Designated Hitters Rarely Impacting MLB Odds

The designated hitter in the American League has not been impacting MLB odds as much as you might think.

Yes, there are a few like Jose Guillen of the Royals, Hideki Matsui of the Angels, Vladimir Guerrero of the Rangers and Adam Lind of the Blue Jays who have made a mark vs. baseball odds but most of the DH’s are struggling.

MLB odds in the American League should be greatly influenced by the DH but that has not been the case this season.  The Boston Red Sox get a lot of attention from gamblers but their DH position has been a disaster as David Ortiz looks to be through.  Seattle has a similar problem as Ken Griffey Jr. is on his last legs.  Those are not the only two teams that have problems though.  A number of other teams are getting very little out of the DH.

The DH that gets the most publicity for his struggles is Ortiz.  He has just been terrible so far this season.  Whether he is just old and slow or whether the controversy surrounding performances enhancing drugs affected his performance, the bottom line is that he can’t hit anymore.   It is likely the Red Sox are going to bench Ortiz and go with Victor Martinez as the DH and Jason Varitek behind the plate.

Another designated hitter that is off to another slow start is Cleveland’s Travis Hafner.  He was supposed to bounce back with a big year in 2010 but it has not happened.  It may not happen again either as Haffner simply is not the hitter he was a couple of years ago.  And the Indians are paying him $11.5 million this year and $13 million in 2012 and in 2013.

Another player who is overpaid is Ken Griffey Jr. He has seen better days and is only in the lineup because he brings in the fans.  He simply can’t hit for average anymore. Once in a while he will hit a home run but he is simply a big hole in Seattle’s lineup.

Another team that is getting very little from the DH is Tampa Bay. The Rays are still winning vs. the MLB odds but Pat Burrell has done nothing. He can’t play defense so the Rays stick him in the DH position.  It has not worked. Oakland is another team that has gotten very little from the DH. Eric Chavez simply looks washed up. It is surprising the A’s have played so well this season in baseball odds while getting nothing from their designated hitter.