Sports enthusiasts betting on baseball are getting more and more excited, as later this week, the 2012 MLB season will begin. This year, all 30 teams to make up major league baseball will be chomping at the bit to make the playoffs, as the powers that be have created a second wild card team for each league. The idea of a second wild card is to give teams that play in tougher divisions, an opportunity to qualify for the playoffs. Today, we’ll examine why the AL East has the best odds to remain the class of the MLB, thanks to the second wild card.
Over the past 15 years, the AL East has become synonymous with toughest division in professional sports. Made up of mega powers the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, as well as fan favorites the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays, and rounded out by the Baltimore Orioles, the AL East is perhaps the only division in sports, where all five teams could have a winning record, yet only two teams make the playoffs. This offseason, teams such as the Blue Jays were thrilled to learn of the second wild card, as finally, after 20 years of missing the playoffs, the team may have a shot at qualifying for the bookie software World Series title. The Red Sox are also a team happy with the second wild card, as despite having a thin roster on paper, Boston may also make it to the dance.
In fact, for all intents and purposes, the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox are the early favorites to qualify for that second wild card seed. The AL East is often criticized for how difficult of a division it is compared to other divisions in both the AL and NL. As we mentioned earlier, all five teams have the potential to end the season on a winning record. However, in a couple of divisions, the divisional winner doesn’t necessarily have to have a good record, but rather can play 500 ball all season long. Sportsbook review sites believe this is unfair, as a team more deserving, such as the Blue Jays or Rays shouldn’t have to miss the playoffs because of the division they are in.
Meaning to say, as we edge closer to the start of a new season, the second wild card should bring new life to teams that perhaps would have quit before the season began. Now, instead of only one or two teams from the AL East qualifying for the playoffs annually, two or three teams in some year may have that opportunity bestowed to them. With that in mind, our MLB predictions for the 2012 season are as follows, AL East Champion: Tampa Bay Rays, AL Central: Detroit Tigers, AL West: Texas Rangers, NL East: Philadelphia Phillies, NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals, NL West: Arizona Diamondbacks. Wild cards in American League: Toronto Blue Jays, LA Angels. Wild cards in National League: Miami Marlins and Cincinnati Reds.