AL at Memorial Day Checkpoint



You sometimes hear Major League managers and players discuss the long baseball season like it's a horse race. They let the day-to-day stuff take care of itself. They want to make sure they're still on track to have a good season as of Memorial Day (about the first third of the season. They want to still be in the running on July 4th (roughly the halfway point). Then they definitely want to be in contention on Labor Day (the final month!).

One thing that baseball players have in common with oddsmakers is that we don't get those holidays off!

I like using those cut-off points to monitor how teams are doing against preseason expectations. Who are the good surprises? Who are the bad surprises? Who has the market been underpricing and overpricing because of faulty expectations. If you have to work on holidays, you might as well be productive!

Today I'm going to look at how AL teams have performed against preseason expectations by comparing the weekend standings to the regular season win propositions from last March. Later in the week I'll do the same thing for the NL, also working in an NBA championship preview so you know what the sharps are thinking about the league finals.

I'll start in the AL East.

CURRENT WINS (through Friday Night)
Tampa Bay 33
NY Yankees 28
Toronto 28
Boston 27
Baltimore 15

NY Yankees 95
Boston 94
Tampa Bay 89
Baltimore 74
Toronto 71

Wow...what a big difference!
Tampa Bay is currently the best team in baseball, rather than the third team in their division (as projected). Toronto was supposed to be a disaster, but there they are neck and neck with the Yankees and the Red Sox. It's Baltimore that's been a disaster so far when the market expected them to take a step forward this season.

Note that the Yankees are still on pace to top that estimate of 95 wins, playing .604 ball through Friday Night. That percentage would yield 98 wins over 162 games. The Yanks have played a lot more road games than home games too. This was supposed to be a strong division. The AL East has been even stronger than expected!

At the Memorial Day checkpoint, this is a division full of surprises.

AL CENTRAL CURRENT WINS (through Friday Night)
Minnesota 28
Detroit 25
Chicago White Sox 21
Kansas City 21
Cleveland 17

Chicago White Sox 83
Minnesota 83
Detroit 81
Cleveland 75
Kansas City 71

Another set of surprises, but on a different scale. Minnesota and Detroit are on pace to fly past their win estimates. The market had them as .500 caliber teams give or take a couple of games. Chicago was supposed to contend for the division, but instead has been in a battle at the bottom with Kansas City and Cleveland. The Tribe have been a disaster basically matching the lowly Orioles in terms of not playing up to improved expectations.

It's just two months, and plenty can happen along the way. I'm not suggesting at this point that the preseason expectations were all a bunch of big mistakes. We'll need a bigger sample size to draw that kind of conclusion. To this point, you can at least say that many teams aren't cooperating so far with the market predictions! That means it's a player's market for legal sports gamblers.

AL WEST CURRENT WINS (through Friday Night)
Texas 26
Oakland 26
LA Angels 23
Seattle 19

LA Angels 84
Texas 84
Seattle 83
Oakland 80

This was a tightly bunched group coming into the season. Texas and Oakland are playing better than expected to date. The Angels and Mariners have been worse. But, it's still bunched up enough that teams could regress to those estimates over the next few weeks. I think the market was right about the competitiveness in this foursome. Time will tell if Texas and Oakland can maintain their edges.

The day-to-day grind in baseball is so tough that it's easy to lose sight of the forest. You spend so much time trying to pick trees! An exercise like this helps you see the big picture. We'll learn some more when we study the NL later in the week.

I hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend. Put a hot dog on the grill for me. We'll talk more baseball and basketball soon. If you'd like to win some legal sports bets over this holiday weekend and beyond, sign up for my personal service by calling 1-877-822-2276. You can get my BEST BETS here at the website with your credit card as well.

Memorial Day...July 4th...Labor Day...Thanksgiving...New Year's Day...whatever the holiday...and whatever the sports on the holiday can rest assured that the best information is going to come to you DIRECT FROM NEVADA!

This article is part of the VSM MASTERS SERIES presented by For more information on NICK BOGDANOVICH'S handicapping packages, call 1-877-822-2276.


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