MLB Picks & Odds Update: AL West has the Good and Bad

Doug Upstone

Friday, May 22, 2015 10:34 PM GMT

The Houston Astros continue to lead a mostly mediocre group of competitors in the AL West and remain the one positive choice for MLB picks against sportsbooks betting odds this season.

This is not to say there are not other extremely good choices for MLB picks, with Oakland and Seattle top shelf choices as play against teams based on their performances (hard to call efforts) with the unofficial start of summer nearly here.

Let’s take a peek where each squad might be going versus the MLB odds from sportsbooks like GTBets with the schedule in mind.

 

Astros – Houston Staying the Course
After posting a 6-9 record from May 5th to May 13th, several MLB baseball handicappers began to wonder if this was the end the Astros meteoric rise for 2015. Never fear with this Houston outfit as they turned it around in a hurry with their best homestand of the season at 6-1. The question is how can a team with three inconsequential back of the rotation starters and lineup that far and away has the most strikeouts in the American League be having such a good season?

It begins with the Astros having a 15-2 record when Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh take the ball as the starting pitching. This is followed up with a bullpen which as the second-best ERA in the league. Put these elements together with having the top home run hitting club in baseball and applying pressure on AL opponents with the most base thefts.

Can Houston continue to stun disbelievers? If they can come away with even a 3-4 road trip in Detroit and Baltimore, for now the schedule is hardly daunting by all appearance the following three weeks, making the Stros very bet-able.

 

Angels – Halos Could Get Hot if Offense Ignites
Los Angeles has made stride the past couple weeks, showing improvement thanks to their pitching. The Angels have the second finest starting pitching ERA in the AL. To catch fire like last season, the offense has surge and in this case, quite a bit.

Halos hitters are at just 3.7 RPG, which is similar to cliff diving after averaging 4.7 a year ago. Though Albert Pujols is a Hall of Famer, he’s an aging for superstar and to continue to bat him third hitting in the .230’s with an OBP under .300 is foolish. Unfortunately, moving Mike Trout to third does not help the offense since only Kole Calhoun has a respectable batting average. With no salary leverage to add punch, not sure even an upcoming 10-game homestand will help.

 

Mariners – Clueless in Seattle
This season has not come anywhere close to what the Mariners had hoped for to this point. Hopes of a big turnaround are not evident with nobody besides Nelson Cruz hitting and the second-best starting pitcher behind King Felix is journeyman A.J. Happ.

There is no quick solution to fixing Seattle. Other than the players that were there last year begin putting up stats which helped the M’s win 87 games in 2014.

The nine-game road trip continues at Tampa Bay starting Monday and they only have the second-best ERA in the league, which is a problem for an offensively-challenged squad. The M’s return to Safeco Field on May 28th for 10 tilts versus the Cleveland, the Yankees and Rays and realistically need at least a 7-3 record at home.

 

Rangers – Playing Better at Hone Would Help
Texas is away from home and for the Rangers that is not a bad thing. Often being large road underdogs, they are 12-10 away and have been among the best bets to win wagers at places like GTBets. What Texas needs to improve is better pitching at home if they want to get back to .500. The Rangers are 6-13 at Globe Life Park and while it is conducive to scoring by its dimensions, it has been one-sided. Texas scores just 4.2 RPG at home yet allows 5.2. And while it might be expected they pitchers would improve on the road, surrendering just 3.9 RPG in away games suggest something else is amiss.

After finishing up in New York and Cleveland the pitching staff will have a chance to improve against the Sox, both Red and White and work on bettering themselves in Arlington.

 

Athletics – Dire Predictions Panning Out
Most preseason publications had Oakland going from the best team in baseball for four months to the cellar in the AL West. After witnessing them in spring training, that seemed foolhardy, but it has proven to be spot on. The A’s incredibly horrible season in dissected in four words – the bullpen and fielding. Oakland’s bullpen is the worst in the AL with an ERA over 5 and its fielding could be kindly referred to as atrocious, but a better word would be –horse- and something else with four letters.

The A’s fielders have 20 percent more errors than Milwaukee and they rank 29th! Or another way to look at this is that Oakland has three times as many fielding miscues as Tampa Bay, incredible. Put these two negative elements together and it explains why the Athletics are a jaw-dropping 2-13 in one runs games and 4-21 when the outcomes is three or fewer runs.

Any hopes for revival appear dim with 10 contests versus the Tigers (6) and the Yankees (4).