip to Colorado. With the pitching probable's, the Mets will likely be short underdogs at Camden Yards but their pitchers overall should benefit from two days off this week. About the only chance the Nationals have making the playoffs is catching New York in the NL East and will have to play much better at Colorado and at home against Milwaukee over weekend.

San Francisco is in hot pursuit of the Los Angeles Dodgers and has a monster road trip this week. The Giants are 29-29 away (+1.3) and besides the Cardinals, they have four with Pittsburgh. San Fran will be mostly underdogs all week. The Dodgers will venture to Oakland and Houston and will have three off days in eight days which has to help them. Depending on pitching matchups, L.A. should be favored at least three times.

Pittsburgh has one the best finest home records in the majors at 39-18 (+14.7) and besides the four tilts with the Giants, the Pirates have Arizona to start the week. Other than possibly against Madison Bumgarner, the MLB betting odds should have the Bucs favored in the rest of their contests. Every reason to believe the Cubs at 15-2 in last 17 can keep the pressure on Pittsburgh with home series against Detroit and Atlanta.

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American League Betting Outlook
The New York Yankees did what they needed at Toronto, taking the series and Heritage Sports should have them favored at home this week against both Minnesota and Cleveland, though the Indians do have a couple strong hurlers. The Blue Jays should be able to restart its offense on the road in Philadelphia and Anaheim and like the Dodgers, will have three different days off in the next eight. Of note, the Jays are 6-26 when they fail to go yard.

Kansas City should be able to manufacture a successful road trip at Cincy and Boston and keep building on the AL's best record.

Houston continues its homestand with contests again Tampa Bay and the Dodgers and has to keep winning in H-Town like they have at 40-19 (+15.6), because they have been scuffling on the road. And speaking of having issues on the road, the L.A. Angels are back home after yet another mediocre road excursion to face the White Sox and Toronto. With no offense outside of Mike Trout and the starting pitching failing, not sure the Halos can assemble a winning homestand.

Of the wild card teams in the AL at .500 or better, Baltimore has the most user-friendly schedule with seven home games versus the A's, Mets and Twins and should be the betting favorite five times. Conversely, Tampa Bay and Minnesota will spend the week on the road, but the Twinkies might not be favored once at Yankee Stadium and where crap cakes are plentiful.