Close to 25 percent of this year’s Major League Baseball season is in the books as teams approach the 40-game mark this week. While a couple of perennial favorites such as New York in the American League and Philadelphia in the National League are once again at the top of their division, there are a couple of surprise teams in control of their division as the season approaches the quarter pole.
The following is a look at each division leader along with their updated odds to win the pennant and the World Series as provided by Bookmaker.com.
Boston’s dismal start has paved the way for both the Yankees and Tampa Bay to resume their battle for the AL East title. New York is currently the odds-on-favorite to win the AL Pennant at 11/4 and the second favorite to win the World Series at 6/1. It is 19-13 overall and 12-6 at home. The Yankees are ranked fifth in the AL in pitching with a 3.70 ERA and seventh in hitting with a team batting average of .252. They are tied for the lead in runs scored with 170.
Cleveland continues to prove its fast start was not a fluke and is now listed at 10/1 to win the pennant and 20/1 to win a title after opening the season at 100/1 and 200/1 respectively. The Cleveland Indians have a 4 ½-game lead over Kansas City in the AL Central with an overall record of 22-11 including a MLB-best 13-2 record at home. They have a team ERA of just 3.25 and a .266 team batting average though 33 games.
Los Angeles has worked its way back on top of the AL West with an overall record of 20-15. It has a two-game lead over Oakland and Texas. The Angels are listed at 11/1 to win the AL and 22/1 to win the World Series which is pretty much where they started the season. Pitching so far has been rock-solid with a 3.12 team ERA. The biggest surprise has been their hitting as they lead the AL with a team batting average of.271.
Philadelphia’s starting rotation has lived up to its reputation to lead the team to a NL-best 22-11 start. The Phillies Phab Phour (Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels) are a combined 14-7 and the entire staff has an ERA of 3.06. The lineup has held up its end as well with .260 team batting average and 144 runs scored. Philadelphia remains the odds-on-favorite at 3/2 to win the NL and 3/1 to win the World Series.
St. Louis may have lost its top starter, Adam Wainwright for the season, but the rest of the staff has elevated their game to lead the team to a 20-15 start and a 1 ½-game lead over Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central. The Cardinals have a 3.34 team ERA and have allowed just 118 earned runs so far. Its hitting is tops in the NL with a .285 team batting average and 183 runs scored. St. Louis is listed at 9/1 to win the NL and 18/1 to win a world title, which are both close to where it started the season.
The Colorado Rockies has slipped a bit as of late with four straight losses, but it still leads the San Francisco Giants by a game in the NL West with an overall record of 18-14. The Rockies started the season at 10/1 to win the pennant and 25/1 to win the World Series, but have improved to 6/1 and 11/1 respectively. They have a 3.65 team ERA, but are struggling a bit at the plate with a team batting average of just .233. Colorado is ninth in the NL in runs scored with 139.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.