Top Props of the Week: 2013 MLB Division Title Odds
by Dave Schwab - 7/29/2013
The MLB regular season heads into the stretch run as the calendar gets ready to turn the page to August, and the race for a title in four of six divisions remains as tight as ever. Bovada has recently updated its odds for all six division races, making it a great time to try and uncover the value in the numbers.
At the top of our list is the heated race in the AL East. As of this past Sunday’s games, the Boston Red Sox held an ever-so-slim half-game lead over Tampa Bay, with Baltimore five games back and the New York Yankees 7.5 games out of the lead. The Red Sox are a slight +110 favorite to hold on and win the East with the Rays listed at +120. The Orioles are next at +600 followed the Yankees at +1200. Boston just dropped two of three to Tampa Bay last week at home, with the final game of that four-game series rescheduled for this Monday night. These two teams will meet three more times after that in Tampa Bay. The momentum in this race has appeared to swing in the Rays’ favor after going 7-2 since the all-star break. This followed a 14-2 run to close out the first half.
The next tight division race in the American League has Detroit holding a three-game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central. The Tigers have won seven of their last 10 games, but the Indians have held their ground with a 6-4 record in their last 10 outings. Bovada has Detroit as the overwhelming favorite to win the division at -450, with Cleveland listed at +350. The Tigers have owned the season series so far with nine victories in 12 meetings. Coming up the first week of August is a crucial four-game showdown in Cleveland that could go a long way towards deciding the future direction of this race. At the end of August they will meet three more times in Detroit to close things for the regular season.
Turning to the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers have gone on a tear to claim the top spot in the NL West after overcoming a surprisingly slow start. Through Sunday, they had won nine of 10 games since the break. Before that, Los Angeles reeled-off 11 wins in 14 games to climb back into the race. Right now it leads Arizona by 2.5 games and Colorado by six games as a -300 favorite to win the division. The Diamondbacks are at +300, followed by the Rockies at +1400. The defending champion Giants have faded out of the picture with a 3-7 record since the break. Arizona has played consistent ball all season long, but it will hard pressed to keep pace with one of the hottest teams in the league.
The other tight race in the NL is in the Central Division, where St. Louis is clinging to a 1.5-game lead over Pittsburgh and a five-game lead over Cincinnati. The Cardinals are still -175 favorites to win the title, but there is some solid value in the Pirates at +300 and the Reds at +350. Everyone is patiently waiting for another Pittsburgh collapse, but after closing out the first half with five losses in eight games, it has stabilized things somewhat with a 5-5 record in its last 10 games. This Monday marks the start of a crucial four-game series between the Cardinals and the Pirates that could ultimately decide which direction Pittsburgh heads. Be careful not to forget about a very talented Cincinnati team that appears to be waiting patiently in the wings to make its late-season move up the standings.
Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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