2011 Overrated MLB American League Teams: Twins, Rangers Two Teams to Avoid Betting to Win 2011 AL Pennant: A popular futures bet for many gamblers is picking the team that will win the American League pennant. The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are the not surprising favorites to go to the World Series, but there are a few other teams that the oddsmakers have as potential favorites that have some serious flaws. Staying away from these teams can help bettors avoid wasting their money.
At +350, the Texas Rangers are the third most likely team to represent the AL in the World Series according to the oddsmakers. At first glance, the odds make sense. After all, the Rangers went to the World Series last season, and AL MVP Josh Hamilton leads a high-powered Texas offense that takes full advantage of a hitter-friendly home ballpark.
That being said, Texas doesn’t exactly have a great track record at winning playoff games. The Rangers’ run to the World Series last season was the first time in franchise history that the team had won a playoff series of any kind.
Not to mention the fact that Hamilton and fellow sluggers Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz have all struggled to stay health y for an entire season throughout their careers. Even the addition of Adrian Beltre doesn’t offset the fact that Hamilton, Kinsler and Cruz are all likely to miss time in 2011.
Perhaps the biggest factor that should sway bettors away from the Rangers is the team’s pitching staff. Cliff Lee is in Philadelphia, which means the Rangers are minus the ace pitcher that carried Texas during the stretch run last season. The Rangers’ brass knows the rotation has question marks, or stud closer Neftali Feliz wouldn’t have attempted to convert to a starter.
There is a decent chance that the Rangers could win the AL West once again, but the lack of starting pitching will catch up to Texas come playoff time. At their current odds, the Rangers won’t even provide that great of a payoff anyway. Bettors would be wise to save their money.
Another team being considered one of the five favorites come out of the American League is the Minnesota Twins. At +800, bettors are looking at a minimal payout for a team that has some serious holes to fill. Granted, the Twins have done an excellent job winning on a budget in the past, but the 2011 roster is undermanned even by Minnesota’s standards.
The biggest issue facing the Twins is injuries. Slugger Justin Morneau is still battling lingering problems as the result of a concussion sustained last year. Catcher Joe Mauer is battling the injury big as well. Morneau and Mauer are the centerpieces of the Twins’ offense, and if either ends up missing extended time, Minnesota can all but kiss its playoff hopes goodbye.
Speaking of injuries, Twins’ closer Joe Nathan is returning from major arm surgery. With the exception of Francisco Liriano, who is already being mentioned in trade rumors, the starting rotation is solid but not championship caliber. If Nathan struggles in his return or suffers a setback, a rotation in desperate need of an anchor will be lacking one.
The Twins are going to be hard pressed to win their own division with a reloaded White Sox team and a solid Tigers squad. If they are able to find way to get to the postseason, the New York Yankees will likely be waiting to eliminate them yet again. Winning the American League pennant is a longshot for the Twins, and there is no reason for gamblers to bet on them when they payoff isn’t worth it.
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