Hey, having legal online sportsbooks in NJ is great, but it means nothing to the individual bettor if they do not cash tickets. Our top MLB betting writer Steve Buchanan is back with his BUY & SELL on the young 2019 season.
A quick reminder, Steve got you ready for the season with some GREAT CALLS on awful MLB bullpens that easily made readers money.
Seattle Mariners (8-2 1st AL West)
I’m not sure about any of you but usually, a rebuild doesn’t involve being in first place in your division. The Mariners are off to an absolutely insane start and not one that many expected. Their offense is firing on all cylinders and as of Friday morning, they lead the league in runs (56) and rank second in HR (17). While this is a great story, the Mariners sustaining this type of play doesn’t seem likely.
One of the biggest gripes against the Mariners heading into the season was how they gutted their entire bullpen. Thus far, it hasn’t come back to bite them just yet. Despite entering Friday having pitched the eighth most innings in the league, the Mariners relievers have just a 4.36 xFIP, which ranks 13th in the league.
Overall, I think the Mariners have a dynamic offense that will put up runs all throughout the year. I continue to believe that Domingo Santana remains one of the most underrated power hitters in the game and he’s already started of the year with three home runs. Edwin Encarnacion should also continue to hit despite his age creeping up. Despite being 36-years-old, he still hit 32 bombs with the Indians. Their biggest downfall will be their pitching and once we start getting deeper into the season, that will send them down the standings.
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Cincinnati Reds (1-7 5th NL Central)
Well, one could say that things could be going better in Cincinnati. Despite making some big moves in the offseason to acquire Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, the Reds are still looking for their second win of the season. In an offense boasting some well-known power hitters, the Reds have scored a total of 11 runs, which averages out to under two runs per game. Is it time to panic just yet?
One can’t imagine that the Reds will be this bad. The addition of Puig and Kemp was huge for this lineup as these are two legitimate power hitters moving to one of the best hitter ballparks in baseball. Not to mention the Reds still have the likes of Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez and Scott Schebler. Scooter Gennett is sidelined with a groin strain but should be back within the next couple of weeks. That’s yet another hitter that has 20+ home run potential to slot into the heart of this lineup.
While the offense should hum as the season goes on, the biggest question mark for the Reds is their pitching staff. The Reds’ starter hasn’t been much of an issue thus far. In fact, their 2.35 ERA is one of the lowest in the league despite sporting a BB/9 of 4.9, which ranks amongst one of the highest. If they can start commanding the ball a bit better, this staff could end up being a bit of a surprise.
With the return of Gennett coming in the next couple of weeks and an offense that is begging to awaken, I think this Reds team still has a ton of potential. Get them while the public is down on them
Boston Red Sox (2-8 5th AL East)
It’s early and no one wins the division in April. But, have you looked at the standings lately? One wouldn’t have imagined the Rays and Orioles would be topping the standings even this early in the season. Yet, here the Red Sox are in unfamiliar territory, looking up in the standings rather than down.
The Red Sox pitching staff is off to a horrific start. On paper, they have a solid rotation 1-5 and one that could compete with the best of them. Instead, that same paper would also show a team that sports a 9.08 ERA with a 5.75 xFIP through 35.2 innings. The Red Sox also own the worst run differential in the league at -19. For reference, the Angels have the second-worst in the league and they’re currently at -14. For as bad as these numbers are, this Red Sox staff holds too much talent to sustain this type of start.
The offense has sputtered as well. Entering Friday, the Red Sox owned a team .305 wOBA (18) with 8 home runs (11th) and averaged 4.1 runs per game. Slow starts from Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers are some of the biggest issues for this team offensively, as both players are key parts of the top of their lineup. The loss of Steve Pearce against lefties to start the year didn’t help either, as Pearce owned a .407 wOBA against them with a .255 ISO in 2018.
As one of the powerhouses in the league, now might be one of the best times all season to buy low on a team that is expected to win 94 games and be in the playoffs once again. Once this Red Sox team starts catching fire, we may never see them in this type of position again.
Spring Sports Betting in NJ
Who says football season has to be the most active time of the year for betting in NJ? Spring has sprung in New Jersey and betting on the Masters, NFL Draft Odds and the NBA Champion Odds are upon us.
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