When looking at the AL West standings, they have been relatively stable and for the most part that has also been true for choosing these teams for MLB picks with one recent development.
The Texas Rangers have gotten on their horse and created mayhem in moving up to third place in the AL West, becoming one of the top choices for MLB picks versus the MLB odds. Here is a look at each club with an accent on offense.
Astros – All or Nothing Offense Carrying Houston
It is June and Houston is still in first place, which not many baseball handicappers would have predicted before the season began. The formula has been simple, good pitching from the top of rotation, a great bullpen and page out of an era baseball tries to ignore.
During the Steroid Era, SportsCenter was daily a collection of home runs. We are not accusing the Astros of taking illegal supplements but their offense is predicated on going deep and brings back the memories of that wonderful commercial before any of us knew about steroids – Chicks Dig the Long Ball. Houston leads the majors in jacks and the odd part is sluggers George Springer and Chris Carter have not even reached double digits yet. Evan Gattis and Luis Valbuena both have 11 and if the other two would make more contact instead of striking out so frequently, Houston could become more consistent on offense.
Angels – Is Anaheim Ready to Sizzle?
Of their recent four-game sweep of Detroit, this was most impressive display of Angels baseball of the season, as not only was the pitching good, but balls where flying off the Halos bats and landing on the outfield grass or in the bleachers. If you might remember, it was about this time a year ago Anaheim began coming together and began winning games in bunches because their offense started supporting their pitchers.
This group of Angels at four runs a game has a long way to go to catch last year’s squad but if you are following the betting odds, L.A. is going to start realizing more support if the offense revs up.
Rangers – Texas Offense Beginning to Percolate
When Yu Darvish went down with another injury, numerous baseball experts who cover spring training were down on Texas again coming off a 92-loss season. It was understandable and sportsbooks like GTBets put out a low 70’s win total on the Rangers.
In my coverage of the Cactus League for Sportsbookreview.com I watched Texas and thought this team was going to have pitching problems as predicted, but if the everyday lineup could stay healthy, this group might be better than believed.
For most of the initial part of the season, the Rangers were losing as presumed, but beginning May 20th, the offense led by Prince Fielder found another gear, helping Texas close the month 10-2. The Rangers were already at ‘play on’ status on the road and have begun to figure it out at Globe Life Park, scoring 4.6 runs a contest. Will it last, probably not, but if the Rangers hit, they can win!
Mariners – Seattle Returning to Old Ways
Here is a question to think about. How many runs would Seattle have scored to this point if Nelson Cruz was on another team? The Mariners average 3.7 RPG, second-worst in the AL and this is with Cruz batting .333 and posting 18 home runs. Despite his incredible numbers, if Seattle were to stay at this desultory pace and Cruz driving in only 38 runs thus far, if you do the math the slugger could send 45 balls over the fence and STILL not drive in 100 runs!
The M’s are mostly ‘play against’ material until their run production increases.
Athletics – It Might Be One of Those Years
Oakland for quite awhile this season was putting up just over 4.5 RPG and defeats were mostly caused by a faulty bullpen. In 10 days their starting pitchers have begun to protect the relievers going deeper into games to limit their exposure. But as is the case of all mediocre squads, when one problem is fixed another arises and the A’s offense has stopped scoring and is down to 4.1 RPG.
It was already known back in March offense was going to be predicated on base hits and moving runners because of the lack of power and the ranking of 12th in the AL in homers points this out. Chances are with the pitching staff making progress, Oakland will not remain the worst bet in baseball, yet being in the bottom 10 this year is definitely a possibility.