Here are the MLB betting lines for today’s Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim versus Chicago Cubs exhibition game at Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona for fans who like to bet on baseball at SBG sportsbook:
LA Angels +120
Chicago Cubs -140
The Angels finished the 2016 season fourth in the American League West division with a 74-88 record – the worst with Mike Scioscia as manager – and failed to reach the postseason. What? It’s not like Mike Trout can do everything all by himself. The AoA are a far cry from the team that won the World Series in 2002, but according to team owner Arte Moreno, they will stay in Anaheim until at least 2029 so there is plenty of time for a turnaround. In the meantime, GM Billy Eppler has taken (baby) steps towards (re)building the team around Trout. Eppler added left fielders Cameron Maybin and Ben Revere, and second baseman Danny Espinosa, but lost Jered Weaver to the Padres, C.J. Wilson to car racing (?!), and Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano to TJS. On the other hand Garrett Richards has rested and rehabbed for a year so hopefully he can avoid the dreaded Tommy John. Matt Shoemaker will return as well. Tyler Skaggs, Ricky Nolasco and Jesse Chavez are expected to complete the rotation. New faces include Alex Meyer, Nate Smith, and Matt Thaiss. Old-new faces include Kole Calhoun and Ryan LaMarre. All things considered the Angels have arguably the best player in the league right now, and a bunch of other guys – which does not bode well for their MLB betting odds.
As current, reigning, defending World Series champions, the Cubs are heavily favored by most fans who bet on baseball. That doesn’t necessarily apply to Spring training, though. Addison Russell and Willson Contreras hit homers in a Cactus League matchup against the Chicago White Sox on Monday for their second consecutive tie. Chicago finished 1-1 versus the Indians on Sunday and 4-4 against the White Sox. That’s not “Cub.” That reminds us; Gretchen, stop trying to make “fetch” happen. It's not going to happen. Ill-advised catchphrases aside, there is no denying that President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein rebuilding model has been successful – to the point that other teams are starting to follow suit – regardless of what the New York Times has to say. According to the NYT, D. J. LeMahieu – whom the Cubbies traded to the Rockies in 2011 – has been showing “Cubs’ Epstein what he gave up on.” Word. It’s not like the Cubs could ever rally from a 1-3 deficit and end the longest World Series championship drought in history without LeMahieu. Oh, wait. That’s actually the second “curse” Epstein has broken, having exorcised the Boston Red Sox in 2004. If he weren’t Jewish the Vatican would so hire him. The Cubs are not only the favorites of fans who bet on baseball to win today’s preseason game against the Angels but also the odds-on MLB betting favorites to repeat the World Series championship in 2017.