Here is the first of many live reports here at Sportsbook Review as we as we try educate you on the various teams from the Cactus League in Arizona for your MLB picks for this upcoming season.
Oakland – Projected Win Total Ov81 wins – 3rd in the AL West
Anyone making MLB picks a season ago was making good money well into July betting on the Athletics. Oakland had the best record in baseball and made the unusual move, for them, of adding players in wanting to make a run at the World Series. Everyone agreed this seemed like a very good idea given the state of the team, but for some reason it backfired and the A’s limped into the postseason as a wild card and were quickly dismissed.
General Manager Billy Beane ended up tearing apart many of pieces which had made them a feared club in the American League in the offseason and gave the appearance of starting over and returning to the role of underdog, which they seem to cherish.
With these changes more than one preseason publication is thinking “doom and gloom” for the kelly green and gold and forecasted them for last place in the AL West. Many MLB baseball handicappers and sportsbooks think this is an overreaction to a set of circumstances.
The Athletics will not be fourth in the baseball in runs scored and will depend more on manufacturing runs like they did in previous years. The starting pitching will still be a plus and manager Bob Melvin has roster flexibility to mix and match to opposing teams just like he has in the past, just not with as many talented players.
This spring Melvin in high on Ben Zobrist and a huge key to run production will the Josh Reddick and Ike Davis. If Reddick and Davis hit .250 and add power, Oakland can surpass 81 wins and how knows, might surprise us all again.
Arizona – Projected Win Total 72 wins – 4th in the NL West
Last year Arizona won 64 games and by midseason had committed to head in a different direct. Too bad for Paul Goldschmidt, arguably baseball’s best first baseman, because the losing will continue for awhile.
It’s not that the Diamondbacks are completely devoid of talent, outfielders A.J. Pollack and David Peralta showed well and Chris Owings also showed promise. However, there is now a book on them now and let’s see how they adjust.
The D-Backs organization has developed and acquired a number of young prospects for pitching. Clearly they are building towards the future, but this season a strong case can be established the Snakes are long on potential and short on known commodities.
Looking at Arizona in the early spring their MLB odds of winning 72 games could well be predicated on how they play against fellow crummy division partner Colorado. It would take a dose of courage to consider of taking on the betting odds and making the D-Backs a play on wager for futures season win total.
It was a blustery day at Salt River Fields, where Oakland easily defeated Arizona 7-2. The wind was blowing in from centerfield which is a rare occasion with sunny skies and the temperature in the upper 70’s.
The A’s offense was led by Josh Phegley, who had three rbi doubles and Mark Canha who had a pair of runs batted in. Oakland pounded out 12 hits and their seven pitchers limited the Diamondbacks to five hits. Starter Kendall Gravemann and reliever Eury De La Rosa (three K’s in one inning) were the most impressive hurlers for Oakland.
Not a lot positives for Arizona except for Randall Delgado’s two shutout innings. Starter Robbie Ray quickly lost his command in the second inning and altogether allowed two runs, two hits and walked two batters in two innings.