MLB Odds to Favor Losing Teams in the Season’s Second Half
It’s July 20th, one of my favorite days of the year, as it marks the day I… Well, the reason doesn’t matter. What is important is that I’m feeling rather bold about everything today.
Fueled by well-informed speculation and finely-researched findings throughout the season, here are my bold MLB betting predictions about teams with current losing records that are likely to make turnarounds in the second half of the season, probably going as far as contending strongly for the MLB wild-card spots:
A Look at the MLB Odds to Favor Losing Teams in the Season’s Second Half
Texas Rangers (42-47, .472)
Prince Fielder has been in beast mode since coming back from neck surgery, hitting .339 with 14 home runs and if he can continue with his good season alongside a healthy Josh Hamiton and Mitch Moreland, the Rangers should continue to shine. Of course, the injuries to Derek Holland, Matt Harrison and Yu Darvish have hurt the team’s rotation, but with Holland and Harrison expected to be back later this summer, the Rangers could get the impetus needed for them to contend for the wild card spot. As far as a game-changer is concerned in the team, watch out for Elvis Andrus whose electric defense has been a key element for the team this season.
Arizona Diamondbacks (42-46, .477)
No, the Diamondbacks won’t be challenging for the NL West title, and yes, I am sure they could challenge for a .500 mark this season. Arizona’s offense has been on steroids lately, ranking in the NL top 3 in both OBP and stolen bases, thanks mainly to the MVP-worthy performances of Paul Goldschmidt (NL leader in batting average and RBIs, and a top-fiver in home runs). Meanwhile, the ‘Backs boast of the services of All-Star A.J. Pollock, while Yasmany Tomas is coming along quite well in racking up runs for the team. Arizona’s struggles in the rotation have been the team’s undoing. If Rubby De La Rosa, Jeremy Hellickson and Josh Collmenter can find some sort of good streak amongst themselves, good things could be in the books for Arizona.
Atlanta Braves (43-47, .478)
And he said let there be speed.., and there was right-hander Mike Foltynewicz. Don’t you just love it when this 95 mph fastballer steps on the field? Anyway, outside Foltynewicz, the Braves have a solid pitching, led by Shelby Miller who has posted an impressive 2.38 ERA in 18 starts. Unfortunately, the injury of closer Jason Grilli has taken out some gas out the bullpen. Some trade deadline additions to help out in the bullpen could thus go a long way in boosting the Braves. The improved offense (moving from 3.54 runs per game last year to 3.90 this year) has also been doing okay, but that doesn’t mean that a few more hitters would hurt the team. All in all, the Braves have managed to hang around the .500 mark for most of the season, hence continuing to do the same (or better) should be possible. Even so, new GM John Hart will need to dig deep into his pockets if he is really serious about the Braves continuing to fight for a spot in the playoffs, or even a surprise pennant in the NL East.
Toronto Blue Jays (46-46, 0.50)
Okay, I know this not a current losing record, but I swear they were 45-46 just the other day. I guess they’ve already started to fire hot, which affirms my argument regarding the Jays improving and making a push for the wild-card spot in the AL. Averaging over 5 runs per game, the Blue Jays have an offense that is matchless to any team in the league, something that will be important for the team down the stretch. Unfortunately, the pitching department leaves a lot to be desired, with none of the team’s starters emerging as a reliable ball-hauler. Rookie left-hander Daniel Norris has been serviceable, but without better pitching, all their ambitions will mean nothing. If the talks about Johnny Cueto moving to Toronto are true, then Blue Jays fans can raise their hopes of ending their MLB-longest playoff drought. Without good pitching additions, a good season should be possible, but without contention for the wild-card spot.