Well, after I wrote my last post, the Angels promptly got swept by the Mariners to close out the first half of the season and I lost my bet. That will teach me to bet on the team I’m rooting for.
How have the Angels done since? You can take a wild guess by my hiatus. I had a little bit of hope when LA won the first two games against Oakland but the Angels are now mired in a 5-13 slump since. To make things worse, they did this against the two teams that they are chasing. This means the Angels are all but dead in the playoff race.
Even if they rally off the next 11 games in a row, they will still only be at .500 and at least 7 games out of the wild card. The lone bright spots on the team right now are Mike Trout and Howie Kendrick. Maybe now the owner and GM will think twice about splurging on some expensive free agent acquisitions.
The Josh Hamilton experiment has completely failed. Good thing we have him locked up for the long term. Maybe he can pull through this; but for now I’ve taken to calling him this season Adam Dunn.
He’s not the only problem, however. The pitching absolutely stinks outside of C.J. Wilson. Even if Albert was mashing like he was in his prime, the Angels would still be under .500 for the season.
On the other hand, Mr. Pujols hasn’t been a complete bust. He just needs to take his time and get healthy. Of course, he immediately injured his foot early into the 2nd half of the season. It will still be another 3+ weeks before he is out of a walking boot and onto the field.
Albert, I have one suggestion to make for you. Don’t try to come back this season. There isn’t anything left to play for. Concentrate on getting healthy so you can start next season off on the right foot (lol). His power numbers have been down as a direct result of constantly being injured.
Albert has shown flashes of his old self, but things are becoming very concerning. If he cannot keep himself healthy from month to month, than the Angels don’t stand much of a chance against Texas and Oakland in the future either.
I may have a couple of more trivial updates when Albert comes back into the lineup. I would like to see him put together a good September so he can have some momentum going into the offseason. However, the Angels as a team are nothing special to write about anymore.
Non-Dramatic Playoff Races
Outside of a couple of division titles and one wildcard spot, this is going to be a fairly boring August and September. The NL is all but decided already with Atlanta, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Cincinnati and the LA Dodgers close to wrapping things up. The only things left to decide is the seeding for the playoffs, who will win the NL Central, and if Arizona can make a run at the Dodgers.
The American League is only a little more exciting. The Tigers have their division wrapped up; either Boston or Tampa Bay will win the AL East and the other will take a wildcard spot. The only things left to decide is whether Oakland or Texas will win the AL West and which team will win the 2nd wildcard spot (loser between Texas and Oakland, Baltimore, or Cleveland).
One thing that I have noticed is that there is an abundance of bad MLB teams right now. Is there really only 6 teams in the National League that have a winning record?
Betting on Baseball
Because this is my only current interest for the rest of the 2013 MLB season, let’s talk about sports betting again. When it comes to betting on baseball, there are two major things you need to look for: 1) Matchups and 2) Recent Statistical Trends.
Matchups – This is fairly easy to do. Let’s look at tonight’s games to give you an example. The Detroit Tigers are going for a four game sweep of the Cleveland Indians on the road. The pitching matchup is Max Scherzer for Detroit (16-1; 2.85 ERA) vs Zach McAllister (4-6; 3.47 ERA) for the Indians.
The Moneyline is -165 to bet on the Tigers to win outright and +150 to bet on the Indians. This means you would have to put up $165 in order to win $100 if you bet on the Tigers or bet $100 to win $150 if you bet on the Indians to win. The $15 difference is called the Juice.
The spread is -1 1/2 runs if you bet on the Tigers and +1 1/2 runs if you bet on the Indians. This means that the Tigers would have to win by 2 runs or more in order to win this bet or the Indians can win or lose by 1 run for them to win.
Recent Trends – The Tigers currently have an 11 game winning streak. You might think “They are due to lose”. However, take a look at last nights game, a 14-inning win for the Tigers. Scherzer has a ton of quality starts and will probably go 7+ innings. Both teams ran their bullpens dry last night. The Indians have lost 11 of their last 12 to the Tigers. Thank you, end of story – the Tigers will win this game going away.
This is just one example of an easy game to pick. However, 9 out of 10 games do not have these types of statistics that make the winner clear cut. You want to limit yourself to bet on games that you feel 70% sure or more that you will win. In the case above, I would put that at about 80% because this is still baseball and anything can happen no matter how good it looks.