Five MLB Team Totals to Bet Now
The 2018 MLB win totals have been posted in Vegas. Here are five teams to bet right now at the betting window.
Note: These win totals are from CG Technology, the first sportsbook to release MLB win totals for the upcoming baseball season at all of their Las Vegas sportsbooks.
1. New York Yankees Over 93.5 Wins
According to oddsmakers from online sports book YouWager, the Bronx Bombers and the Cubs are co-favorites this season to win the World Series. When it comes to the Yankees' projected win total, I think the number was set too low.
New York is absolutely loaded, adding Giancarlo Stanton to a lineup that already consisted of Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge. PECOTA has the Yankees at 96 wins, which would easily clear the over/under mark in Vegas.
Their perceived weakness is their starting rotation but their pitchers produced the second-highest WAR figure among major-league staffs last season according to Fangraphs. Sonny Gray, Luis Servino and Masahiro Tanaka all return, plus the team could add another arm in either Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn before the season starts. If the starting pitching falters a little, the Yankees can still rely on their outstanding bullpen.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates Under 76.5 Wins
The bottom is about to fall out on the Pirates, who traded away ace Gerrit Cole and long-time face-of-the-franchise Andrew McCutchen this offseason. According to Fangraphs, Pittsburgh's position players recorded the fourth-worst collective WR mark in the majors last season. And that was with McCutchen in the lineup. Without Cole, Jameson Taillon becomes the ace, which is fine, but the rest of the rotation has significant questions. Plus, after Felipe Rivero, the bullpen has few certainties, especially in high-leverage situations.
3. San Francisco Giants Over 81.5 Wins
Speaking of the bottom falling out on a team, the Giants won just 64 games a year ago, which tied them with the Tigers for the lowest win total in the league. That said, keep in mind what happened. Madison Bumgarner missed a significant portion of the season after falling off his dirt bike. Mark Melancon, Johnny Cueto, and Hunter Pence all missed time with injuries. The Giants also had one of the worst collections of outfielders in baseball last year. With Bumgarner, Melancon, and Cueto all healthy, plus the additions of McCutchen, Evan Longoria, and Austin Jackson, this is a serious wild card contender in my eyes. The division is a hurdle but the Giants should be in the 85-win range in 2018.
4. St. Louis Cardinals Under 84.5 Wins
This is sort of baseball blasphemy considering the Cardinals always compete. They also upgraded their biggest weakness in the offseason by trading for Marcell Ozuna, who gives them a legitimate cleanup hitter for the first time in years. The offense is strong, although a regression for Tommy Pham, Paul DeJong, and even Ozuna is possible. The bigger issue is their pitching staff. I don't know how they'll get enough innings out of Luke Weaver (who is embarking on his first full big-league season), Michael Wacha (who struggles badly the third time he faces an order), Adam Wainwright (who is coming off back-to-back poor seasons) and Myles Mikols (who was pitching in Japan the last three years). Carlos Martinez is a stud but the rest of the rotation is a question mark. Plus, after blowing a handful of late leads last year, the Cards are relying on…Luke Gregerson as their closer? Yikes.
5. Chicago Cubs Over 93.5 Wins
According to Baseball Prospectus, the Cubs were projected to win 92 games before signing Yu Darvish over the weekend. Darvish struggled in the World Series last year but he was also tipping his pitches. The guy is a legitimate top-of-the-rotation stud that misses plenty of bats and he doesn't have to worry about being "the guy" because Chicago also employs Jon Lester and Jose Quintana. The Cubs slogged through 2017 coming off their World Series victory in 2016 but I expect bounce-back years from several of their offensive players, including Addison Russell. This club is too talented not to win 95 games in 2018.