MLB Picks & Odds Update: NL West Not Very Profitable as a Group

Doug Upstone

Monday, May 4, 2015 1:55 PM UTC

Monday, May. 4, 2015 1:55 PM UTC

Over the next 10 or so days, all the divisions in baseball will have more games against the other which should spice things up for making MLB picks. If you follow the NL West, this could be a blessing.

In the time these clubs have faced off against one another, the Los Angeles Dodgers have had the edge versus the MLB Odds, but not by that much, as most of their losses are often as large favorites which erode their profits. The rest of the teams in the division have had their good and bad moments, which has prevented MLB baseball handicappers from finding a real edge.

Here is a review of each squad to this point of the season looking at how their pitching staff has performed and impacted their results against the MLB odds.


Dodgers lead NL West Arms Race but for how long?
Los Angeles is among the leaders in the National League in earned run average which is usually the cases playing 81 games at Dodger Stadium with talented pitchers and the heavy night air keeps the ball in the field of play. Having Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke at the top of the rotation is a huge plus, yet amazingly, Kershaw and L.A. has only won two of his five starts and his ERA is approaching four.

With Hyun-Jin Ryu still on the shelf, Brandon McCarthy finished and Brett Anderson as fragile as fine china, Don Mattingly will have to find other answers for the back side of the rotation. Whether those will work out is still to be determined, but quite literally the bullpen by committee has been a pleasant surprise, with the second-best ERA in the league. It has been the complete variety pack for the Dodgers and there is no end in sight that will change. But as long as the pitchers do their jobs and the offense continues to shine, they can build on 13-3 record in games decided by two or more runs.


Bullpen Issues Holding Back Arizona, San Diego and Colorado
If you looked into the bullpen stats on Sunday before making sports picks you would have found these teams ranked 12th thru 14th for ERA, which is anywhere from 4.5 to over 5. Each has three blown saves and while that figure is not high, it is not good either.

What this high earned run average represents is even if the offense mounts a comeback after trailing, the guys from the pen turn right around and permits runs, taking away what potential momentum any of the these clubs might have put together.

This ends up being particular painful for the Rockies who have the worst ERA among starting pitchers in the senior circuit again, with opposing hitter’s batting almost .300. That is not an easy aspect to overcome knowing you have to score six runs a night just to have a chance to win and explains Colorado’s 2-7 record in contests determined by four or more runs.

Each of these three teams has little chance to become consistently profitable unless the bullpen improves.


Leave it to Bruce Bochy for San Francisco
The Giants might have spent most of April and first few days of May in the cellar of the NL West, but San Francisco after looking as dismal as any World Series champion could the following season, as rebounded. Here comes Bochy’s Giants, nearly to .500 with their overall record and in units wagered and sportsbooks like will have to possibly start looking at them differently again.

The San Fran pitching numbers are only average, but that is a significant upgrade from where they were. Bochy is a mastermind in manipulating the bullpen to maximize each player’s usefulness and very seldom does he have a pitcher warm up unless he’s coming into the game, saving on wear and tear.

While there are still unanswered questions how the starting staff will hold up over 162-game season, this team is very comfortable in close games and knows how to win them. Keep that in mind for your future MLB Picks.

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