Don't sleep on these MLB teams
LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) - Which MLB teams are bettors sleeping on as we approach Opening Day in 2014? Let's take a look.
With every new Major League Baseball season, comes a fresh beginning for those teams that failed the season before. While realistically, many of those teams will once again have a miserable 2014 season, others that finished below less than expected last season, could be in for a turnaround year. That means it's a good time to start thinking about how to cash in on your early bets to win this year's World Series crown. What better way to maximize your MLB wager, than by taking a chance on a team that will leave everyone you know, scratching their heads as you pad your wallet.
Sure, you can take the easy road, slapping down the Benjamin's on the usual suspects. But what fun would that be? Not to mention the extremely small payoffs. Besides, if you look carefully, sometimes the so-called sleeper teams may not be all that quiet, and can make some big noise when least expected.
So, to assist you in making your selection, we have assembled four teams, which when examined closely may seem risky, but could potentially reward with a huge payday.
Arizona Diamondbacks (81-81, second in the NL West) +5000 - Arizona made a few key additions to its roster during the offseason, which could put them right in the thick of things come playoff time. Ex-Angel Mark Trumbo and MVP runner-up Paul Goldschmidt will add a much needed spark to the Diamondbacks lineup.
In the meantime, Arizona's pitching rotation has one of the best arms in baseball in Gerardo Parra, and with the addition of Bronson Arroyo, and ex-White Sox closer Addison Reed, the rotation and the bullpen got some much needed depth. As long as their pitching stays strong, the Diamondbacks could surprise in 2014.
Kansas City Royals (86-76, third in the AL Central) +3000 - Kansas City posted a mediocre 86-game win record just a year ago, and as a rule wouldn't normally find itself on this list. However, the Royals made some solid moves over the winter, with the additions of Norichika Aoki, Omar Infante and Jason Vargas.
Those types of acquisitions will no doubt help Kansas City improve its lineup and reinforce its starting pitching rotation, which allowed the sixth fewest runs in the entire league and was first in that category in the American League last year.
New York Mets (74-88, third in NL East) +7000 - The Mets fished near the middle of the division last season after being projected to do much better. New York battled the injury bug all season, most notably losing 25-year-old pitching ace Matt Harvey, who went down with an injury that required Tommy John surgery. While it’s unlikely he will return in 2014, the Mets took action and signed Bartolo Colon in the offseason to help steady the rotation in Harvey’s absence. Add in Dillon Gee who posted a 2.71 ERA over his final 22 starts last season and Zack Wheeler,the Mets staff will be able to compete well with most clubs.
As for the lineup, the Mets have some good options, which offer up some real viable reasons to be optimistic about the team's outlook in 2014. Offensively, the Mets should do better if David Wright remains healthy and Ike Davis is able to get back in track. Curtis Granderson and Chris Young should also add some offensive clout to keep the Mets competitive in the NL East.
San Diego Padres (76-86, fourth in the NL West) +6500 - San Diego didn't finish all that well last season, but still have a very real potential of contending for a wild card berth in 2014. The optimism is based on the Padres' starting rotation, which includes Andrew Cashner, Josh Johnson, Ian Kennedy, Tyson Ross and Eric Stults. San Diego's pitching potential doesn't just end with its starters however, the team also boasts a solid bullpen, particularly after adding Joaquin Benoit.
Offensively, the lineup consists of star contributors Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin, as well as potential run scorers Yasmani Grandal, Yonder Alonso and Jedd Gyorko. The Padres are in a very competitive division led by the Los Angeles Dodgers, but have the pieces in place to surprise if they can stay healthy.