3 Value Picks To Win American League Pennant & 2 To Ignore
Major League Baseball players report to spring training next week as the 2020 season draws near.
To those considering early World Series betting on a possible contender, now is the perfect time to jump on it before players hit the field.
For fans of MLB betting, here are three value picks to win the American League pennant, along with two teams to be wary of.
AMERICAN LEAGUE PENNANT ODDS
|New York Yankees||+165|
|Boston Red Sox||+1100|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+1100|
|Chicago White Sox||+1700|
|Los Angeles Angels||+2000|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+4000|
|Kansas City Royals||+25000|
Odds are current as of publication but subject to change. They are posted by 888sport.
Three Teams Showing AL Value
Chicago White Sox +1700
The White Sox (+1700) had a fantastic offseason. Chicago acquired marquee free agents Yasmani Grandal and Edwin Encarnacion, re-signed Jose Abreu and traded for OF Nomar Maraza. They also added Gio Gonzalez and former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel to anchor a rotation led by Lucas Giolito, who had a breakout 2019.
On paper, the White Sox are close to competing with the Twins and Indians in the AL Central. A couple of key victories in those matchups, and they could have enough wins to challenge for a wild-card spot. They get that far, and the pitching rotation is playoff solid.
Los Angeles Angels +2000
The Angels’ batting order is going to be fearsome. Of course you have the best overall player in the game, Mike Trout, near the top of the lineup. Shohei Ohtani should be healthy and now the Angels have added third baseman Anthony Rendon.
Pitching has been a concern for Los Angeles for too long, and while it struck out on the marquee free-agent hurlers, it did add Julio Teheran and Dylan Bundy, durable innings eaters.
Putting it all together will be new manager Joe Maddon, who helped turn the low-budget Rays into a perennial contender and guided the Cubs to their first World Series title in more than a century. Perhaps his philosophy and strategy get the Angels over the hump and into the wild card.
Toronto Blue Jays +4000
Toronto has one of the top young corps of future standouts, led by Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio. That said, the team finished dead last in batting average and had holes to fill in the order. The Jays used 21 different starting pitchers in 2019.
They addressed many of the concerns in the offseason, adding Travis Shaw to play 1B and starters Hyun-Jin Ryu from the Dodgers, Tanner Roark from the Nationals and Chase Anderson from the Brewers. Nate Pearson, ranked as MLB.com’s No. 3 overall pitching prospect, could get the ball in2020, and they signed Japanese product Shun Tamaguchi. Talk about an overhaul of a prime weakness.
Toronto may be a year off from being a true contender. But with the Red Sox and Rays on potentially shaky ground, Toronto could sneak in there. Back the Blue Jays now and you’re getting a great price.
Two Teams to Fade
Minnesota Twins +900
The Twins won 101 games last season thanks to an offense that ranked No. 1 in home runs, No. 2 in runs scored and No. 2 in average. Their offense could be even better in 2020, with the addition of 3B Josh Donaldson.
But pitching remains a concern for Minnesota. The Twins struck out in acquiring a top-line starter, and instead settled for the wildly inconsistent Homer Bailey and the injured Rich Hill, who won’t be ready until June. Last year, all that offense and questionable pitching culminated in an AL Central title but a first-round sweep at the hands of the Yankees. Minnesota will again contend, but the price is too low with the concerns at hand and with the Yankees and Astros to go through.
Boston Red Sox +1100
The Red Sox finished a disappointing 84-78 and missed the playoffs. Now they’re trading away Mookie Betts and appear to be in rebuilding mode rather than the reloading mode we’re used to seeing in Beantown.
Boston still has a solid 1-2-3 starting group in Chris Sale, David Price and Nathan Eovaldi. But none of them tossed more than 25 games in 2019. There remain too many question marks and holes in the batting order to think about the Sox at this price.