Our handicapping journey on all 30 MLB teams continues. We focus here on the National League East, which collectively has fairly decent group of offenses. Piece together this information for sports picks.
Miami Starting to Swing the Bats
After a lethargic start to 2015 as team, several MLB baseball handicappers thought could be a true wild card contender in the National League, the Marlins are hitting their stride. All season Dee Gordon has been a catalyst, hitting over .400 and swiping bases at the same time. During Miami’s recent 9-1 hot streak, Adeiny Hechavarria and Marcell Oduna both raised their batting averages over .310 and Martin Prado has slowly gotten the swing back he was known for with Atlanta.
Giancarlo Stanton has hit a few prodigious home runs, but his numbers are down 10-15 percent from career norms to this point, but will likely improve. First basemen Mike Morse was recently benched after failing to reach a .200 batting average or .300 OBP in favor of Justin Bour. If a few of the power bats improve and the pitching makes stride, Miami will be a more frequent choice for MLB picks.
Atlanta, Washington and New York Bunched Together for Scoring
The Braves are averaging 4.4 runs per contest, a bit above average in the NL and three players are leading the way. Freddie Freeman is Atlanta main offensive weapon and the one that has to produce on a consistent basis. The acquisition of Nick Markakis is paying dividends with a batting average around .300 and more important an OBP of nearly .400, which creates opportunities for others. The monster surprise is 38-year old A.J. Pierzynski, who is hitting .350 and tied for the lead in rbi’s. Somebody will have step up because Pierzynski will not keep up that pace. The Braves do not have enough starting pitching and have to hit to be profitable against the MLB Odds.
New York was pasting the ball during their 11-game hitting streak, but has returned to normal at around four runs a night. Other than Juan Lagares and Lucas Duda, the everyday lineup has too many Mets players at .225 or lower and not making the big hit any longer. The return of David Wright cannot happen soon enough (possibly next week) to shake up Terry Collins batting order and not waste great pitching performances like those recent pair of 1-0 losses to Washington.
The Nationals are showing signs of being the type of team everyone expected as the odds on favorite to win NL before the season. At just past four RPG, Washington still has work to do to be consistent and that will require Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth to do more in the middle of Matt Williams’s lineup card. This trio starts banging the ball and places like Wagerweb.ag are going to be taking a lot of Nats wagers.
Phillies Have Few Scoring Options
Philadelphia is the poorest offensive team in the majors at 2.8 RPG and it is well deserved ranking 30th in slugging percentage and 28th on OBP. Manager Ryne Sandberg does not have many new doors to open, especially when aging Ryan Howard is batting .193 and Chase Utley is making Dan Uggla look he can still play hitting an anemic .103. Combined these two players are using up (stealing?) 35 million of the Phillies player salaries (Howard 25M) and they could find guys in the minors who could perform this badly for a 1/15 of the price.
It is noble to reward players for past achievements until you have to pay them for these kinds of results. Bet against Philly until the offense improves.