MLB Odds to Win Each Division with Expert Picks and Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 3/30/2015
A week from now we'll be able to watch baseball games that matter. And we'll be able to watch it for the next seven months or so. As we get ready for another long, glorious season, this is a good time to take a look at each division. There are, of course, futures odds for each division. Here's a look at each division, and some thoughts on the hunt for MLB division futures betting value ( All odds are from Sportsbook.ag):
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Washington Nationals (-500)
Miami Marlins (+650)
New York Mets (+800)
Atlanta Braves (+5000)
Philadelphia Phillies (+25000)
The oddsmakers suggest that this isn't much of a race. They are right. I'm not necessarily convinced that the Nationals are fitting favorites to win the World Series. In their division, though, they win almost by default. The Marlins are improved and have potential but just aren't deep enough. I am very negative about the Mets - they could be better, but they will be far from good enough. Atlanta has issues galore and is a few years away from being a viable contender. The odds for the Phillies are huge, but given their issues, and the fact that the sell off is not likely complete yet, you would have to add a couple more zeroes to the end of this price before they would be worthy of an investment. Washington it is - though at this price there are surely better ways to tie up your money for six months or so.
St. Louis Cardinals (+140)
Pittsburgh Pirates (+240)
Chicago Cubs (+350)
Milwaukee Brewers (+900)
Cincinnati Reds (+1200)
You can rule out Milwaukee and the Reds out of the gate - they just aren't relevant at this point. Chicago is interesting. They have worked hard to compete, and they are certainly much-improved. The attitude of the team towards Kris Bryant and his status, though, really has me wondering whether they are truly serious about competing this year. I always get very nervous when a team is expected to take a massive step forward in one year. It seems too soon, so I'll pass. I like Pittsburgh and the team they are building, but I continue to feel that they are building a pretty good squad and not a great one. St. Louis has a better rotation, a better overall roster, and more experience with success. The favorites get the nod here.
L.A. Dodgers (-280)
San Diego Padres (+500)
San Francisco Giants (+550)
Arizona Diamondbacks (+3500)
Colorado Rockies (+3500)
Colorado and Arizona are various degrees of lousy. They are working to improve, but it won't happen in any hurry. San Francisco faces the same World Series hangover that hit them before, and the roster isn't quite as good as last year. Even then, they were only a great team in the postseason - they were lucky to make the playoffs. On paper, the Dodgers are clearly the best team. I don't really trust this franchise to live up to potential, though - they have been better than their record for years and can't seem to instill the hunger they need to succeed. They are still the likely winner, but at the price I'll take a gamble on the Padres. This is a truly incredible overhaul for this team. They have changed pretty much everything. Winning the division is almost certainly too much to ask, but there is only one other viable contender, so at this price it's worth a shot. If nothing else, a bet on the Padres would give us something fun to root for.
Boston Red Sox (+175)
Baltimore Orioles (+300)
New York Yankees (+400)
Toronto Blue Jays (+400)
Tampa Bay Rays (+1000)
I hate this division this year. I don't trust the Red Sox to bounce back from a dismal season - they overpaid badly in free agency, and I don't think they would be near this price if they weren't such a public team. Not even close to any value here. The Yankees are a mess, and I just don't trust their rotation at all. The Blue Jays are intriguing, and the bats will be strong, but the pitching has too many question marks to get me too excited. Tampa Bay is in rebuild mode. That leaves Baltimore. I can't say too much about them that gets my blood pumping, but pretty much by default they are the pick at this price.
Detroit Tigers (+200)
Chicago White Sox (+275)
Cleveland Indians (+280)
Kansas City Royals (+400)
Minnesota Twins (+2000)
Minnesota may never be good again. Detroit is decent, but I have done well by having healthy disrespect for this team in recent years, and I'm not going to change now. I don't trust Miguel Cabrera to stay healthy this year, and the problems go from there. The White Sox are much-improved but not as improved as people think. I still don't trust the bullpen, and the rotation makes me uneasy. They require more patience in their rise to prominence than this price suggests. It's time, then, to gamble. Cleveland does a lot of things pretty well but doesn't excite me enough to get behind them. That leaves Kansas City. I like what they are building and hope they can build on the experience gained last year. In a wide-open division they are the most attractive at their price.
Seattle Mariners (+140)
Los Angeles Angels (+200)
Oakland Athletics (+375)
Houston Astros (+1200)
Texas Rangers (+1700)
I don't think Oakland is good enough. The Angels are not getting any younger. Houston and Texas aren't relevant. Luckily, I really like this Seattle team. They have been slowly and gradually building, and this is the year it will pay off. They narrowly missed the playoffs last year, and will make it easily this year. Well-built roster. Very promising rotation. Nice bullpen. A team to watch for sure.
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