Our third stop on Cactus League tour is in Scottsdale, to take a look at the Los Angeles Angels and Arizona Diamondbacks. For baseball futures, there season win totals are similar, but not viewpoints.
The Angels are strapped with gigantic contracts which prevents from adding needed pieces, while Tony LaRussa shows he is as competitive as ever after retiring as St. Louis manager and would like to add another World Series ring as an executive.
Here is a look at the all the MLB odds for both clubs and what might be worth looking at for MLB picks.
L.A.A. Angels Odds – AL West 4th (+500) – AL T-8th (+1500) – World Series T-15th (+3000) – Win Total O/U 81
It sure appears both Houston and Texas have passed up the team from Anaheim on overall talent and one of these years Seattle is going to meet expectations. With years of terrible contracts for Albert Pujols, C.J. Wilson and departed Josh Hamilton still on the books, there is only so much Mike Trout can do.
Enter new GM Billy Eppler, who has to please both owner Artie Moreno and manager Mike Scioscia, which is no easy task as departed Jerry DiPoto learned. Eppler reached out to Scioscia and they agreed, at least in the offseason, there not enough offense to be known as hitting team and instead will focus on pitching and defense playing at the Big A.
That means big seasons from still essentially unproven Garrett Richards and Andrew Haney to pick up the slack for withering Jered Weaver and Wilson. Back end of bullpen is sound, but offense is skittish. We will have final say later this month when we see the Halos again.
Arizona Odds – NL West 3rd (+450) – NL 8th (+1200)- World Series 14th (+2500) – Win Total O/U 82
There is a belief by half the baseball scouts Arizona overachieved last season in winning 79 games. D-Backs honchos LaRussa and Dave Stewart thought otherwise, looking at young core players like Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, David Peralta and others and decided now was the time and added Zack Greinke and other useful pitchers to the staff.
Grienke will add professionalism along with immense ability and given his interest in scouting, will be valuable resource to young pitchers, like Patrick Corbin and Archie Bradley. Shelby Miller will no doubt benefit from added run support after pitching in Atlanta last season.