With pitchers and catchers reporting, it’s time to start getting excited for spring and the upcoming baseball season. Baseball offers a great excuse to travel to warmer weather to catch some spring games, and also offers some light at the end of the tunnel for those of us up north waiting for spring weather to arrive after a long winter.
Also, with the end of football season, it’s time to think about another sport that can satisfy our gambling kick. Also, with more states jumping on the gambling bandwagon it’s easier for more fans to get in on the fun. Baseball betting odds at 888 Sport New Jersey also offers an outlet for one of our favorite vices at this time of the year.
With that in mind, things have changed quite a bit going into 2019, which is pretty common for baseball. Player movement is a fact of life, and the free agent market keeps getting pushed back closer and closer to the start of the season, as tons of veteran free agents are still waiting to find a home. This includes some big names who can have a huge impact on the 2019 season.
The latest rumor has Bryce Harper going to the Phillies, but so many others are still available, including Manny Machado, Dallas Keuchel, Craig Kimbrel, Marwin Gonzalez, Mike Moustakas, Gio Gonzalez, Adam Jones, and Clay Buchholz.
Kimbrel is one of the more intriguing examples. He was a key player the in the 2018 World Series championship for the Boston Red Sox racking up 47 saves, but Boston seems to be willing to save money in the bullpen this season and rely on an excellent starting staff and killer lineup in an attempt to compete. Meanwhile Kimbrel could help a team like the Houston Astros get back to the World Series again if he signs there.
The American League is loaded with the Red Sox and Yankees battling in the Eastern Division and then the Astros. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians have been shedding payroll, banking on their excellent starting pitching staff carrying them in the terrible AL Central Division.
The Indians are one of those teams that are very difficult to predict heading into 2019. The bullpen was a huge issue in 2018, and the Indians let go Andrew Miller and Cody Allen. Miller in particular was a huge factor in the 2016 World Series run that ended in the Game 7 classic against the Chicago Cubs, but injuries hampered him significantly the past two seasons. Last year, Allen was ineffective as well. But the Indians haven’t done much to rebuild the bullpen. They’re be relying on some young arms and some cheap veterans in the hope they can patch together an effective bullpen.
With a number of trades, the Indians also got much younger in their everyday lineup. So even guessing their opening day lineup will be difficult. And the calf injury to superstar Francisco Lindor doesn’t help as well.
With the Indians, you have to bank on their rotation remaining the best in baseball in 2019. The Tribe was open to trading either Cory Kluber or Trevor Bauer in the offseason but they were demanding a lot. No trade has been made, so the Indians will go with their big 5 and then see how to supplement either the bullpen or the outfield if they need to make a deal before the summer deadline.
That’s just one example of teams that are in flux. This presents both challenges and opportunities for sports bets going into 2019. Enjoy!