Teams to End Their Postseason MLB Betting Drought in 2015
Since the MLB playoffs were expanded in 1995, all the MLB franchises that had previously been unable to earn a postseason berth have made at least one playoff appearance making online betting more open to fans of all teams. Even so, a number of teams have been visibly absent from the playoff arena, led by the Toronto Blue Jays, who have the longest active postseason drought at 21 years.
The Nationals, who owned the longest playoff drought at 30 years for the franchise (and 78 years for the city) ended theirs in 2012, with the Kansas City Royals’ drought at 28 years ending in 2014, and Pittsburgh Pirates’ drought at 20 years ending in 2013. Can the Jays, Houston Astros (9 years drought) and New York Mets (8 years drought) follow suit by ending their respective droughts after strong showings in 2015 MLB odds, or will their postseason absence extend beyond this year? Let’s find out, as we give a succinct analysis in the breakdown below:
A Look at the Teams That Could End Postseason Drought in 2016
Toronto Blue Jays
Long gone are the memories the Blue Jays and their last trip to playoffs in 1993, when Joe Carter’s home run helped the team to win the World Series. Toronto fans can, however, be hopeful of an end to the drought, considering their strong 2015 contention for the AL East title or a possible slot in the wild-card spot. In the division, the Yankees still have a six-game lead, but in the AL wild-card standings, the Jays are just trailing the Angels by two games, which could easily see Toronto clinch a playoff spot.
In addition to their good form so far this season, the Blue Jays acquired All-Star left-hander David Price from Detroit and also got shortstop Troy Tulowitzki from Colorado, adding a lot of depth to the team. Price, a first overall pick in 2007, is a proven veteran and his addition to the pitching department brings a lot of experience and the potential for improvement, something that is affirmed by the 9-4 record with a 2.53 ERA in 21 starts in Detroit this season. “These types of players, the great superstar players, rarely become available,” said Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos. “We think we’re a good team and adding a guy like Price we think makes us that much stronger and will give us a chance to win. It’s as simple as that.”
Following the 2005 season when they were swept by the Chicago White Sox in the World Series, the Astros have not made it to the postseason games, with the last couple of years seeing them struggle a lot, including dropping 100-plus games in three back-to-back seasons from 2011 to 2013. The young and energetic Astros have, however, finally coaxed fans back to the belief, putting up the best run in their recent history through a surprisingly good first half of the season, followed by a decent showing in the second half.
The fact that they are leading the top-heavy AL West (three games ahead of the Angeles) is proof of their potential to break their postseason jinx. Not to mention, during the Trade Deadline, the Astros got the prized talent of left-handed starter Scott Kazmir from Oakland and also added two-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Gomez and right-hander Mike Fiers both from the Brewers.
The 29-year-old Gomez has been in a tear this season, hitting .262 with 8 homers and 43 RBIs in 74 games for the Brewers in 2015. Moreover, Gomez, who won a Gold Glove in 2013, is a nine-year veteran coming off his career-best year in 2014, when he hit .284 with 34 doubles, 73 RBIs, 23 homers and 34 steals, making him one of the two players in MLB with at least 100 steals and 50 home runs in the last four years, the other player being Mike Trout. With such solid moves, Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow can be sure that a playoff contention will now be very possible for the team, especially if Gomez and Co. can quickly acclimatize to the team and deliver as expected.
New York Mets
For most of the season, the Mets have arguably been the team with the best rotation in all of baseball, but it is their hitting that has been their biggest concern. Last week, Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin said a potential trade that would have sent Gomez to the Mets for infielder Wilmer Flores and injured pitcher Zack Wheeler failed to happen, with Gomez resorting to join the Astros. However, all that disappointment proved as blessing in disguise, as the Mets landed a veritable offensive machine in Detroit Tigers’ slugger Yoenis Cespedes during the final hour of the Trade Deadline on Friday. Adding Cespedes to the team is a near guarantee that the Mets will have a much improved offense, as they race for the playoffs.
On paper, the talent is present, and the motivation to end the drought is equally there. The fact that the Mets are tied with the Nationals in the NL East also orients a lot of motivation for the team to continue fighting for a divisional pennant and a playoff spot. Probably the only concern for the Mets in the race to the playoffs is the stiff competition for both the NL East title and National League postseason slots, which necessitates a lot of improvements. If the Mets can maintain consistency, then a playoff spot will be in the offing for them. If not, they could once again find themselves staring out from the sidelines with regrets of missed opportunities.