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    Pennant and Division Odds (06/05/2013)

    John Ewing, Director of Research and Analytics
    By John Ewing

    How are's value bets doing a third of the way through the MLB season? A look at suggested plays for the MLB Pennant and Division odds, plus updated odds.

    Before the season began we looked for value in the Pennant and Division odds. With the bloom off the rose we look back at our suggested plays and see how they are doing a little over a third of the way through the season.

    AL Pennant

    Preseason Value Bets: Detroit (17/4), Los Angeles (9/2), Tampa Bay (8/1)

    Detroit: odds moved from 17/4 to 3/1

    Before the season began we gave the Tigers a 20% chance of winning the AL Pennant. According to our rest of season projections Detroit is still the most likely team to finish with the best record in the AL.

    Los Angeles: odds moved from 9/2 to 14/1

    The Angels have lost 10 of their last 13 games and are 10 games out of first in the AL West. “Mo Money, Mo Problems,” the Angels have spent $450 million on three players (Albert Pujols, C.J. Wilson, Josh Hamilton) in the last two years getting no return on their investment.

    Tampa Bay: odds moved from 8/1 to 9/1

    The Rays started slow but had the best record in the AL East in May (18-10). In order for Tampa Bay to contend for the Pennant they will need to finish games. The Rays have lost 17 games this season in which they have held a lead (Baseball Prospectus).

    AL Pennant Preseason Odds Current Odds
    DETROIT TIGERS 17/4 3/1
    TEXAS RANGERS 15/2 4/1
    BOSTON RED SOX 14/1 7/1
    NEW YORK YANKEES 9/1 8/1
    TAMPA BAY RAYS 8/1 9/1
    TORONTO BLUE JAYS 15/4 16/1
    CHICAGO WHITE SOX 20/1 40/1
    KANSAS CITY ROYALS 28/1 40/1
    MINNESOTA TWINS 50/1 60/1
    SEATTLE MARINERS 50/1 100/1
    HOUSTON ASTROS 125/1 500/1

    NL Pennant

    Preseason Value Bets: Cincinnati (6/1), St. Louis (10/1)

    Cincinnati: odds moved from 6/1 to 5/1

    The Reds are lurking in the shadows. St. Louis and Atlanta have better records than Cincinnati, in part due to the Reds 3-6 mark against the Cardinals and Braves this season. Cincinnati will have its opportunity to make up ground with five series remaining against those two clubs.

    St. Louis: odds moved from 10/1 to 4/1

    We covered the Cardinals here and here already this month. All they do is win, like Tim Tebow? As a Redbirds fan I fear they may be peaking too early but as a gambler I’m glad I got the best of the line before it moved.

    NL Pennant Preseason Odds Current Odds
    ATLANTA BRAVES 7/1 4/1
    COLORADO ROCKIES 60/1 15/1
    SAN DIEGO PADRES 40/1 50/1
    NEW YORK METS 40/1 75/1
    MILWAUKEE BREWERS 22/1 125/1
    CHICAGO CUBS 40/1 150/1
    MIAMI MARLINS 75/1 1500/1

    AL East

    Preseason Value Bets: Tampa Bay (5/2)

    In addition to their 17 losses after leading the Rays are also 4-11 in one-run games this season. Some regression on that front will greatly increase their chances of winning the division.

    AL East Preseason Odds Current Odds
    Boston Red Sox 11/2 2/1
    Tampa Bay Rays 5/2 11/4
    Baltimore Orioles 13/2 13/4
    New York Yankees 15/4 13/4
    Toronto Blue Jays 8/5 15/1

    AL Central

    Preseason Value Bets: Chicago (6/1)

    The White Sox were .500 on the season but they are currently on an 8 game losing streak. With the Tigers the most likely division winner of any team before the season began, winning the AL Central 64% of the time, and Detroit our current projected winner, by 14 games over Cleveland, this bet may be a lost cause.

    AL Central Preseason Odds Current Odds
    Detroit Tigers 2/5 1/3
    Cleveland Indians 8/1 4/1
    Chicago White Sox 6/1 12/1
    Kansas City Royals 6/1 15/1
    Minnesota Twins 15/1 15/1

    AL West

    Preseason Value Bets: Oakland (5/1)

    This bet may come down to the wire as Texas and Oakland are battling for the division lead. We are currently projecting the Rangers to win the division (only by 2 games) but if you got this line at 5/1 before it moved you feel pretty good.

    AL West Preseason Odds Current Odds
    Texas Rangers 9/4 1/2
    Oakland Athletics 5/1 2/1
    Los Angles Angels 2/3 7/1
    Seattle Mariners 15/1 50/1
    Houston Astros 50/1 300/1

    NL East

    Preseason Value Bets: New York (15/1)

    Financial issues (bad contracts, Madoff) alone do not fully explain the ineptitude of the Mets. Whether it is offense or pitching, New York ranks in the bottom of the league in nearly every statistical category.

    NL East Preseason Odds Current Odds
    Atlanta Braves 12/5 1/3
    Washington Nationals 5/6 2/1
    Philadelphia Phillies 3/1 18/1
    New York Mets 15/1 50/1
    Miami Marlins 40/1 1000/1

    NL Central

    Preseason Value Bets: Cincinnati (2/3)

    The Reds were the preseason favorite to win the division at 2/3 but have seen their odds move to 11/10, tied with St. Louis. A little luck and Cincinnati can win their second NL Central crown in the last two years, it would be the first time that the franchise had won a division in back to back seasons since 1976.

    NL Central Preseason Odds Current Odds
    Cincinnati Reds 2/3 11/10
    St. Louis Cardinals 5/2 11/10
    Pittsburgh Pirates 10/1 9/2
    Chicago Cubs 20/1 66/1
    Milwaukee Brewers 13/2 100/1

    NL West

    Preseason Value Bets: Colorado (25/1)

    The Rockies only had an 8% chance of winning the division before the season began but good play has seen their odds move from 25/1 to 13/2. Offensively Colorado is crushing, 7th in runs and average, 6th in OBP and slugging. A few more quality starts and we may cash this long shot ticket. 

    NL West Preseason Odds Current Odds
    San Francisco Giants 8/5 6/5
    Arizona Diamondbacks 13/2 3/2
    Colorado Rockies 25/1 13/2
    Los Angeles Dodgers 5/6 8/1
    San Diego Padres 14/1 15/1


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