The All-Star break is over and the race to postseason contention begins as we peruse the MLB odds to determine which teams look poised to capture the World Series title in October.
The Gambler’s Holiday is Over
Aside from a decent UFC card, the days during MLB’s All-Star break are one of the few droughts in a perpetual cycle of sports gambling opportunities. As a matter of fact, I realized that my wife and I were sharing space with three short humans who had their very own bedrooms in my very own house. Apparently someone made the decision to give them free room and board.
Oh well, the wait is almost over and we can begin to get back in our groove where we routinely try to figure out which sides and totals in our MLB picks will fatten our bankroll and build up our confidence. Let’s take a quick peek at which teams could be worth a few bucks as we review the World Series odds as they stand on July 17th, 2014.
Oakland Athletics (+500) – It’s hard to argue with the A’s being installed as favorites to win the World Series as they sit atop the AL West and lead the league with 59 wins at the break. Unfortunately for them the team with the second best record in all of baseball happens to be the LA Angels who also reside in the AL West and only 1 ½ games out of first place.
Detroit Tigers (+600) – The Tigers are exactly where everyone thought they would be at this time of the season and that’s leading the AL Central with only the Kansas City Royals in their rearview mirror. Outfielder JD Martinez has been a pleasant surprise for Detroit (perhaps that’s understating it a bit), batting .346 with 13 round-trippers. But Justin Verlander continues to struggle which could bode ominous in the postseason.
LA Dodgers (+700) – The Dodgers have the finest pitcher in baseball leading their staff in Clayton Kershaw and recently got Carl Crawford back from injury but they have their arch rivals, the San Francisco Giants, nipping at their heels in the NL West.
LA Angels (+800) – Can we use the word “torrid” for the umpteenth time when describing the recent string of success that the Angels are having? The Halos have won nine of their last 10 and five in a row coming out of the break as they vie for the AL West crown.
Washington Nationals (+1000) – The Nats are finally coming alive since Bryce Harper got hot and Wilson Ramos returned to bolster their offense and backstop their defense.
San Francisco Giants (+1100) – Tim Lincecum has returned to form after tossing a no-hitter on June 25th and going 4-0 since that time with a micro 0.30 ERA. Welcome back Timmy.
St. Louis Cardinals (+1100) – My sentimental choice to win it all based purely on the ballsy show of respect Adam Wainwright gave towards Derek Jeter when he grooved a fastball for Jeter to hit in the All-Star game. Not everyone agrees with me and I wish Wainwright didn’t backtrack from what was certainly a sentimental gesture but if karma prevails, the St. Louis Cardinals will win the World Series despite not having home-field advantage.
Baltimore Orioles (+1600) – In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is king. And so it goes for the O’s who lead the once bruising AL East but I’m not sure their reign at the top will last very long. But a Wild Card is definitely within their grasp.
Milwaukee Brewers (+1800) – The Brew Crew faded miserably in the waning weeks of the first half of baseball, dropping 11 of their last 13 but blasting the Cards 11-2 before the break. So which is it – did they get their losing streak out of their system or is that indicative of a team that’s not as good as their record suggests?