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Underdogs Worth Betting Shot in MLB Division Title Races

Betting on underdogs in Major League Baseball can be as thrilling as a bottom-of-the-ninth home run. This piece checks out teams like the Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates. These squads have surprisingly good odds of winning their divisions despite not being the usual favorites.

We’ll look at how they’re doing right now, who’s playing well and why each team might surprise everyone and come out on top. Think of it like rooting for the little guy in a big fight — sometimes, they land the knockout punch when you least expect it. This season, let’s dive into why these underdogs could be your winning bet.

Underdogs Worth Betting Shot in MLB Division Title Races
George Kirby #68 Of The Seattle Mariners / Kevin Sousa / Getty Images North America / Getty Images Via Afp


Seattle Mariners (+275) to Win AL West

The Seattle Mariners, who were only two games short of winning the AL West last season, may seem like the least exciting choice here. However, they compete in the same division as the previous two World Series champions, which justifies considering them a bold pick. Their potential to turn the tables and emerge as the victors is a beacon of hope for the underdog enthusiasts.

Despite the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers being in the same division, neither team has impressed early on. The Astros have yet to rebound from their opening series sweep by the New York Yankees, and there is a chance they never will. The last two times the Astros started this bad, in 2013 and 2011, they finished with 51 and 56 wins, respectively.

The Mariners boast one of the best starting rotations in Major League Baseball, with Luis Castillo, George Kirby and Logan Gilbert leading the charge. Additionally, Seattle enhanced its batting lineup, consistently assembles strong bullpens and features the talented Julio Rodríguez. Despite a current sub-500 record, I believe they have a shot.



Philadelphia Phillies (+275) to Win NL East

Selecting the Phillies is a daring choice mainly because the Atlanta Braves continue to dominate seemingly without challenge with their six consecutive NL East titles. Despite the Phillies’ commendable lineup, projections have them finishing as many as a dozen games off the Braves’ pace.

However, I’m willing to support the underdog in this scenario. The Phillies have proven that they can triumph over the Braves during October’s critical games. The key for them is to replicate that success throughout the season and consistently outperform the Braves in the earlier months.

So far, their pitching has been on point, which was a worry heading into the season. Look out if they can get Bryce Harper and the rest of the offense humming. With current MLB odds at +275, Philly is worth considering in the futures betting market.

Unlike the Mariners (5-8), the Phillies at least have a winning record of 7-6.




Detroit Tigers (+325) to Win AL Central

Given the weaker division, the assessment of Detroit’s baseball prospects is cautiously optimistic. Detroit is making positive strides early in the season, fueled by solid pitching and excellent defense.

The Tigers are poised for improvement as the season progresses, especially since their young core, including Spencer Torkelson, Colt Keith, Riley Greene and Parker Meadows, is expected to start hitting soon. Additionally, exciting developments are on the horizon, with prospects like Jace Jung and others with high potential making their way up.

Sports betting enthusiasts should keep an eye on these rising stars. Watch out for the Tigers — they’re gaining momentum and, at +325, make a great MLB bet to beat out the Royals and Guardians for the AL Central crown.



Pittsburgh Pirates (+475) to win NL Central

Finally, let’s discuss the Pirates, the only team on this list currently in first place in their division at 9-4, Pittsburgh is tied atop the NL Central leaderboard with the Milwaukee Brewers (8-3).

The NL Central isn’t usually this open, yet considering contenders like the Cubs, Reds or Cardinals is not entirely out of the question. The Brewers, last year’s NL Central victors, are slightly weakened but still too strong to be deemed a surprising choice. So why not take a chance?

Last year, the Pirates made headlines with an impressive 20-9 start in March and April. With Oneil Cruz healthy and top pitching prospect Paul Skenes likely to join soon, could the Pirates sustain a surprise throughout the season?



Questions of the Day

Who is favored to win each League?

The New York Yankees lead all teams in MLB odds to win the AL at +375. Meanwhile, the Dodgers continue leading the NL pack at +165. LA should occupy this space for the whole season, injuries permitting.

What 2023 playoff teams might miss the postseason in 2024?

Candidates to let their fan base down include the Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays and Minnesota Twins.

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