2018 American League West Outright Odds, Prediction
Odds courtesy of Bodog.
Houston Astros (-500)
The defending world champion Astros put fear in opposing pitchers last season and the stats prove why. In 2017, Houston scored an American League-best 896 runs and had a run differential of +196. After finishing with 101 wins en route to the franchise’s first-ever World Series crown, the Astros enter the 2018 campaign as the overwhelming -500 favourites to capture yet another division crown. Reigning AL most valuable player Jose Altuve is coming off a sensational season as the all-star second baseman batted .346 with 24 home runs and 81 RBIs. If Altuve can turn in the same numbers and the club can get solid pitching from the starting five, the Astros will once again be a team to be reckoned with.
Los Angeles Angels (+500)
A veteran-laden club, the time is now for the Los Angeles, who come in at +500 to win the American League West championship. There’s no lack of star-power in the Angels clubhouse, with MVP outfielder Mike Trout leading the way. Throw in Justin Upton, Ian Kinsler and Albert Pujols to the mix, the Angels have a lethal lineup at the plate. However, pitching has been the problem for the Angels in years past as the club held an average 4.20 ERA in 2017, which ranked 12th overall in the major leagues. The Angels did however were among a handful of teams to give up the fewest walks. If Trout can stay healthy and turn in another MVP-caliber season, don’t count out the Angels.
Seattle Mariners (+900)
The playoff drought in Seattle has reached 17 seasons and the Mariners are hoping an old face can reignite the winning tradition for the franchise. The Mariners, who are +900 underdogs to win the AL West crown, inked the club’s most prolific hitter — Ichiro Suzuki — to a 1-year deal. Seattle has not reached the post-season since 2001 when the club reached the ALCS. The Mariners are starting the season with a 4-man rotation, led by veteran hurlers Felix Hernandez and James Paxton. However, it’ll be the team’s offensive power that will likely carry the Mariners throughout the season, with second baseman Robinson Cano looking to build on his .280 average from a season ago.
Texas Rangers (+3000)
The window of opportunity may have closed for the Texas Rangers, who just two seasons ago were among the favourites to win the World Series. The Rangers, who struggled through Spring Training, are +3000 long shots to come out on top in the American League West Division. Much like the Angels, the Rangers rely heavily on veterans such as Adrian Beltre to carry the club offensively. Rougned Odor — the star second baseman — will be looking to rebound after batting just .204 last season. Maybe flying under the radar is exactly what the Rangers would like. At +3000, putting money down on the Rangers may be a bargain at this point of the season.
Oakland Athletics (+4000)
Rounding out the odds for AL West champion are the Oakland Athletics, who come in at +4000. The salary-cap friendly Athletics don’t have big names in the lineup, but the club has proven it can win with situational players. Manager Bob Melvin will no doubt have his work cut out for him to get this Oakland team back to the post-season. One player to keep an eye on early is centre-fielder Boog Powell, who had 33 hits and scored 24 times in 117 plate appearances. The A’s will fly under the radar and could turn some heads early in the season.
American League West Prediction: Houston Astros (-500)
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