The AL races are starting to narrow to just the contenders. Two weeks ago, eight teams were within 1.5 games of one other; the gap has since widened to five games. Detroit and and the L.A. currently hold the wild berths, with the Tigers holding a half game lead over the Angels.
However, Oakland and Baltimore are just a half game behind the Angels. In turn, the Tampa Bay Rays are just two games behind the Angels, then Boston is four games out, and finally, Toronto five games behind the Angels.
Of the eight teams, only Baltimore
has been outscored by their opponents, but they continue to play well and
defeat losing record teams consistently. They are a bonafide contender, one
that has closed the lead that the Yankees had enjoyed in the AL East
division. Baltimore has won three straight games, trailing the Yankees by 5 ½
Detroit and the Chicago White Sox
continue to seesaw back and forth in the AL Central with Detroit trailing the
Sox by 1.5 games. The CWS are 7-3 and Detroit 6-4 over their last 10 games
respectively. This division has become a two-team race with Cleveland falling
off the radar, losing 10 straight games and trailing the CWS by 10 ½ games.
Out in the AL West, Texas has
managed to protect their lead in the division despite some great play by both
the Angels and the surging Oakland A’s. The Angels trail Texas by five games
and the A’s trail by 5 ½ games in the division.
The Money Rankings
Given the greater competition and parity inherent in the American League among teams competing for
the wild card berths, there are only four AL teams in the top-10 based on net
money won. Pittsburgh is ranked best, having made 23.00 units per one unit
wagered this season. Baltimore is second in MLB and first in the AL, having made
18.00 units per one unit wagered. Oakland has played well in July and have
risen to fifth in MLB and second in the AL, having made 15.75 units per one unit
wagered. The CWS rank sixth in MLB and third in the AL having made 12.05 units
per one unit wagered.
After the three top teams in the
AL, there is a significant drop off to the Yankees, who rank 10th in MLB and
fourth in the AL having made just 3.50 units per one unit wagered. They are 18
games over the .500 mark, yet have only made a handful of widgets. This clearly
reflects how overvalued the public has made them in current games. However,
they are the Yankees and they are having another great season, so it makes it
difficult to fade them in any series, but there will be both opportunities to
play on them and against them moving forward. Check the MLB with John Ryan
thread for all updates and validation of plays.
In 12th position in MLB and fifth
in the AL are the Seattle Mariners, who have made 0.33 units per one unit
wagered this season. Unlike the Yankees, the Mariners have outperformed public
sentiment breaking-even despite being nine games under .500 for the season.
Generally, what I have learned over the 18 years of handicapping the MLB, is
that in order to maximize your profits, you must be able to identify dogs that
can win consistently around 50%.
Again, reflecting the parity of
the AL, the bottom five money burners in MLB all reside in the NL. The bottom
money burner in the AL is now the Boston Red Sox, who at 55-55 have burned
their backers by 13.00 units per one unit wagered this season. Again, the
public sentiment loves the Red Sox and they get pushed higher and higher in the
money lines. Ironically, I had read an article stating that when Boston has
lost two straight home games they were a perfect 14-0. After this week, that
has all changed when Minnesota came to Fenway and won the first three games of
the four game series with the Red Sox installed as significant favorites in all
I do believe that bettors now
have abandoned the Red Sox and quite frankly for good reason. There is
extensive turmoil on the team, ranging from the attitude uncertainties of Josh
Beckett to the apparent emotional volatility of Bobby Valentine. I stated, when he was hired, that his cocky, arrogant, and egotistical attitude would
never mesh in Beantown. In today’s Boston Globe, there was an article eluding
the to the fact that Boston brass supports Valentine. OK, and I know of a big
piece of oceanfront real estate in Arizona that some guy has been trying to
It is times like this where a solid team like
Boston can unite on their own despite the incompetence of the skipper and the
people paying that skipper. I will recommend playing on the Boston Red Sox in
their games extending through this Monday. Starting Tuesday, August 7, they
host Texas for two more games and have Lester starting Tuesday and Beckett
Wednesday. They will then go to Cleveland for four games against the Indians,
who have lost 10 straight games. They will have Monday off, but then start a
three-game series at Baltimore. If they were ever going to make a run, this
would be the time and place for them to pull it off. I recommended 5* plays on Boston
for the games mentioned above.