Posts Tagged ‘American League’

2009 MLB Baseball Divisional Betting Odds

April 15th, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in MLB Baseball   Comments Off on 2009 MLB Baseball Divisional Betting Odds

The official start of the 2009 Major League Baseball Season is well underway two weeks into the season. There are many teams who have got off to solid quick starts while other favored teams have gotten off to slow starts. We take a brief look at the Division breakdowns and current betting odds along with what to expect this season. Be sure to jump on these betting tips and current division odds located at the bottom of the page in time to get the most profit out of picking a division winner in 2009.

American League East
Talk about a stacked division the American League East is loaded with talent. In this division alone you could pick the majority of the AL All-Star team. Tampa Bay had the breakout season last year winning the division and making it to the World Series. The Devil Rays will have the dominant pitching rotation back again this season.. However, for them to win the division again this season they will have to hold off New York and Boston. The Red Sox have gotten off to a terribly slow 3-6 start, but expect them to get things rolling soon. The Red Sox signed the popular John Smoltz along with 5 other free agents in the off season that could give help. Josh Beckett and Jon Lester should make it tough for opposing teams. The Red Sox went 7 games with Tampa Bay last season barely missing out on World Series dreams. New York spent enough money in the off-season to pay off most teams’ entire rosters. The big signing with C.C Sabathia should be huge. The most talented team in baseball keeps throwing more money out every year, but still has not had the results Yankees fans have been expecting. Will this year be any different?

Pick – New York money finally pays off and they come on strong after the midway point of the season

American League Central
Welcome to the most wide open division in Major League Baseball. The AL Central could be up for grabs with every team in the division. The Central may not be the overpowering division considering after the first 9 games there is a first place tie with a .556 winning percentage. Chicago won the division last season, but there will be a lot of question surrounding how well they will swing the sticks in 2009. Minnesota has a lot of talent on the roster, but how the young lineup will perform is still a mystery. Cleveland was predicted to be a slight favorite by some entering the season. However, after a 2-7 start it looks like the tribe is headed back down another letdown type road. In Detroit, this will be the make or break season for manager Jim Leyland as the Tigers are feeling the pressure that they must put together some success after some big moves financially before last season. Sadly the AL Central could be taken down by a team that does not even reach the 100 wins barrier.

Pick – No Play Here

American League West
The Los Angeles Angels are the biggest favorites for any team in their respected division in the league. The Angels will have a load of weapons to swing the bats especially with the addition of Bobby Abreu. The Angels are off to a rather slow 3-4 start, but expect them to pick it up. Seattle jumped out to the early 6-2 record to lead the division. The Mariners defense should be strong, but how the pitching staff will hold up will be the biggest concern especially towards the end of the season. Oakland is expected to be solid in the West. However, the A’s were ranked in the bottom of nearly every offensive category last year and that much change if there is to be room for success. Texas should be a very strong team with the bats led by Josh Hamilton who had a big year in 2008. However, they are another team with pitching concerns that will determine how much success they achieve in 2009.

Pick – Angels

National League East
Usually when you have the defending World Champions in your division the following year you are considered a rather big underdog. However Florida, New York and Atlanta will make legitimate claims to the best team in the NL East this season in the toughest division in the National League. Amazingly 4 teams have a shot to win this division though surely we will see that narrow down as the season progresses. Atlanta signed Derrick Lowe and some other solid names to get the pitching rotation back to dominant form. Philadelphia’s chances of repeating likely may rely on the health of Cole Hamels. Philadelphia should be strong again, but it has been nearly 25 years since a NL team repeated as World Champions. New York brought in closer Francisco Rodriguez to help the bullpen who looked simply bad at the end of last season. The Mets should be solid with the bats as well. However, while not much is said about Florida they have jumped out to a quick 6-1 lead in the division. The Marlins are pretty similar to last year when they closed out the season winning 15 of their last 20 games and can definitely contend.

Pick – Take a gamble with Florida, they definitely can win in bunches.

National League Central
The National League Central may turn out to be a closer battle than many are predicting. The Chicago Cubs hold the advantage heading into the early part of the season with a strong offense and possibly the best rotation top to bottom. However, St. Louis was an upset pick to watch heading in and they are off to a quick 7-3 start. The Cardinals undoubtedly have the best defense in the division. St. Louis has some concerns surrounding the bullpen, but if Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter can remain healthy the Cardinals should be fine. Still the Cubs will be the team to beat, but expect St. Louis to be the surprise this year in the NL Central.

Pick – Surely Chicago can’t mess this one up

National League West
San Diego has jumped out to a quick lead in the National League West with a 6-2 record and winners of 5 straight games. However, they split their first series with the Dodgers who have the most balanced line-up in the division. The Dodgers have Rafael Furcal returning to the lineup after missing most of last season that should give them a good boost not to mention the renegotiating deal with Manny Ramirez that should keep the Dodgers as favorites. Arizona will have a super bullpen that should give them the ability to play with most. San Diego has a big star emerging in first baseman Adrian Gonzalez that should help the offense quite a bit. Still once the season gets into full swing it will be hard to bet against the Dodgers who could be the best in the National League.

Pick – Dodgers easily

Current MLB Divisional Odds as of 4/15/09 From BetUS Sportsbook & Casino:
Get a 100% signup bonus at BetUS using this link & mentioning Bankroll Sports when joining!

Baltimore +5000
Boston +140
New York EV
Toronto +400
Tampa Bay +2500

Chicago +400
Cleveland +250
Detroit +275
Kansas City +450
Minnesota +300

Los Angeles -125
Oakland +275
Seattle +900
Texas +500

Atlanta +350
Florida +600
New York +110
Philadelphia +200
Washington +3000

Chicago -225
Cincinnatti +1700
Houston +1800
Milwaukee +800
Pittsburgh +3500
St. Louis +350

Arizona +175
Colorado +800
Los Angeles EV
San Diego +1500
San Francisco +500

2009 American League Central Preview

March 6th, 2009 by Rodney James (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in MLB Baseball   Comments Off on 2009 American League Central Preview

In what some might consider the most competitive division, from top to bottom, the American League Central does not appear to have the strength and star power that other divisions have. Look for a narrow gap between the top and the bottom of this league, with the order going in any order. While the AL Central did not appear to lose any of their star power from 2008, they also did not seem to gain any via the off-season.

As the Chicago White Sox convene in Glendale Arizona, they come in as the divisional winner from one season ago. The White Sox ended the season 89-74, but fell in the ALDS. Chicago unloaded Nick Swisher and Javy Vazquez during the off-season for seven players including six that appear to be minor leaguers. Wilson Betemit appears to be the key name sent to the Windy City in that deal. Others involved with Brent Lillibridge and Jeff Marquez. Marquez looks to possibly be thrown in the 5th starter role for Ozzie Guillen’s Sox. Chicago also added Jayson Nix who played second base for Colorado last season. He looks to be the front runner for the position, just ahead of prospects Chris Getz (from Chicago) and Brent Lillibridge. Whoever gets the nod will play alongside Alexei Ramirez in the middle infield. Ramirez finished second in the AL MVP voting last season behind Tampa’s Evan Longoria. Josh Fields looks to fill Joe Crede’s position at third base. Crede was let go via free agency. Gone from last season’s outfield are Ken Griffey Jr. and Nick Swisher. Carlos Quentin and Jermaine Dye look to be mainstays in the outfield, with Paul Konerko and Jim Thome sliding in at first base and DH respectively. The last question for Chicago is who will fill centerfield. Jerry Owens, DeWayne Wise and Brian Anderson will all three fight for the position this spring. Owens only played 12 games in 2008 with a groin injury, while Anderson and Wise have had problems getting on base. The White Sox pitching will be anchored by Mark Buehrle. The lefthander will lead a rotation with Gavin Floyd, John Danks and a mixture of Bartolo Colon, Lance Broadway, Clayton Richard, Jeff Marquez and Aaron Poreda fighting for the fourth and fifth positions. Poreda appears to be an excellent choice, as he is just 22 years old. The 6’6, 240lbs. sinkerball pitcher pitched in 12 games in high A ball last season, and then 15 in Class AA. If Ozzie elects to not throw him into the rotation, he will certainly figure into the bullpen, alongside guys such as Bobby Jenks, Matt Thornton and Scott Linebrink.

In Goodyear, Arizona the Cleveland Indians feel they have as good of shot at winning the division as anyone. After their 81-81 mark in 2008, Cleveland only made minimal splash in the free agency pool, but appear to have improved. The signing of Kerry Wood should be an upgrade from Joe Borowski, who closed games in 2008. Wood saved 34 games in 2008 only making one trip to the disabled list. If Wood stays healthy, this could prove to be an excellent signing. Cleveland also added another former Chicago Cub in Mark DeRosa. DeRosa appears to be a good fit for third base in Cleveland after his time spent in Chicago was merely as a utility player. Joe Smith was also added to the bullpen to add some much needed depth. The improved play of Shin-Soo Choo made letting Franklin Gutierrez expendable. Starting pitching will surely be a question mark for Cleveland. The first question will be, can Cliff Lee continue his sharp pitching of 2008? Lee finished 22-3 with a 2.54 era in 2008 after having just a horrible 2007 season. Behind Lee in the rotation will be Carl Pavano, who never could shake his struggles as a Yankee. Fausto Carmona will be Cleveland’s third starting pitcher, and if those three are on, there will be no better 1-3 rotation in the AL Central than Cleveland. But, consistency has been an issue for all three. The bats should not be an issue for the Indians. Travis Hafner should continue to hold the designated hitter position, despite only playing in 57 games last season. Hafner received MVP votes in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Kelly Shoppach has allowed the Indians to move Victor Martinez to other positions, such as first base or designated hitter. If none of the above options work, Ryan Garko has showed he can hit the ball as well. Look for youngster Matt LaPorta to possibly get a shot directly out of spring training. His best position is left field, and he could develop into of the games most powerful hitters. LaPorta was the main cog in the trade that sent C.C. Sabathia to Milwaukee. If he doesn’t make the opening day roster, his stay in AAA Columbus will probably not be long.

In Lakeland, Florida where the Detroit Tigers are conducting their 2009 spring training, the Tigers are looking for answers. Answers as to what went array during the 2008 season, as Detroit finished 74-88, last place in the AL Central. Detroit allowed 857 runs in 2008 and are counting on guys such as Jeremy Bonderman, Justin Verlander, Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya will all return to 2006 form. All four of those guys had a great deal of struggles during 2008. Detroit grabbed Gerald Laid from Texas, along with Edwin Jackson, Adam Everett and Brandon Lyon. When Detroit won the pennant three years ago, Bonderman and Verlander went 31-17 and pitched over 400 innings. In 2008 they combined for a dismal 14-21 record with a near 5.00 era. Also, in the Tigers dream season of 06, Rodney and Zumaya combined for a 2.67 era, while in 08, they did not win a game, going 0-8 with a 4.38 era. Both suffered injuries throughout most of the season. Offensively Gary Sheffield, added with Miguel Cabrera, Placido Polanco and Brandon Inge should be a solid combination. Adam Everett should help Detroit defensively in the middle of the infield. Behind the plate, the Tigers will not see a mainstay in Pudge Rodriguez, as this season the job looks to go to either Gerald Laird or rookie Matt Treanor. If Laird gets the nod as the starting catcher, look for Treanor to be one of the best back-up catchers in the league.

For the Kansas City Royals, they hope their turn around in 2009 matches the city in which they are training in. Surprise Arizona holds the Royals spring training complex, and that’s exactly what the Royals want to do – surprise the rest of the league. The Royals added a bad in Mike Jacobs to the lineup, along with Coco Crisp. Jacobs hit 32 homeruns last year and drove in 93, while Crisp is a guy that will get on base at the top of the lineup. Kansas City locked up Zack Greinke, their ace for four years, while picking up Kyle Farnsworth and Willie Bloomquist. Kansas City will continue to rely on youngsters such as Alex Gordon, Billy Butler and Luke Hochevar to carry a heavy load. After finishing 75-87 last season, Kansas City finally moved out of the AL Central cellar, passing Detroit. Another step in that direction would please the front office in Kansas City, but with the division being wide open, the Royals will battle hard all 162 games. Offensively, Jacobs and Guillen should pack a punch in the middle of the lineup, but the question will be can Butler and Gordon get themselves on base enough. Gordon hit just .260 last season. Look for prospect Mike Moustakas to get some looks at shortstop for the Royals. The number two pick in the 2007 draft led the Class A Midwest League with 22 homeruns in 2008. With Gordon at third base, and Moustakas manning shortstop, Kansas City could be in for a solid feature. Another move Kansas City made in the off-season was adding another year for the services of Mark Teahen. The Royals will look to start Teahen at second base, but with his versatility, he could get moved around. He will compete with Alberto Callapso and Bloomquist for the job. When it comes to starting pitching, Zach Greinke is at the top of the list for the Royals Gil Meche has turned into a serviceable start, and Joakim Soria had a nice season in 2008. If those three can have solid seasons, and Kansas City finds their niche in the bullpen, they could themselves in a playoff chase come August and September.

The Minnesota Twins payroll has dropped to about $60 million, which is down $14 million from the 2007 season. Fortunately for Minnesota they did not lose anyone from the team that lost the division in 2008 in a play-in game against Chicago. Minnesota recently signed Joe Crede to play third base, so that should help out the Minnesota offense. The buzz in Fort Myers Florida is how good the youngsters are that will take the field for the Twins. The starting rotation is just an average of 25 years old and only average around 40 starts in their career. Scott Baker, Francisco Liriano, Kevin Slowey, Glen Perkins and Nick Blackburn have not turned into household names, but they have shown potential of being very solid. Baker is the oldest of the crew at 27 years old. He has made 76 starts in his young career. If a hiccup occurs out of any of the starting pitchers Kevin Mulvey could fill in quite nicely. Mulvey is a 23 year old right hander who pitched in the Mets’ minor league organization in 2007 finishing the season with a 3.62 ERA in 154 innings. With Joe Nathan at the back end of the bullpen, the Twins look to find patch work to complete the rest of the group. Offensively Minnesota will once again rely on Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Mauer is arguably the best catcher in baseball, and Justin Morneau has MVP type ability. Along with Mauer and Morneau are guys such as Carlos Gomez and Delmon Young that have great ability, but have yet to show themselves in the major leagues. Both players have great athleticism, but that doesn’t correlate to getting on base. Brian Buscher and Brendan Harris should battle hard behind Crede at third base position. Buscher starting 60 games at third base last season, while Harris took turns at basically every infield position.

Who will win the American League Central in 2009?

  • Minnesota Twins (44%, 26 Votes)
  • Chicago White Sox (29%, 17 Votes)
  • Cleveland Indians (15%, 9 Votes)
  • Kansas City Royals (8%, 5 Votes)
  • Detroit Tigers (3%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 59

2009 American League East Preview

February 22nd, 2009 by Rodney James (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in MLB Baseball   Comments Off on 2009 American League East Preview

In 2008, the American League East took a turn for a complete surprise as the upstart Tampa Bay Devil Rays took the division, and then later the American League title in October. The beasts of the East; Boston and New York finished in second and third place respectively, with Boston garnering the wildcard, and the Yankees snapping their 13 season playoff streak and finishing 16 games above .500 and 8 games back. The Toronto Blue Jays finished 86-76 and 11 games back, and the Baltimore Orioles won 68 games, finishing 28.5 games out of first place.

A year after winning the American League Championship Series, before falling to Philadelphia in the World Series, the Tampa Bay Rays come into the season as the underdog in the American League East once again. Tampa Bay kept relatively quiet in the off-season, while their rivals, the Yankees and the Red Sox were active picking up additional talent.

Despite all the drama surrounding Manny Ramirez last season, Boston was still able to snag the wildcard, only to fall in the ALCS to the Rays. A full season with Jason Bay patrolling the outfield, along with the additions of Rocco Baldelli, Brad Penny, Takaski Saito and John Smoltz the Red Sox appear to be in a prime position to play October Baseball once again. Youngsters Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester and Justin Masterson will be turned heavily to with oft-injured Josh Beckett and Brad Penny in the middle of the rotation. Offensively, Boston will look to get a repeat season from AL MVP Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia hit .326 with 17 homeruns and 83 rbi’s for Boston. Jacoby Ellsbury brings lightning quick speed to the outfield, but will need to find more ways to get on base to please the Boston organization in 2009. As Boston continues to prime for the 2009 season in Key West Florida, the pundits are still debating if the decision to avoid surgery on David Ortiz’s wrist was a good decision. Ortiz had some of the lowest numbers in his career, a cause for concern for the Red Sox nation. It should be an excellent spring training battle at shortstop between Julio Lugo and Jed Lowrie

The Yankees had the huge off-season, picking up free agents pitchers C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. On the offensive side, Mark Teixeria was signed to a massive contract to shore up the first base position for the Yankees. The Yankees on paper, appear to have the firepower to win this division, but with the off season issue regarding Alex Rodriguez and steroids, the team will need to find a way to rally and concentrate on baseball. Catcher Jorge Posada looks to be regaining health after missing the ladder part of the 2008 season after having right shoulder surgery. Hideki Matsui is also coming off a season ending injury after having left knee surgery at the end of the 2008 season. The question around the Yankees spring training facility in Tampa Florida is whether Joba Chamberlain is best served as a starter or an 8th inning man? Mariano Rivera will once again take the duties as the closer for the Yankees.  Starting pitching will once again be the question mark for Joe Giradi’s squad, as Phil Hughes, Humberto Sanchez and Jason Johnson all look to be fighting for the fifth position in the rotation. 

The defending champion Tampa Bay Rays added Pat Burrell from Philadelphia to help bring some power to the lineup from the outfield position. The outfield is awfully crowded for the Rays who have B.J. Upton, Carl Crawford and Gabe Kapler already. Look for youngster Matt Joyce to get some at bats in the outfield for Tampa Bay as well. Evan Longoria will look to repeat his .272, 27, 85 2008 season as his stock in major league baseball continues to grow. Carl Crawford appears to be as close to 100% as he can be, after playing just over 100 games last season. The pitching staff last season turned into one of the more dynamic staffs in all of baseball, and will now add youngster David Price, the 6’6 lefthander out of Vanderbilt University. Most recently, Tampa Bay added reliever Jason Isringhausen to a minor league contract. Isringhausen may be a big help later in the season if he can regain his old pitching ways. 

The Baltimore Orioles come into Fort Lauderdale Florida with a few new faces. Baltimore picked up Ryan Freel, Ty Wiggington, Cesar Izturis and Gregg Zaun, all veterans, along with youngsters such as Rich Hill and Felix Pie. They also resigned All-Star second basemen, Brian Roberts. Baltimore had the American League’s worst ERA last year with a 5.51 era. This season Mark Hendrickson will be turned to, to eat up innings after finishing with a 5.45 era last season in Florida. Koji Uehara, a two time All Star in Japan will slide into the rotation along with Jeremy Guthrie. Youngsters Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones will seemingly get plenty of at bats for a team that is expected to finish at the bottom of the division again in 2009. Felix Pie amd Ryan Freel will have a spring training battle to see who can fill the other outfield position for Baltimore, while Luke Scott appears to be the team’s designated hitter.

The Toronto Blue Jays did not put forth much of an effort in the off season to show the fans they are going to attempt to compete at the top of the American League East. Additions of Michael Barrett, Kevin Millar, Mike Maroth and Matt Clement are hardly a sign of dominance. The Blue Jays do not appear to have a great deal of starting pitching depth beyond Roy Halladay and Jesse Litsch, so guys like Scott Richmond, David Purcey and Brian Burress will be forced to step right into the show. Vernon Wells and Alex Rios are nice plays and with Halladay, the Jays will have a staff ace.  However, this team has a lot of question marks and seems to be relying on too many young bats.

Who will win the AL East in 2009?

  • Boston Red Sox (34%, 23 Votes)
  • New York Yankees (31%, 21 Votes)
  • Tampa Bay Rays (18%, 12 Votes)
  • Baltimore Orioles (10%, 7 Votes)
  • Toronto Blue Jays (6%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 67