MLB Betting: American League Preview

MLB Betting: American League Preview - Bodog

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With the World Baseball Classic behind us, the next stop is Opening Day of the 2017 Major League Baseball season. The Boston Red Sox made some major moves this offseason and enter as the favourites in the American League. Are they the best bet, or can someone knock them off? Here’s a rundown of the odds to win the AL Pennant.


The Favourites

After winning 93 games last season, Boston (+225) leads the field. Their offense led all of baseball in runs scored and batting average, but they’ll have to replace the production of retired slugger David Ortiz. Their pitching got much stronger with the acquisition of ace Chris Sale, who will join a rotation including Cy Young winners Rick Porcello and David Price.

Cleveland (+350) is second in line on the odds board. They’ll be keen to bounce back after blowing a 3-1 lead in the 2016 World Series. Edwin Encarnacion is their newest addition; he was the biggest bat in free agency. Cleveland had the second-best team ERA in the American League last season and the team is, for the most part, still intact.

Houston (+650) is the final team inside of 10/1. There’s plenty of optimism surrounding this young squad. They added veterans Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann to join a strong lineup that already includes Jose Altuve. Carlos Correa and Evan Gattis. The Astros finished the season on a 67-50 run and are hoping to carry that momentum over into 2017.


The Sleepers

The Toronto Blue Jays (+1000) lost Encarnacion to Cleveland, but they still have offensive power with Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Kendry Morales, who had 30 homeruns last season. While the Jays are known as an offensive club, they actually led the American League in team ERA last season and should be among the leaders again this season.

The Texas Rangers (+1200) have a lot of potential because of their balanced offense. Six projected starters on their team hit at least 20 homeruns last season. The Rangers’ main issue is pitching – particularly in the bullpen. Their relievers combined for a 4.40 ERA, which was the sixth-worst in the majors.

The New York Yankees (+1200) managed to stay afloat in the American League despite a slight retooling. They added veterans Chris Carter and Matt Holliday to support the young guns like Gary Sanchez and Gary Bird. The bullpen is fantastic and Aroldis Chapman is back, but the rotation is shaky beyond Masashiro Tanaka.

There’s value in the Seattle Mariners (+1600) and Kansas City Royals (+1600). The Mariners haven’t been to the playoffs in 15 seasons, but they improved by 10 wins last year, so there is optimism. A lot weighs on the arm of Felix Hernandez, who’s not the stud he once was. As for the Royals, they’re only a year and a half removed from winning it all. This figures to be their last run with the current core because Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar become free agents next offseason.


*Odds as of March 24, 2017