Hot stove season has largely ended, Spring Training has arrived, and with 30 squads currently suiting up for Cactus and Grapefruit League games, Major League Baseball (MLB) is officially back in action.
Accordingly, baseball bettors are beginning to size up season win totals for all 30 MLB teams.
Assessing win totals on the diamond can be notoriously difficult, however, as shown by last year’s final standings.
Two teams that managed to win more than 100 games last year – the Los Angeles Dodgers (104) and Houston Astros (101) – squared off in a truly epic seven-gamer to decide the World Series. But before the 2017 campaign was underway, preseason touts tabbed the Dodgers to win 91.5 games, and the Astros only 87.5 – a combined whiff of 26 games.
Meanwhile, the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants were expected to contend at 89.5 and 87.5 wins, respectively. Instead, the Mets could only scrape together a 70-92 season, while the Giants tied for the worst record in baseball at 64-98.
Despite last year’s unpredictability, online sportsbook Bovada played it safe when calculating win totals for 2018.
The defending World Series champion Astros top the American League (AL) table at 96.5 wins, while the Dodgers lead the National League (NL) with a 96.5-win expectation.
And the teams they defeated in the League Championship series – the New York Yankees and the Chicago Cubs, respectively – are next up at 94.5 wins each.
In fact, the eight teams that reached the divisional round of last year’s postseason hold the top-four win totals in their respective leagues. The Cleveland Indians (94.5) and Boston Red Sox (91.5) round out the top AL contenders, while the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks (85.5) complete the NL’s fearsome foursome.
Offseason acquisitions were scarce this winter, but the big bats were signed by AL East powerhouses.
After adding Giancarlo Stanton and his NL-leading 59 home runs to a lineup that already featured AL-leader Aaron Judge (52), the Bronx Bombers will live up to the name with the most powerful 3-4 punch in baseball.
The ‘Stros surged to their first World Series title on the strength of their pitching staff, led by aces Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel. But with the Yankees brandishing a loaded lineup, Houston bolstered their rotation by trading for Pittsburgh Pirates ace and former all-star Gerrit Cole.
And following an extended negotiation, the Red Sox finally bagged their most coveted free agent by signing slugger J.D. Martinez away from the Diamondbacks. The man they call “Just Dingers” only appeared in 116 games last season, but he went yard 49 times while playing for the Tigers and D-Backs.
It’s a different story over in the NL, where the Dodgers let starter Yu Darvish walk and sign with the Cubs, who seem to be replacing former ace, and as yet unsigned free agent, Jake Arrieta.
For a full look at win totals and Over/Under odds for all 30 teams in MLB, take a look below:
2018 AL Win Totals
|New York Yankees||94.5||-120||-110|
|Boston Red Sox||91.5||-150||+120|
|Los Angeles Angels||84.5||-145||+115|
|Toronto Blue Jays||81||-125||-105|
|Tampa Bay Rays||77.5||+195||-250|
|Kansas City Royals||71.5||+110||-140|
|Chicago White Sox||68||-200||+160|
2018 NL Win Totals
|Los Angeles Dodgers||96.5||+120||-150|
|St. Louis Cardinals||85.5||-135||+105|
|San Francisco Giants||81.5||-200||+160|
|New York Mets||81||-155||+125|
|San Diego Padres||69.5||-175||+145|