MLB regular-season win totals are the easiest to pick of all sports in my opinion, as most teams don’t have a huge variance from one season to another. There’s certainly been a bunch of off-season moves, and this year’s pennant race should be more open than in previous years.
Enjoy as I summarize each team’s moves during the break and also pick their win total. I will use three levels of confidence: Home Run (very confident), In The Hole (no feeling either way) and You’re Out! (bet with caution).
Houston Astros – 94.5 (-110/-120)
I could spend an hour talking about the off-season trouble the Astros found themselves in, but I will leave that alone and focus on their roster moves. Houston didn’t add anyone of note and they saw both pitcher Gerrit Cole and catcher Robinson Chirinos leave in free agency. The Astros would make history if they were to pull off a 100 win season as no team has pieced together four years of 100+ wins in a row since the 1977 expansion. I don’t see them getting much higher than 90 wins if they can even break that even though I want nothing to do with this total.
Pick: Under 94.5 (-120)(You’re Out!)
Oakland Athletics – 89.5 (-120/-110)
The Athletics have been virtually quiet during the break. They lost pitcher Homer Bailey and second baseman Jurickson Profar, and the only key addition that Oakland made was catcher Austin Allen. I am on the fence about this win total because they’re coming off of a 97 win year last season. This team still has the majority of the pieces to their high-powered offense headed by Khris Davis and Marcus Semien, and I don’t believe that Bailey was a big loss to their pitching staff so I am taking the over.
Pick: Over 89.5 (-120)(In The Hole)
Seattle Mariners – 67.5 (-105/-125)
Seattle saw three of their key pitchers (Felix Hernandez, Tommy Milone and Wade LeBlanc) as well as starting shortstop Tim Beckham all test free agency. They brought in pitcher Kendall Graveman to help aid the losses, and Graveman showed promise during his time with the Athletics. I expect the Mariners to be one of the worst teams in the league as their pitching staff was terrible last year, and they haven’t done much to improve on what was already a poor situation so I am playing the under.
Pick: Under 67.5 (-125)(In The Hole)
Texas Rangers – 79.5 (-115/-115)
The Rangers made moves this off-season as they added pitchers Jordan Lyles, Kyle Gibson and Corey Kluber as well as catcher Robinson Chirinos and third baseman Todd Frazier. They didn’t really lose any huge pieces to their team throughout the break, and they are coming off of a 78 win season. I am loving the team that Texas has pieced together, and I believe that they could even be a dark-horse pick to win their division. The over on this total is one of my favorite plays as this club is ready to roll.
Pick: Over 79.5 (-115)(Home Run)
Los Angeles Angels – 85.5 (-130/+100)
Los Angeles saw pitcher Trevor Cahill, first baseman Justin Bour and outfielder Kole Calhoun all head out via free agency. The Angels beefed up their lineup with the signing of third baseman Anthony Rendon and also adding pitcher Dylan Bundy to help their rotation. I don’t really have a feel on this total either way as I feel as odds-makers have it set right where it should be, but I am leaning toward the under. They only had 72 wins last year and although I feel as though they will improve, I don’t believe it will be by 14 more wins.
Pick: Under 85.5 (+100)(In The Hole)
Chicago White Sox – 84.5 (-120/-110)
The White Sox were one of the biggest winners in the free agency race. They picked up slugging first baseman Edwin Encarnacion as well as pitchers Steve Cishek and Dallas Keuchel. Second baseman Yolmer Sanchez was the only big player that they saw test the market, and it appears as though Chicago has improved their team this off-season. They only had 72 wins last year and I will pick the over as their roster would imply a good year, although I personally don’t want anything to do with this total as they are still the White Sox.
Pick: Over 84.5 (-120)(You’re Out!)
Cleveland Indians – 85.5 (-125/-105)
Cleveland has been relatively quiet during the break. They traded away Corey Kluber and saw Yasiel Puig test free agency. They haven’t added many key players of note and I don’t believe Puig was much of a loss as he has been known to be cancer to a locker room. The Indians had 93 wins last season and I am siding with the odds-makers as I believe they are due for regression. I am picking the under even though I don’t plan on actually placing a bet on this total as I believe it is set right around where it should be.
Pick: Under 85.5 (-105)(You’re Out!)
Detroit Tigers – 56.5 (-135/+105)
I don’t believe I am missing anything with this Tigers team, and I can’t understand why this total is so low. They didn’t lose any key players during the off-season and they added three key pieces to the team in pitcher Ivan Nova, first baseman C.J. Cron and catcher Austin Romine. Detroit may have only had 47 wins last season, but I am pounding this over as I love the moves the team made during the offseason. I don’t necessarily think that they will win their division, but I fully expect them to top this total.
Pick: Over 56.5 (-135)(Home Run)
Kansas City Royals – 64.5 (-120/-110)
The Royals have been one of the most quiet teams in the MLB during the winter break. They only made one huge move, and that was resigning outfielder Alex Gordon who wasn’t overly impressive whatsoever last season, only hitting .247. Kansas City picked up only 59 wins last campaign, and I don’t expect them to improve on this number with their lack of transactions during the off-season. I am not overly confident when I pick this under as this is still a low total, although I feel as that is the best play.
Pick: Under 64.5 (-110)(In The Hole)
Minnesota Twins – 92.5 (-120/-110)
This is one of my favorite plays throughout these totals this year. Minnesota made major moves this winter. They added pitchers Kenta Maeda, Homer Bailey, Rich Hill and Tyler Clippard as well as third baseman Josh Donaldson and catcher Alex Avila. The only players of note they lost were staring pitcher Kyle Gibson and first baseman C.J. Cron. The Twins are coming off of a 101 win campaign, and I don’t see any reason whatsoever that they won’t at least flirt with breaking 100 once again.
Pick: Over 92.5 (-120)(Home Run)
New York Yankees – 102.5 (-120/-110)
I don’t totally understand why odds-makers are this high on the Yankees. The only big addition to the team was pitcher Gerrit Cole and they lost first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, pitcher C.C. Sabathia, catcher Austin Romine and outfielder Cameron Maybin. New York had 103 wins last season but their off-season losses definitely outweigh their only addition. Only two teams have won 100+ games in three straight seasons since the 1977 expansion and there isn’t much that tells me this will be the third team in history to do so.
Pick: Under 102.5 (-110)(Home Run)
Toronto Blue Jays – 74.5 (-130/+100)
The Blue Jays are one of my favorite teams to make a playoff run this season. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. added an instant boost to this team as they were competitive as soon as he joined the roster. They lost first baseman Justin Smoak as well as pitcher Clay Buchholz, but Toronto landed a huge free agent during the break when they signed Hyun-Jin Ryu. They had 67 wins last year and were without Guerrero Jr. for 39 of those contests. I love the over for this team this year as I see them having a stellar campaign.
Pick: Over 74.5 (-130)(Home Run)
Boston Red Sox – 83.5 (-135/+105)
I’m not totally sure what’s going on in Boston with their upper-management. Their “blockbuster” trade shipped off outfielder Mookie Betts as well as pitcher David Price, and they only return of mention was outfielder Alex Verdugo. They also lost a trio of pitchers in Andrew Cashner, Rick Porcello and Jhoulys Chacin to free agency. The Red Sox only picked up 84 wins last season and it’s hard for me to see them improving with their lack of additions. I love this play as I expect them to take a backseat in the division this year.
Pick: Under 83.5 (+105)(Home Run)
Tampa Bay Rays – 89.5 (-140/+110)
This has been a decent off-season for Tampa Bay. They traded one of their most prized prospects in pitcher Matthew Liberatore to the Cardinals for first baseman Jose Martinez. They also dealt outfielder Tommy Pham to the Padres for slugging outfielder Hunter Renfroe. The Rays saw pitcher Emilio Pagan, catcher Travis d’Arnaud and second baseman Eric Sogard all test free agency as well. I personally don’t want to touch this total, but for picking purposes I will take the over as they had 96 wins last year and could certainly repeat that.
Pick: Over 89.5 (-140)(You’re Out!)
Baltimore Orioles – 56.5 (-115/-115)
The Orioles were one of the worst teams in the MLB last campaign, and they haven’t done anything this winter that suggests that they will improve. They traded away pitcher Dylan Bundy as well as second baseman Jonathan Villar for some younger prospects. They also saw their designated hitter Mark Trumbo leave via free agency. I can’t in good faith place my actual money on a total that is set this low, but I do expect Baltimore to regress even further so I will pick the under for the sake of this article.
Pick: Under 56.5 (-115)(You’re Out!)