The 2018 MLB season is turning into a special one indeed the Yankees and the Red Sox are neck and neck in the AL East and have no close competition. The Tampa Bay Rays are 9 games out and the Baltimore Orioles are deep in the cellar with the second worst record in baseball. The AL Central is competitive with the Indians leading the way but not by much with a 1.5 game lead over the Minnesota Twins and a 2.5 game lead over the Tigers.
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Perhaps the most competitive division in baseball would be the AL West where four of the five teams are all within 4.5 games of first place. Only the Texas Rangers are the lone wolf at the bottom of the pack at 18-30. The Astros have possibly turned the corner on a slow start to the season and lead the AL West by 2 games with the Seattle Mariners in close pursuit. The Angels struggled early but have found their sea legs and look to make noise with a solid rotation and following up in fourth, the Oakland A’s, just 4.5 games out. The race in the AL West will be close all season long. Houston is the X factor, can they break away and shut down the competition? They certainly have the personnel and they absolutely have the pitching.
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The National League is full with parity. Everybody seems to be good in the early going. There are only four teams in the NL with less than a .500 record, now that’s astounding. The San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds and the Miami Marlins are all under .500 the rest of the pack has a fighting chance if they continue at the pace they are on.
This year poses a problem when picking the best divisions, it’s difficult but the NL Central looks to be the most competitive. The Milwaukee Brewers have nailed down the top spot for the time being with a record of 28-19 and hold a 1.5 game advantage over three teams, the Cardinals, Cubs and the Pirates. The Reds are in the cellar at 16-32.
There are a few surprises in the NL this season and the biggest of all would have to be the Dodgers. The Dodgers are playing better as of late but still a huge disappointment from the World Series team of last season. They are five games out of first place with a 20-28 record. The Diamondbacks hold a half game lead over the Rockies at 25-21.
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The AL East is jam packed with talent and this is another very competitive division. Surprisingly the Braves are holding steady with a 1.5 game lead over the Phillies and a 3.5 game lead over the Mets. The Nationals are another surprise as they hold down the fourth spot and come in at 24-21 and find themselves four games off the lead. One would think the Nationals will right the ship sooner than later and find a way to regain what they once had.
Baseball is a funny sport and one that the “wise guys” love to bet. It’s the one sport that you have a chance to beat the juice. The underdogs win 44% of the time, now that’s stacked for sure, no other sports is close. The Braves have held their own this year and a for sure a worthy look. They have gone 27-18 ATS, they are 11-9 at home, 17-8 on the road, 12-2 in day games and 16-15 at night. Their O/U record is 22-20-3. With a record like this you have to love the Braves on the road, play the dog and find a sports bookie that has great numbers. The rest of the way will be interesting for sure.