Can the Astros repeat as World Series champs? Will the Yankees reign once again with Giancarlo Stanton now in the lineup? How many at-bats will Tim Tebow get in the bigs?
The oddsmakers at SportsBettingDime.com released odds and props for those questions and more with the 2018 MLB season approaching. Here’s a rundown of intriguing lines:
But the headline-grabbing move for the Angels, of course, was winning the Ohtani sweepstakes. The early returns from spring training have been mostly positive, and however the two-way star is used, he’s going to have an impact.
Minnesota’s rotation had its issues last season as well, throwing 869 2/3 innings, the fourth fewest in the AL Twins starters struck out just 7.08 batters per nine innings, the fourth fewest in the league and fifth fewest in baseball, though attacking the strike zone and pitching to contact has long been their strategy. Regardless, the Twins finished 10th in the AL in rotation ERA, a number that must get better if they want to build on their 2017 success.
Over the weekend, the Twins acquired a similar pitch-to-contact strike zone attacker from Tampa Bay in Jake Odorizzi, who posted a career worst 4.14 ERA last season and won 10 games, a win total which should increase with better run support. The Rays scored just 4.21 runs per Odorizzi start last season, the eighth lowest mark among AL starters with the least 140 innings pitched, per ESPN.
The two-way Japanese star registered six strikeouts, but he threw two wild pitches, hit two batters and walked one.
“I felt like I made a lot of good pitches and quite a few bad ones,” Ohtani said through his interpreter. “The good thing I got out of this outing was pitching with runners on base, out of the stretch.”
Not too much weight should be given to an outing this early in spring training, though, and there were some positives amid Ohtani’s overall shaky performance.
“His fastballs, mostly registering around 92-95 mph, were spotty, including one that a 33-year-old journeyman named Dustin Martin blasted over the right-field fence,” according to the O.C. Register. “While many of his pitches were off the mark, Ohtani threw some sliders and splitters that befuddled the Tijuana hitters — only one of which, Jorge Cantu, had seen any significant major league time.