Each year, Vegas and other sports betting companies release a list of win projections for each major league team. Anybody willing to risk a few bucks can make a bet as to whether a team will go over or under that projected total, and potentially win a good amount in the process. And you don’t even need to make a trip to a casino with places like Netbet (https://sport.netbet.co.uk).
If Spring Training wins counted, the Blue Jays would be well on their way to topping the 87.5 posted by Bovada. But, alas, they don’t. (Not that it matters – the Jays will dominate the East!)
But Jays aside, what are some other great bets worth making? Here are my top-5:
Philadelphia Phillies – 65.5 UNDER
The Phillies are finally trending the right way, in that they have officially begun to dismantle the team that was so dominant from 2003 – 2011. Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, and Jonathan Papelbon are all gone. But guys like Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz are still there, which leads me to believe that they haven’t bottomed out quite yet. This team only won 63 games last year and will be worse this year. Go with the under.
Cincinnati Reds – 70.5 UNDER
The Reds won 64 games in 2015, finishing dead last in the NL Central. Then they got rid of Aroldis Chapman and tried to dump Jay Bruce. Cincy has some nice young pitching in the rotation and they still have Joey Votto, but they will have to play the stacked Cardinals, Pirates, and Cubs 57 times. Under.
Kansas City Royals – 85.5 OVER
I’ve given up trying to predict this team. They lost Cueto and replaced him with Ian Kennedy. They should be worse than last year. But something tells me they won’t be. They’ll probably win close to 90 games, sneak into the playoffs, then bludgeon teams to death with singles. Brutal.
Seattle Mariners – 82.5 OVER
Seattle has underachieved for several years. A team with Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez, and Nelson Cruz should be better. Texas and Houston will both be good, but Oakland and the Angels have a ton of question marks, question marks that I think Seattle can take advantage of and finish 2nd or 3rd, with 85 wins. Over.
New York Yankees – 85.5 UNDER
This is the year New York finally falls off the grid. Yes they added Aroldis Chapman and have a lights out bullpen, but this is a team that was already 66-3 when leading in the 7th inning, meaning if there was an area that didn’t need improving it was the bullpen. With health and age concerns floating around Teixeira, A-Rod, Sabathia, and Tanaka, and with a stacked division including the Jays, and the improved Red Sox and Rays, I’d be surprised to see the Yanks finish over .500.
I’ll check back a few times this year to see how these predictions look. If my track record is any indication? It won’t be pretty.