2018 MLB Preview Podcast (The Favorites)
The Major League Baseball season starts tomorrow. Here is a look at Vegas favorites in each division and where I think the value is, even among the heavy favorites.
First, here are the few sure things even if the value isn’t there. Listen or read below!
The Cleveland Indians (-550) will win the American League Central. At -550, you have to put $550 on the Tribe to win just $100. Risking so much to win so little is always risky in sports. Whenever you make a bet like this you must understand that there is always the possibility of injury or a team simply under performing. However, this line is +550 for a reason.
Cleveland won the AL central by 17 games in 2017 and 8 games in 2016. Now, the Tigers and Royals, two teams who had their eyes on contending with Cleveland the past several seasons are now both in rebuilding mode. The White should be looking at their sixth straight winning season, leaving only the Twins as a threat to the Indians. Minnesota Twins really surpassed expectations last season winning 85 games, but the Indians are just too deep.
I think Cleveland has the best starting rotation in baseball, definitely top three with no argument. The Indians will win the Central.
The Houston Astros (-550) will win the American League West
At -550, this story is similar to Cleveland’s and a no brainier. The Astros are a complete team, and last season proved to be the most complete team in baseball. In my opinion the Astros have the second best starting rotation in the American League, but certainly should be a top four rotation in all of baseball at least. Offensively, If you watched the playoffs you saw how dangerous this lineup is. Led by AL MVP Jose Altuve, World Series MVP George Springer, to go along with Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman, the Astros are loaded with homegrown star power.
After the Astros, the Angels have a dangerous line up as well, but not to the level of Houston. The Angels also do not have the pitching to compete for the league title.
Seattle, Texas and Oakland all have upside and can look towards the wildcard, but they are not ready to over take Houston. The Astros finished 21 games ahead of the second place Angels in 2017.
Close to a sure thing:
The Washington Nationals (-350) have won their division four out of the last six seasons, including the last two. The story on the Nationals isn’t about the regular season anymore, but what will they do in the postseason. Washington has lost in the National League Division Series in all four of their playoff appearances since 2012.
Should happen, but worthy challengers looking up:
(Chicago Cubs -275) to win National League CentralThe Cubs should win their division again, however at -275, I don’t like the value here. If you are looking to take a chance, I think the Milwaukee Brewers at +500 are an intriguing option and one of my wild card picks for the season. You can also never count out the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cubs however still have the best and deepest team on paper, but if there is an upset in the standing this season among the heavy favorites, I see this being the most likely.
(Los Angeles Dodgers -175) to win National League West
The National League West might be the most competitive division in baseball, although the AL East can definitely make the argument. The Dodgers won 104 games last season and came with-in a game from winning the World Series.
The Dodgers really did not suffer any significant losses in the off season. There most notable loss was mid-season acquisition Yu Darvish. The -175 for the Dodgers is actually good value, but the Diamondbacks, Giants and Rockies all have a shot at the playoffs this year.
No sure thing here:
New York Yankees -140 to win American League EastThe Yankees were one game away from the World Series last season and added the top power hitter in baseball, Giancarlo Stanton. However the Yankees do have some question marks at the bottom of the order with their corner infielders.
The Yankees, starting rotation is right there with Boston for the third best in the AL after Cleveland and Houston.
The Red Sox +130 are predicted to come in second, but the roster is not far behind. The Red Sox however have some questions in their starting rotation after Chris Sale. It’s hard to know what Boston can expect from the rest of the rotation with David Price, Rick Procello and Hector Velazquez.
So after looking at the favorites here is my four team division winner parlay recommendations for 2018:
Four Team Parlay
American League Central Champion : Cleveland Indians -550
American League West Champion : Houston Astros -550
National League East Champion: Washington Nationals -350
National League West Champion: Los Angeles Dodgers -175
They all maybe serious favorites, but combined you have +182 value. Think of it as an investment to cash in come October.
Good luck and play ball!
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