As May begins the early frontrunners have properly emerged in the MLB. Although most teams have barely played a fifth of their season, there are trends emerging that show just which teams could be contending the post-season. We’ve taken a look at the American League East and National League West outright betting markets in the second of our MLB series.
American League East Outright Betting
The New York Yankees didn’t start the 2018 season well but as we head into May they have found their stride, with a 9-1 record in their last ten games. They now lie just two games back from the Chicago Red Sox but with a tough series against the Houston Astros to finish and then a tough homestand against the Indians and the Red Sox to come, can the Yankees maintain their challenge at the top of the American League East?
If the Yankees are to maintain their fine form then much rests on the starting rotation. Tuesday night saw Jordan Montgomery exit after throwing just seven pitches due to elbow tightness which could see the 25-year-old left-hander on the DL, while RHP Sonny Gray has had a difficult start to 2018 with an ERA of 6.67 and a WHIP of 1.93 after his first six starts. If as it seems likely Montgomery is forced to miss a start then long reliever Domingo German may make a spot start after a shutout four innings in relief.
The Yankees also have questions regarding their infield but these are much better ones. Since being called up as cover for 3B Brandon Drury, Miguel Andujar has been a doubles machine for the Yankees. The 23-year-old Dominican leads the roster with 12 doubles in 87 AB and the Yankees management face a tough decision on which infielder to cut once Drury and 1B Greg Bird are ready to return from the DL.
The Yankees are currently 1.95 to win the American League East and 7.25 to win the World Series.
National League West Outright Betting
The Arizona Diamondbacks lead the National League West by six games as May begins but have been hit by the loss of LHP Robbie Ray to the DL with an oblique strain. The Dbacks face the LA Dodgers and the Astros in a five-match homestand before they return to Los Angeles for another two games against their National League West rivals.
Meanwhile below them, the San Francisco Giants have been heating up of late, taking three successive series wins taking them to 6.5 games back. The Giants have done remarkably well, having had to cope with continued injuries to their starting rotation. These have continued this week as Johnny Cueto has had to go back onto the DL with elbow inflammation. This means that with ace Madison Bumgarner only just playing catch on his return from injury and Jeff Samardzija struggling for consistency their upcoming 10-game road-trip to the East Coast looks even more daunting.
The Giants have a couple of options to them for Cueto's next scheduled start. They could stick to the current rotation, using RHP Chris Stratton in the opener against the Atlanta Braves on Friday night and then skipping Johnny Cueto's spot in the rotation. Alternatively, they could call up prospect Tyler Beede (RHP, ERA 8.22 WHIP 2.22) for a spot start. Coach Bruce Bochy has not given anything away as yet.
The Dbacks are 1.55 to win the National League West while the Giants are out at 11.50.