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MLB Betting Trends – Teams To Consider During The Final Week Of Spring Training

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 3/21/2011 6:28:29 PM
mlb betting

It’s the last week for sports betting players to check out spring training in Major League Baseball action before the regular season kicks off on March 31st, and here are some things to watch as teams look to sort out their rosters for Opening Day.

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox are keeping an eye on Daisuke Matsuzuka, who got off to a poor start in spring training but he has put it together in his last two starts, and most recently he allowed a pair of runs in 5.2 innings of a loss to St. Louis on Sunday. Matsuzuka has officially been named the fifth starter in the rotation, and the Red Sox are going to need him at close to full strength, along with Josh Beckett. If Matsuzuka can come close to the form that made him such a prize when he arrived in America, the Red Sox are a legitimate World Series candidate. The Red Sox may pitch again on Thursday against Florida, or Friday against Toronto.

New York Mets

The Mets also have rotation problems to worry about as they just released Oliver Perez (while still owing him $12 million), and no one knows when Johan Santana is going to pitch again after a reported setback in his return from shoulder surgery. But they should be buoyed by the performance of Chris Young, who has been brilliant this spring. Young has a 1.33 ERA in 20.1 innings of work, including six scoreless innings against Florida on Sunday. Young is looking to prove he is still an elite pitcher after his own injury problems, and you could see him again on Friday against Atlanta.

New York Yankees

The Yankees are sorting out their rotation, and so far they have C.C. Sabathia as the Opening Day starter, which MLB betting players could have guessed. However, the Yankees decided to put A.J. Burnett ahead of Phil Hughes, who has been up and down during the spring. Burnett is chronically inconsistent and the Yankees feel the need to justify the huge contract they gave him before the 2008 season. It could be for Burnett’s confidence, which is famously shaky, so we’ll see how this plays out. You should see both in action this week, possibly against Baltimore on Tuesday or Toronto on Wednesday.

Los Angeles Angels

Kendrys Morales has yet to get back to action as he attempts to come back from a fractured ankle, and now it appears as though he has suffered a setback, not with his ankle, but with his toe. He was supposed to get back in the lineup this week, but now Morales will start the season on the disabled list, so take that into consideration before looking at the Angels’ schedule this week, starting with Kansas City on Tuesday, San Francisco on Wednesday and Milwaukee on Thursday.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers have a strong rotation, but they’ve also got a jewel in waiting as Rubby De La Rosa have been great during the spring, and manager Don Mattingly said he will get at least two more starts. De La Rosa was the Dodgers’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2010, and while he will likely be back in the minors to start the season, he is making a real push to break into the Opening Day roster. His last start came on Friday, so De La Rosa should be in action this week as the Dodgers play the Cubs on Tuesday, the White Sox on Wednesday and Colorado on Thursday.

Texas Rangers

The Rangers may have the most to worry about this week as they have a number of questions to answer. Brandon Webb says he may be ready for game action this week, but the Rangers may want to be easy with the former Cy Young winner, who has thrown four innings in the last two seasons. Second, they have no idea whether Neftali Feliz is going to start or if he’ll be back in the bullpen, where he won American League Rookie of the Year with 40 saves last year. Feliz has been penciled in for a Thursday start against San Diego, and a decision will be made after they see how he handles a 90-pitch workload. Finally, the Rangers are trying to get Josh Hamilton back on the ball after he got to a slow start due to pneumonia. Look for him to be a factor this week before heading to your online betting book.

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