MLB Futures Betting – AL East July 11th, 2008
By: Cappers Picks Staff
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MLB Baseball Futures Betting – AL East
Our best Sportsbooks has posted online wagering odds on who is going to win each of the American League’s three divisions, and one of the pennant races that has produced the most intrigue to sports betting fans is the one in the AL East, where the Boston Red Sox are not only facing a challenge from the Tampa Bay Rays, they are staring UP at them. Meanwhile, lurking in the background are the New York Yankees. Baltimore is not dead yet either. We focus on the AL East today.
Let’s take a look at the divisional sportsbook odds as they are currently posted at Our Sportsbooks:
BetUS MLB Futures Odds
To win American League East
Boston Red Sox -175
Tampa Bay Devil Rays +175
New York Yankees +400
Baltimore Orioles +6000
Toronto Blue Jays +8000
The BOSTON RED SOX (-175 in BetUS odds) may not be on the verge of collapse, but they are definitely facing a challenge. Going into Thursday’s games, the Red Sox have lost five straight games, and are coming off a three-game sweep suffered at the hands of Tampa Bay. The return of Daisuke Matsuzaka (9-1, 3.12) to the rotation can certainly be seen as a positive, as can the fact that all five regular members of the starting rotation have ERA’s at 3.75 or below. One of the pleasant discoveries has been Justin Masterson (4-2, 3.75).
But this team still needs to demonstrate that it can win games away from home (19-27 through Wednesday, including five losses in a row), and they had better do it quickly, because they are visiting the Yankees over the July 4th weekend. Aside from the rotation, which will NOT be welcoming Curt Schilling back this year, bright spots include J,D. Drew, who is now hitting .302 with 16 homers, and second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who has hit .568 in his last ten games. The Red Sox are the favorites here, based in part on the fact that this group won the World Series last season, but at this price, they still have some things they’d have to prove to me.
The TAMPA BAY RAYS (+175 in BetUS odds) currently have the best record in baseball. And they are for real. I have thought from the beginning that they could hang around the top all season long because of their pitching. And it is looking even better than it did before. Scott Kazmir, the league strikeout leader last season, has fanned 75 hitters in 72 innings, and carries a 7-3 record with a 2.63 ERA. He can contend for the Cy Young with a solid second half. He’s a great anchor, and then there are James Shields and Matt Garza (7-4, 3.47), who are tremendous young hurlers.
Edwin Jackson is erratic but potentially dominating, and through one couldn’t really call Andy Sonnanstine an ace, considering his 4.60 ERA, he has a chance to win 17-18 games. This all reminds me of when the Atlanta Braves staff, with Glavine, Smoltz, Steve Avery and later Greg Maddux, was starting to really come together.
A big boost has come from the insertion of third baseman Evan Longoria into the lineup. He’s got a shot to hit 30 homers, and his average has climbed to .275. There are three genuine base-stealing threats (Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton, Jason Bartlett). This team has had opportunities to lay down and roll over, but they smacked the Red Sox down recently in a three-game sweep, so I am not expecting them to fold anytime soon, or maybe ever. And I say that despite the fact that they have lost Troy Percival for the time being to a hamstring problem.
The NEW YORK YANKEES (+400 in BetUS odds) are one of those teams that has the talent to make a big move. They may be at that low number based on reputation, but they closed very strongly last year, so you can never count them out. Still, the pitching bothers me. I know that Joba Chamberlain has looked good in most of his starts, that Mike Mussina (10-6, 3.87) is having a surprisingly good season, and that the injured Chien-Ming Wang (8-2, 4.07) is due back in early September. But at the same time, I’m not sure that’s early enough.
More offense is needed from people who are getting paid a lot of money – Derek Jeter (4 HR’s, .279) in particular. Hideki Matsui, who is hitting .323, is on the DL with knee problems and may require surgery. That would be a big blow. I’d like to see Joe Girardi do well in this job, because he got a raw deal in Miami after leading a bunch of Marlin rookies into wild card contention a couple of years ago, but there is a lot of underachievement here. However, the Yanks can improve their fortunes considerably if they are able to exploit Boston’s road woes this coming weekend, and if they do, the price would drop, I’m sure.
The BALTIMORE ORIOLES (+6000 in BetUS odds) don’t hit for much of an average, but they have five players with ten or more homers as we are a little more than halfway through the season. Somebody has to join Jeremy Guthrie (3.50 ERA) as a dependable starting pitcher. Maybe it’s Daniel Cabrera (6-4, 4.34 ERA) who had a nice outing in going the distance against Kansas City on Wednesday night. You can’t completely disqualify this 60/1 shot, which is only three games behind Boston in the loss column.
The TORONTO BLUE JAYS (+8000 in BetUS odds) are not going to make any kind of move until they get more offense. Ales Rios (4 HR’s, 30 RBI’s) has not supplied any pop, and Vernon Wells has been a disappointment as well. Scott Rolen hasn’t had an RBI in his last six games. Overall, this team is wasting some pretty good starting pitching, where two members of the rotation have ERA’s under 3.00 (Shaun Marcum at 2.65 and Roy Halladay at 2.90).
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