MLB Picks & Odds Update: What is Happening in the AL East?

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 10:38 PM GMT

Our next adventure in reviewing the baseball divisions is looking the various teams’ offenses and how they are impacting anyone’s potential MLB picks when taking on the sportsbooks.

Our first look will be in the AL East, where the batting orders from these clubs has a mixture of good and bad.

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Yankees – Scoring Despite Real Flaws
New York is just finishing up a brutal stretch of baseball in which they lost 10 of 13 to fall out of first place in the division. As most MLB baseball handicappers understand, when you go through a period like that it seldom is one segment that is the problem, rather a joined effort by those trying to score runs and those attempting to prevent them.

For our purposes in understanding New York, they rank third in runs scored in the AL, largely because of three areas. The Yankees are second in the league in home runs and fifth in walks, which is a direct relationship to being fourth in OPS. New York is ordinary in OBP in the AL, in part because other than Brett Gardner (with Jacoby Ellsworth on the DL), Joe Girardi is trotting out a group of 30-something players who batting averages at or well under .260. If you expect the Yanks to improve against the betting odds, they will have to go yard frequently.

 

Rays – Offense Doing Barely Enough to Help Tampa Bay Win
The MLB odds were stacking against Tampa Bay coming into the season because they had few offensive resources. Yet the Rays are hanging around the top of the division because they do just enough on offense to make themselves look good for MLB picks because of their tremendous pitching.

Second baseman Logan Forsythe has been solid all year and the much traveled David DeJesus have been doing the job and as expected, Even Longoria after a slow start is coming back to career norms. The rest of the Rays players are only reaching base occasionally, which is why this team averages 3.8 RPG and is fighting with Seattle to be the weakest offense in the AL.

 

Red Sox – Offense Not Doing the Job
Boston recently beat-up on Anaheim Angels pitching for 19 runs in the series win but that has been a rare sighting for this offense. Prior to that outburst, the Red Sox needed 10 games to surpass that figure which is a more typical indication of how the hitters have performed.

Boston is just a few home runs ahead of Tampa Bay which tells why they are having problems beating the MLB odds. Hanley Ramirez is the only player in double digits for the Red Sox and Mike Napoli is second, only after a hot stretch. Pablo Sandoval has added little and it is starting to appear that Father Time is catching with David Ortiz bat speed. Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts are in the .280’s and this is not a franchise that can win scoring less than four runs a game.

 

Orioles – Power Outage in Baltimore
After being the leading home run hitting team in the league the past two years and second in 2012, the Orioles are not even the Top 5 in the AL this season. Across the board Baltimore’s power numbers are down and it has been a collective non-performance.

Are opposing teams finally pitching the Orioles hitters differently? It does not appear so, at least not where you can spot a trend because the strikeouts and walks are not out of whack. It is not the park because Camden Yards did suddenly become Petco where flyballs go to die.

It just appears players like Adam Jones, though putting up great numbers in other categories, like his teammates just not found the power stroke and with weaker pitching this season, the lack of a potent deep game is hurting the Birds.

 

Blue Jays – Vastly Inconsistent
On the surface it is hard to argue with a team which is average a 5.3 RPG, the best in baseball. No question the pitching has been a severe draw back on Toronto’s chances for success. However, the offense is not blameless for the Blue Jays having a losing record, as this often potent crew can hang eight to 10 runs any given night but has been held to three or fewer runs 40 percent of the time.

With the way the Toronto staff has performed it is tough to beat the odds at GTBets or anywhere. But don’t think the lack of hitting when it matters is part of the reason the Jays are 3-10 in one run games.