MLB April Review – 2014

I was reading into the guys a OLBG, and they wrote this interesting article: 

A quick look at the standings shows that no team has a Division lead bigger than 2.5 games and declaring a team as running away with a Division is far too bold a statement to make after just 3 weeks.
At the other end of the scale however, it’s possible to list a handful of teams who won’t contend for a postseason place even before the season has started. Take Houston for example. They are in the middle of a rebuilding project that is adding depth and prospects to their minor league system and this is just another season in that process. Any success they have this year is a bonus. No surprises then that they have fallen 7.5 games back in the AL West and have the second worst run differential in baseball. 
Over in the National League, each Division has a team that is 5 or more games back. Philadelphia in the East, Chicago Cubs in the Central, and the current worst team in baseball, Arizona in the West. Arizona is perhaps the most surprising of these teams given they finished with 81 wins in 2013 but they have been terrible this season with a league worst minus 48 run differential and an ERA amongst their starting pitchers of 7.50 (a full 2 runs worse than the 29th ranked team). Philadelphia and Houston are also ranked in the bottom 5 in ERA whilst Houston are ranked last in batting average with a dreadful average of .195. 
Getting decent odds against any of the above teams is always going to be difficult but at odds of around 4/5 or higher for their opponents, I would be looking to back against them this week. The only exception is when Arizona visit Chicago for a 4 game series against the Cubs (at least one of them will win some games this week!).
Niko here, good article all around, it makes you wonder the truth about when standings can give you a clear picture of the playoff race.

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