Spring training has officially started in Major League Baseball, which means that it is time to start looking at the win totals for the upcoming season. OVER/UNDERs are posted for all 30 teams and we’ve circled five that could offer some good value.
Regular Season Win Total: 73.5 wins
The Reds were 68-94 last season and they have been the last-place team in the National League Central for the last three seasons. Their major problem was pitching last season as the Reds were 29th in all of baseball in ERA and quality starts. They’ll have three veterans returning from injury (Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafani and Brandon Finnegan) to support a cast of young arms. They need to settle on a reliable starting five as they had 16 different pitchers start games for them last season.
Los Angeles Angels
Regular Season Win Total: 84.5 wins
The Angels were 80-82 last season and were in the playoff race despite an injury to MVP Mike Trout. The lineup looks very promising, again led by Trout, who is the pound-for-pound best player in baseball. Albert Pujols is still productive and the team picked up Zack Cozart and Ian Kinsler. All eyes will be on Shohei Ohtani, who was signed from Japan. While he was known as the Japanese Babe Ruth who can hit and pitch, he was brought over to do the latter.
New York Yankees
Regular Season Win Total: 93.5 wins
The Yankees were one of the biggest surprises in baseball last year, posting an impressive record of 91-71 and easily hitting the OVER. They’re expected to be better this time around after they traded for National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton. Pairing him with American League Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge should give the Yankees one of the best lineups in baseball.
The Yankees are going to get runs but there are questions about their pitching. Can CC Sabathia have another great year and what will Luis Severino give them? What is up with Masahiro Tanaka and his struggles? Also, they have a new manager in Aaron Boone as they didn’t feel Joe Girardi took them far enough.
Regular Season Win Total: 76.5 wins
The Phillies were 66-96 last season but the oddsmakers are expecting about a 10-game improvement. They have a new manager in Gabe Kapler. He’ll have some solid players to work with in their lineup, including Rhys Hoskins, who leads a new generation of Phillies. This is a team that saw significant progress in the second half last year and will be looking to carry that momentum over. They ranked second-last in scoring prior to the all-star break last year but jumped up to 10th in the second half of the season as they developed prospects. That’s a good sign.
Regular Season Win Total: 92.5 wins
The Nationals were 97-65 last season and have won 95 games or more in three of the last four seasons. The challenge for them has been finding success in the postseason. That’s why they mostly kept the roster intact but replaced manager Dusty Baker with Dave Martinez. We’ll see if he can push the right buttons for this squad.