With Opening Day less than a month away, savvy bettors can get a sense of the state of each Major League Baseball team and how it might translate into their final win total.
The Chicago Cubs have the highest win total at 95.5, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. That is hardly surprising given that the Cubs are coming off their first World Series triumph in 108 years and their nucleus – 1B Anthony Rizzo, 3B Kris Bryant, SS Addison Russell, RHP Kyle Hendricks – are just entering their prime.
Four other teams have a win total in the 90s placed upon them: the Los Angeles Dodgers (93.5), Boston Red Sox (92.5), Cleveland Indians (92.5) and Washington Nationals (90.5).
The Dodgers’ total is understandably high since they won the NL West last season with ace LHP Clayton Kershaw only playing two-thirds of the season, but the Dodgers never quite seem to peak. The Red Sox made the move to add LHP Chris Sale to a 93-win team, so there’s a good chance they could hit the over.
Cleveland could be due for some regression after a pennant-winning season. Washington, with stars such as RHP Max Scherzer and RF Bryce Harper, usually has little trouble having a strong regular season.
The Houston Astros (89.5) are being touted for a breakout in the AL West, with their core that includes 2B Jose Altuve and SS Carlos Correa. It wouldn’t take much for the Astros to up their 2016 total of 84 wins.
The Texas Rangers (84.5) have the biggest negative gap between their prop and their 2016 total (95).
One dynamic to account for is that so many stars – Minnesota Twins 2B Brian Dozier, Pittsburgh Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen, Oakland Athletics RHP Sonny Gray, Chicago White Sox LHP Jose Quintana, among others – could be moved at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
If moves are made, Pittsburgh (82.5) and Oakland (73.5) would be pulling the chute, so to speak, on the season and that could suppress their final win totals. The Twins (74.5) would have to really make a leap forward with their pitching after a 59-win season in 2016.
The lowest season win total prop belongs to the San Diego Padres (66.5), followed by the Chicago White Sox (69.5) and Milwaukee Brewers (69.5). San Diego is the only one of those three truly building while the other two are trying to shed veterans and big salaries.