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Baseball Betting Trends – Who You Should Consider For The American League MVP Award

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 2/25/2011 3:16:29 PM
baseball betting trends

Sports betting players will likely see a pair of big sluggers at the top of the list of favorites when it comes to the American League Most Valuable Player award, but both of these players have had troubles on and off the field. We’re looking at a former Rookie of the Year who is heading into his prime, and with a veteran leaving his team for a division rival, it’s now his club. Look for him to seize the moment.

Josh Hamilton, Texas

The reigning MVP was rewarded with a new deal of $24 million over two years, as he was fifth in homers, 12th in RBIs and Hamilton led the league in batting average. His homer and RBI totals would be higher if not for a few injuries that kept him on the sideline, and that looks to be the only thing that can stop Hamilton, because when he is healthy and in the lineup, he is an absolute monster with the “five tools” that everyone speaks so highly of in baseball. Also, those pesky off-field demons are always a worry when it comes to Hamilton, which is fair given his past, but he looks to have those sorted out.

Miguel Cabrera, Detroit

Speaking of off-field demons, Cabrera slipped this spring when he received a DUI, another in a string of alcohol-related problems. We all saw what he was capable up when he is happy and sober: Cabrera led the league in RBIs, he was third in home runs and second in batting average. He would be our overwhelming favorite for the MVP award if we could be certain that Cabrera would stay out of trouble, but we can’t. He is, however, going into a program under the watch of Major League Baseball, so that’s a good thing for Cabrera and the Tigers, who depend heavily on the five-time All-Star.

Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay

The Rays picked up Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez in the offseason, but Tampa Bay’s MLB betting hopes rest on their 25-year-old third baseman. Longoria finished ninth in the American League in RBIs, he was 15th in average for the Rays, and news has emerged that Longoria out on 10 pounds of muscle in efforts to boost his home-run totals, which fell from 33 in 2009 to 22 in 2010. He’ll also be asked to run the bases more with Carl Crawford gone to Boston, and the former AL Rookie of the Year has been a Gold Glove winner for the past two seasons. There aren’t many more players in either league who have the talents that Longoria has, and he’s just entering his prime.

Jose Bautista, Toronto

The slugger was the biggest surprise to MLB betting players last season, ranking first in all of baseball in homers, third in RBIs and he was second in the league in walks. Bautista was given free rein by former manager Cito Gaston, and not only did he show a big bat, but tremendous patience at the plate. Of course, much has been said about the fact that he never had more than 16 homers in a season before 2010, and he received a five-year, $64 million deal in the offseason, but Bautista has to take on an even bigger load with Vernon Wells not in Los Angeles. We don’t think he’ll hit 54 dingers again, but Bautista will be near the top of the main hitting categories once again.

Carl Crawford, Boston

Crawford made the move from Tampa Bay to Boston, after finishing ninth in the league in average, and he finished third in stolen bases. He is also coming off career bests in homers, RBIs and runs scored, and Crawford is a big addition to a Boston lineup that was 12th in the American League in steals, and he could also boost his homer total in the short right field in Fenway Park. Not only does it help the Red Sox, but it hurts the Rays, which is a double whammy in the ultra-competitive East. Crawford also helps with his defense as he was a Gold Glove winner last season. It wouldn’t surprise us at all if Crawford had another career season as he looks to prove his seven-year, $142 million contract wasn’t a mistake.

MLB Betting Pick

No one has repeated as the MVP winner in the American League since Frank Thomas did it with Chicago in 1993 and 1994, so the odds are against Hamilton pulling off the feat. We want to take Cabrera, who may the best offensive player in the game outside of St. Louis’ Albert Pujols and given his historical averages, he should be the favorite, but there is also the chance that he could miss substantial time. We’re going to go with Evan Longoria to put the Rays on his back this season, as he will be asked to take a bigger responsibility on and off the field with Crawford gone, he is the right age to make it all happen, and he has the tools. He will probably also give you some decent value in your sportsbook, so go with Evan Longoria in your online betting picks.

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