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Thread: 2018 MLB Preseason Stuff

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    American League Central betting preview: Twins closing gap with Tribe
    Andrew Caley

    The Cleveland Indians are deservedly the favorites to their third consecutive American League Central title, but this year will be a little different as the Minnesota Twins are making a push for their throne. Andrew Caley, breaks down the division and makes his season win total picks for each team.

    Chicago White Sox (2017: 67-95, +1.25 units, 76-80-6 O/U)

    Division odds: 50/1
    Season win total: 71.5

    Why to bet the White Sox: This is one of the really exciting up-and-coming rosters in the Big Leagues. With guys like Yoan Moncado, Tim Anderson in the field and Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Carson Fulmer in the rotation. Combine those young guns, with just enough veteran presence with Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia and there is a lot to like about this roster.i

    Why to not bet the White Sox: Well, pretty much for the same reason to bet them. They are so young, there's no telling how the rigors of a full major league season will affect these youngsters. They're probably a year or two away. Plus, James Shields still anchors this very young rotation and it appears Carlos Rodon won't be ready for the start of the season.

    Pick: Under 71.5

    Cleveland Indians (2017: 102-60, +6.95 units, 61-91-10 O/U)

    Division odds: 1/6
    Season win total: 95.5

    Why to bet the Indians: First and foremost, the AL Central should be the worst division in baseball this year and the Indians are far and away, the best team of the bunch. The lineup is dangerous led by young stars Fransisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez and have a good mix of veteran talent with the likes of Jason Kipnis and Edwincarnacion. The rotation is anchored by one of the best pitchers in the AL in Corey Kluber and the backend of the bullpen is second to none with Andrew Miller and Cody Allen.

    Why to not bet the Indians: If the Indians have a weakness it is depth in the starting lineup so injuries could play a factor. The outfield is a little thin and Michael Brantley (surprise, surprise) is already dealing with an injury. There are also question marks in the starting rotation behind Kluber and Carlos Carassco. Additionally, someone in the Cleveland bullpen will have to setup after losing the versatile and reliable Bryan Shaw to free agency.

    Pick: Under 95.5

    Detroit Tigers (64-98, -31.28 units, 87-68-7, O/U)

    Division odds: 100/1
    Season win total: 67.5

    Why to bet the Tigers: Umm... Well Miguel Cabrera is still on the team and he's arguably the best right-handed hitter of this generation, so that's something. But seriously, that's about it. Oh, they have the No. 1 pick in this June's amateur draft and they'll (probably) be better than the Marlins.

    Why to not bet the Tigers: Well, the rebuild is in full swing. Justin Verlander, Ian Kinsler, J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton among others, are already out the door (Miggy is only still around due to his albatross of a contract). The roster is mostly devoid of talent after the staff picked the roster pretty clean. The Tigers won only 64 games last season and that was when they were trying until the trade deadline. It could be an ugly year and Detroit and they'll (probably) only be better than the Marlins.

    Pick: Under 67.5

    Kansas City Royals (2017: 80-82 +2.60 units, 76-80-6)

    Division odds: 100/1
    Season win total: 67.5

    Why to bet the Royals: The Royals long-term outlook may be even worse than that of the Tigers, but this year, they may have just enough left in the tank to avoid the basement. Veterans Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon are still around and they managed to bring back third baseman Mike Moustakas on a cheap one-year deal. The starting rotation is also respectable with the likes of Danny Duff, Ian Kennedy and Jason Hammel toeing the rubber.

    Why to not bet the Royals: With the days of Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain and the elite bullpen a thing of the past, things could go south for the Royals pretty quickly and those remaining veterans could be sold off just as quickly. This lineup already had trouble scoring run last year and their is no help from the farm system coming any time soon.

    Pick: Over 67.5

    Minnesota Twins (2017: 85-77, +11.48 units, 73-79-10)

    Division odds: 7/2
    Season win total: 82.5

    Why to bet the Twins: The Twins were one of the surprise teams of 2017 becoming the first team in MLB history to make the postseason after losing 100 or more games the previous year. They even surprised themselves by selling at the trade deadline. Since the deadline Minnesota led the MLB in runs scored. Their have a great balance of young studs, like Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano and talented vets like Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer. The rotation is solid after bringing in Jake Odorizzi and Lance Lynn to join the likes of Ervin Santana and Joes Berrios.

    Why to not bet the Twins: Well management thought it was a good idea to sell at the trade deadline, so would it be a huge surprise if Minnesota took a bit of a step back 2018? Sano is still rehabing from an offseason injury and reportedly came into camp overweight. He is also probably facing a suspension due to a sexual assault allegation. Sananta could also miss a month with an injury. The bullpen is a weakness. The Twins brought in a bunch of re-tread arms like Fernando Rodney, so there's no telling if there will be improvement there.

    Pick: Over 82.5

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    American League West betting preview: Even with improving competition Astros primed to repeat
    Steve Merril

    Winning the American League West will be an even tougher task in 2018, with the Angels making some big moves this offseason, none bigger than Shohei Ohtani, and the Mariners on the verge of breaking out. But the Astros are primed to not only defend their division title, but their World Series crown as well. Steve Merril break down the division and makes his regular season win total picks for each team.

    Houston Astros (2017: 101-61, +11.72 units, 81-72-9 O/U)

    Division odds: 1/5
    Season win total: 97.5

    Why bet the Astros: Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel are a fantastic 1-2 punch that will dominate in the weak AL West. Lance McCullers Jr joins Charlie Morton and Brad Peacock in one of the best rotations in baseball. Morton showed up in a big way last year in the World Series allowing just two runs in two appearances. The bullpen is improved as well with the additions of Hector Rondon and Joe Smith.

    Why to not bet the Astros: There are not many reasons to bet against this team with such a strong roster. There is a chance they will suffer some sort of World Series hangover this season. Also, Brian McCann, Evan Gattis and Yuli Gurriel are getting a bit old. Catcher could be a weakness in an overall strong lineup.

    Pick: Over 97.5

    Los Angeles Angels (2017: 80-82, +1.48 units, 69-82-11 O/U)

    Division odds: 6/1
    Season win total: 84.5

    Why to bet the Angels: Mike Trout has another superstar on the roster in Shohei Ohtani who will potentially take over as the team's ace and could help out in the lineup as well. The squad also added Ian Kinsler and Zack Cozart which improves the team's infield. The Angels should be able to score runs on any given night with the new additions.

    Why to not bet the Angels: Health and age are the biggest issues. Albert Pujols' effectiveness is decreasing rapidly at 38 years old. The rotation features Garrett Richards (6 starts), Andrew Heaney (5 starts), Tyler Skaggs (16 starts) and Matt Shoemaker (12 starts). The closer role is a question mark along with several roles in the bullpen.

    Pick: Under 84.5

    Oakland Athletics (2017: 75-87, -2.68 units, 84-73-5 O/U)

    Division odds: 40/1
    Season win total: 75.5

    Why bet the Athletics: Billy Beane is making some shrewd moves that will pay off in the future for Oakland. Stephen Piscotty comes over from St. Louis with a more modest contract and that softens the blow of sending Healy to a division rival. Matt Olson and Matt Chapman have some power and lock down the corner infield positions. The minor leagues are also stocked with prospects who could see some time like A.J. Puk and Dustin Fowler.

    Why to not bet the Athletics: Like several of the other teams in this division, Oakland's rotation last year was ravaged by injury issues. Kendall Graveman, Sean Manaea and Daniel Mengden all spent time on the disabled list in 2017. Jharel Cotton sported a 5.58 ERA last season which was a regression from his solid start in September of 2016.

    Pick: Over 75.5

    Seattle Mariners (2017: 78-84, -11.37 units, 76-79-7 O/U)

    Division odds: 10/1
    Season win total: 81.5

    Why to bet the Mariners: Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz are a great starting point for any lineup. Seattle added Dee Gordon which gives them a legit leadoff hitter that will steal bases. An underrated pickup is Ryon Healy who comes over from Oakland. Healy had 25 home runs for the Athletics. After a brief stretch where he struggled, Edwin Diaz took over at closer and picked up 34 saves.

    Why to not bet the Mariners: Seattle used 17 different starting pitchers and 34 different relievers last season. Outside of James Paxton and Felix Hernandez, the rotation is pretty shaky. A lot of the offseason acquisitions they made were geared towards improving their offensive lineup, when they really should have spent some money on the pitching staff.

    Pick: Under 81.5

    Texas Rangers (2017: 78-84, -1.27 units, 74-82-6 O/U)

    Division odds: 35/1
    Season win total: 76.5

    Why to bet the Rangers: The core of the lineup is back and if Adrian Beltre is healthy, they should put up plenty of runs. Beltre played just 94 games in 2017, but still picked up his 3,000th career hit. Nomar Mazara drove in a team-high 101 runs and Joey Gallo may finally hit his potential. If Rougned Odor figures it out and gets back to his 2016 form, then this lineup will be dangerous for opponents.

    Why to not bet the Rangers: The team is considering a six-man rotation and that's upsetting the only decent starter they have in Cole Hamels. The lefthander is nowhere near the ace he used to be in Philadelphia. Doug Fister, Mike Minor and Matt Moore are not the answers either. The Texas bullpen had an awful 4.76 ERA last year and will likely struggle again this season.

    Pick: Under 76.5



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