Current AL Trends and Betting Tips

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These current AL trends and betting tips are brought to you by Bookmaker.com and the folks at GetChalk.com. 

The baseball betting community often has its gears ground by a mainstream media that focuses too much on the American League East. While it's not as dire as it was a few years ago when the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox were battling it out seemingly every weekend, the gang at ESPN sometimes forgets about the rest of the baseball universe.

Thing is, it's hard for sharp bettors to turn away from the public favorites in the Bronx and Beantown this week. Both the Yankees and Red Sox appear to be trending in opposite directions, and there's money to be made if bettors do their requisite handicapping.

First-place New York is in the black at sportsbooks for the first time since April after cashing 10 of its last 12 games heading into Wednesday night at Tampa Bay. Up +0.96 units for their many backers on the season, the Yanks have benefited from a turnaround in the performance of their pitching staff. The Bombers have a 3.30 team ERA during the streak, during which they've gone 3-8-1 O/U.

There should be some betting odds value in New York this weekend with the team travelling to Chicago to take on the White Sox. The Yankees are batting .302 against lefthanded pitching on the road this season, and face southpaws Clayton Richard, John Danks, and the record-setting Mark Buehrle in succession beginning on Friday night.

Boston trailed New York by 2.5 games rolling into Wednesday night's contest against Oakland at Fenway Park, as the Red Sox are only 3-7 (2-7-1 O/U) against the moneyline over their last 10 games. The only thing the BoSox have in common with the profitable Yanks is their success for under bettors: Boston is 2-6-1 O/U in its last nine games as a favorite, and 8-19-4 O/U in its last 31 outings at Fenway.

The Red Sox could use both Tim Wakefield (back) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (shoulder) in the rotation, because the current crew isn't getting it done. Boston's starters have put up a 5.16 ERA during the skid, and if it weren't for its dominant bullpen (1.84 ERA), things would be much worse. The bullpen's bailout package might not last for long with the BoSox gearing up for a nine-game road swing beginning on Friday night in Baltimore. From there, Boston rolls into Tampa Bay before a four-game series in New York.

As rough as matters are for Red Sox bettors, trouble is a relative term. If you've been losing money on Boston, be glad you haven't been laying down cash on the Orioles. Baltimore had dropped seven of its last eight and nine of its last 11 games before its Wednesday night clash at Oriole Park against Kansas City. With the struggling BoSox coming to town on the weekend, there'll be value in the O's, who are batting .292 at home this season. Couple that with Baltimore's 3.96 ERA (down from 4.95 on the year) over its last 10 games, and the Orioles are a sneaky bet in the AL.

Over in the AL Central, the Cleveland Indians are definitely a worse team with former ace pitcher Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco in Philadelphia and Ryan Garko in San Francisco. That doesn't mean the Indians are a less valuable wager, however. It's probably the best thing for Cleveland backers with the team playing its best baseball of the season.

Winners of six of their last nine games heading into their weekend series against Detroit, the Tribe can only miss Lee so much. As solid as the 2008 AL Cy Young winner is, he can only pitch once every five days. Public bettors are going to fade Cleveland because of the deals, but that'll only make the odds more favorable for sharps. Bettors should be reminded the Indians' recent hot streak came with the team playing on the road, so things should get easier with the club returning home on Friday night.

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