MLB Win Totals

MLB Win Totals

Win Totals - Part I
VegasInsider.com

A few surprising numbers appear on this season’s board and a closer look there could be some value in these numbers! Below is a review of some 2008 Win Totals for the upcoming MLB season that command some attention:

Atlanta Braves - 85.5 wins

This looks like a solid UNDER. Atlanta only won 84 games last season. Now, without Andruw Jones and Edgar Renteria, they are being asked to win even more games this season. This does not make any sense whatsoever. This is especially true when you consider that the Mets and Phillies look at least as strong as they did last season.

The Braves are much weaker up the middle without the big bats plus solid defense of both Jones and Renteria. Relying on Mike Hampton to resurrect the starting rotation has proven to be a mistake. Also, don’t be surprised if Chuck James slumps again after surprising success in his rookie season. He’s already gone from 11-4 to 11-10 and sub-.500 would not be a surprise this season. The more familiar teams are with him the more hittable he becomes and a repeat of prior season’s success for the southpaw is not likely.

Yes, the Braves added Tom Glavine but he’s beginning to show his age and was often very hittable in many of his outings last season. The Braves also are relying heavily in a lot of unproven arms in the bullpen and this could be a much weaker area for Atlanta this season. The Braves look like a sub-.500 team to us. Play UNDER the Win Total for Atlanta in 2008.

Chicago Cubs - 87.5 wins

This look like a solid OVER. The Cubs are basically just being asked to win a couple more games than they did last season. When you consider the current status of the rest of the teams in the National League Central Division that is quite likely. The Cardinals are way down. The Reds are trying to work their way up but are unproven. The Brewers will be fortunate to repeat last season’s success and the Pirates are relying on young pitching and a weak offense.

Certainly the Cubs should be able to dominate the NL Central and that will play a key role in helping insure that they get over this win total. Chicago has a nice “Big Three” in their rotation with Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, and Rich Hill. The Cubs went into Spring Training with some solid options and some good depth in terms of whom the other starting pitchers would be. Other teams were not afforded that same luxury and it’s certainly a luxury that the Cubs are so deep in such an important area.

The lineup of the Cubs is not oozing with star power but they’ve got enough big sticks to give their solid pitching all the support it needs. The Cubs bullpen looks very solid with Kerry Wood as the closer and a deep group of effective relievers that can insure most leads remain intact for Wood to shut the door! The Cubs have Carlos Marmol, Bob Howry, and Mike Wuertz all “at the ready” for key late inning work. The weak Central Division is the “kicker” here and the Cubs will take advantage of that for another divisional title and a season that should see a win total easily get past the 90 mark. Play OVER the total for the Chicago Cubs in 2008.

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Re: MLB Win Totals

Giants don't look good
By Stephen Nover
VegasInsider.com

Editor's Note: Stephen Nover makes his return to VegasInsider.com's pro baseball handicapping roster. Be sure to cash daily with his winning selections. Click to win!

Talk the Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Florida Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates all you want. My candidate for worst team this season is the San Francisco Giants.

The Giants were 71-91 last year. That was with Barry Bonds. Slight improvement, with the emphasis on slight, is expected this season. The Giants’ current regular season ‘over/under’ win total is 71½.

San Francisco isn’t reaching 70 victories. The Giants will be fortunate to win 68 games. Morale is better without the insufferable Bonds. The talent sure isn’t, though.

How bad are the Giants? Catcher Benjie Molina could be batting clean-up.

How bad are the Giants? Kevin Frandsen tore his left Achilles’ tendon and probably will be out for the year. This is being treated as a major setback.

How bad are the Giants? Their outfielders, minus Bonds, hit a combined 22 homers last year. The team was last in slugging percentage at .387.

How bad are the Giants? Their starting infield by mid-April could consist of 36-year-old Rich Aurilia, 36-year-old Ray Durham and 40-year-old Omar Vizquel, who already is starting the season on the DL following knee surgery. Durham isn’t far behind having recently missed five games because of a hamstring injury.

San Francisco has promising young arms, but its offense is so bad it negates any pitching improvement. And it’s not like the Giants have a Hall of Fame pitching rotation and bullpen.

Barry Zito had a terrible season last year and didn’t look good during spring training. Hope the Giants enjoy paying him $126 million. Noah Lowry may be out until May.

The bullpen suffered 33 losses last year, the most in the majors. The long relievers and setup men still look brutal on paper and closer Brian Wilson is unproven.

Another problem for the Giants is the improvement in the National League West Division. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies proved themselves last season. San Diego has the best pitching in baseball and the Los Angeles Dodgers looked improved as their outstanding prospects have another year of seasoning.

The Giants got themselves in this mess by kissing Bonds’ big butt for too long and forfeiting premium 2004 and 2005 draft choices by signing bad free agents. I have no sympathy for them.

Put me down for Giants ‘under’ 71½ wins. If you can afford to tie up your money for six months it’s a wise investment.

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