Pitchers and catchers have reported and with that, Vegas has released season win total over unders for all Major League Teams. Today, I’d like to take some time to share with you the top two bets that I like from the American League and the National League.
Angels 84 – Over. Yes, I realize that the Angels will be battling in the AL West with the defending World Series Champion Houston Astros. I still like them to win over 84 games this season. I really like their lineup with the additions on Ian Kinsler and Justin Upton will be playing his first full season with the Angels. They also signed the Japanese second coming of Babe Ruth, Shohei Ohtani. It will be interesting to see how the Angels handle Ohtani when he doesn’t pitch (or full time if his pitching arm ligament injury gets worse). If they let this guy pitch and DH or play 1B on the four days that he doesn’t pitch, that adds an extra bat to the Kinsler, Trout, Upton, Pujols, Calhoun lineup. As for the pitching, Garrett Richards will be looking for a bounce back season after two seasons in a row with injuries. Let’s not forget Richards went 13-4 less than five years ago. Of course, elbow injuries in pitchers can and usually do completely change them but I’m optimistic for Richards. How about I throw you a tidbit that you definitely didn’t know? Parker Bridwell. I can hear all my readers now (other than Angels fans) “Who the fuck is that?” He was the most profitable pitcher to bet on in the Major Leagues last season going +1588 units. He went 10-3 in 21 games. They also have JC Ramirez and Matt Shoemaker who were in the top 20 of most profitable pitchers to bet on last season. Do I think the pitching will be great for the Angels? No. But I do think it will be good enough paired with this lineup to win more than 84 games.
Astros 97 – Over. The World Champs are back and if you ask any baseball experts, they are better than they were last year. This team won 101 games last year and their four hitter only played 109 of 162 games. Correa should be back and should be healthy this season after proposing to his girlfriend after winning the World Series. How good and young is this lineup? It’s crazy good and super young. They led the league in runs per game last season with 5.41 and I expect them to be top 2 in runs per game this season (with the Yankees). Justin Verlander came over at the trade deadline and will be back this season plus the addition of Gerrit Cole this offseason via trade. The Astros pitching doesn’t stop there because behind those three they have McCullers, Morton, and Peacock. If this team stays healthy, I honestly think this team could make a push at the record for most wins in an MLB season – 116. They might not set the record but I do think they will most definitely win 100 games and hit the over on 97.
Brewers 85 – Over. I’m taking this team to over take the Cubs in the NL Central this season. You can call me crazy but they hung around until the very end last season and they got better over the offseason. Obviously this lineup impresses me more than the pitching staff but they still have a chance to add a starter or two before the regular season begins. This team won 86 games last season and they went out and added Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich over the offseason. Don’t be surprised if Jake Arrieta signs with the Brewers in the next week or so after the Cubs went after Darvish instead of him. Cain and Yelich will be the table setters for this lineup and Thames, Braun, and Shaw will do the power hitting all season. I think this team will be fun to watch and I’m expecting them to win more than 85 games whether they get more starting pitching before the season or not.
Mets 81 – OVER. This team only won 70 games last year and that was a MAJOR disappointment. The ol injury bug got the best of them. Syndergaard only made 7 starts, Cespedes only played 81 games, and Familia missed a huge chunk of the season due to surgery on a blood clot. There’s three key pieces to this Mets team - #1 pitcher, heart of the lineup 3 hitter, and the closer. I think with so much going on last year, the Mets mailed the season in and didn’t really have much of a choice with the way things went. All three of these guys will be back and this Mets team will be looking to make a post season run. First time manager Mickey Callaway came out yesterday and said that the front office has put together a roster of players that the Mets coaching staff (“The Best in the League” according to Callaway) should be able to do something special with. A couple of the additions that this team made over the off season were the signings of Adrian Gonzalez and Todd Frazier. A lot of people will look at these signings as older vets who may not make a difference. However, Gonzalez missed some time last season with an injury and never got to claim his job back from rookie sensation Cody Bellinger. Frazier finished last season with the Yankees so he won’t even need to get a new condo for this season. I think that Gonzalez and Frazier are great hitters to add to a team that play their home games at Citi Field. They also got Reyes and Bruce back. I expect the 3-5 hitters Cespedes, Bruce, and Frazier to all hit 30+ homeruns, that’s a lot of power. The big thing is for the starting pitching to stay healthy, and if they do, I think this team goes WAY over 81 wins. I can see them finishing up with 90+ wins and getting into post season if they stay healthy.