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).
Arizona Diamondbacks – 84.5 (-115/-115)
The Diamondbacks have seemingly improved their team during the winter break. They had a huge free agency signing in former Giants ace Madison Bumgarner and they added outfielders Kole Calhoun and Sterling Marte as well. Arizona saw outfielder Adam Jones, catcher Alex Avila and second baseman Wilmer Flores all leave via free agency, although none were a huge loss to the club. I don’t have a huge feel on this total as they are coming off of an 85 win season and I see them staying around there, but I am leaning to the over.
Pick: Over 84.5 (-115)(In The Hole)
Colorado Rockies – 73.5 (-115/-115)
Colorado was surprising quiet throughout the off-season. The only real loss to the team was first baseman Yonder Alonso who tested the free agency market. They signed a big group of farm system players, but the only big addition there was veteran pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez who won’t make a huge splash at 36 years old. Your guess is about as good as mine when it comes to this total as Coors Field is a joke and I could hit a home run in that stadium. I will take the over even though I personally want nothing to do with this total.
Pick: Over 73.5 (-115)(You’re Out!)
Los Angeles Dodgers – 102.5 (+110/-140)
The Dodgers have been extremely active during the downtime. They traded outfielder Alex Verdugo with some other players to the Red Sox for pitcher David Price and outfielder Mookie Betts. Los Angeles traded away Kenta Maeda in order to dump salary and they saw pitchers Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill test free agency as well as catcher Russell Martin and their only big signing throughout the break was Alex Wood. I am not totally confident in my pick as we haven’t seen how the team chemistry will be, although I am leaning to the under.
Pick: Under 102.5 (-140)(In The Hole)
San Diego Padres – 82.5 (-135/+105)
San Diego traded away their best player in outfielder Hunter Renfroe to Tampa Bay for outfielder Tommy Pham and also traded outfielder Manuel Margot for pitcher Emilio Pagan in a separate deal with the same team. The Padres also moved catcher Austin Allen for second baseman Jurickson Profar in a deal with the Athletics. I feel as though these moves didn’t really improve the team or make them worse. They are coming off of a 70 win year and I personally don’t see enough change to warrant 13 more wins.
Pick: Under 82.5 (+105)(Home Run)
San Francisco Giants – 68.5 (-115/-115)
The Giants saw two key pieces of their pitching squad leave via free agency in ace Madison Bumgarner and closer Will Smith. They haven’t made many huge signings this winter, although they did add outfielder Hunter Pence, second baseman Wilmer Flores and a few pitchers as well. San Francisco had 77 wins last campaign, and I am definitely siding with the odds-makers as I believe this team will see some regression. Bumgarner and Smith were huge pieces to this team and those losses will hurt them in the long run.
Pick: Under 68.5 (-115)(In The Hole)
Chicago Cubs – 84.5 (-130/+100)
The off-season was not kind to Chicago. They saw a plethora of players test the market in starting pitcher Cole Hamels, utility-man Ben Zobrist, second baseman Addison Russell as well as bullpen pitchers Pedro Strop and Steve Cishek. The Cubs haven’t signed any players of note that will fill these voids, and as a Cubs fan, it pains me to say but they are definitely due for regression this season. It was a rocky campaign last year for the team and there’s no way their total wins improve with the difficulty of their division.
Pick: Under 84.5 (+100)(Home Run)
Cincinnati Reds – 84.5 (-110/-120)
Odds-makers are a little bit more high on the Reds than I am. They lost two pieces of their puzzle in pitcher Alex Wood and shortstop Jose Iglesias during the break. The team signed infielder Mike Moustakas and pitchers Wade Miley and Pedro Strop, although I feel as though these were lateral moves. Cincinnati only had 75 wins last year and I don’t see them improving by ten wins. I believe they will find themselves back in the cellar of the Central once again as their line-up still lacks firepower.
Pick: Under 84.5 (-120)(In The Hole)
Milwaukee Brewers – 83.5 (+105/-110)
The Brew Crew may be due for a nice run this season. They are coming off of an 89 win season and they were without their former MVP Christian Yelich for 100 of those contests. The team saw infielder Mike Moustakas and catcher Yasmani Grandal both leave this off-season and they added first baseman Justin Smoak and second baseman Eric Sogard. I am all over Milwaukee this year as I believe that they will be battling with St. Louis for the division pennant once again come September.
Pick: Over 83.5 (+105)(Home Run)
Pittsburgh Pirates – 69.5 (-105/-125)
Pittsburgh has been one of the more quiet teams during the winter. They lost pitcher Francisco Liriano and outfielder Melky Cabrera to free agency and didn’t make many signings. Injuries were a huge problem for this team last year and they will see the return of the bulk of those players who were out with the exception of pitcher Jameson Taillon who just had Tommy John surgery. The Pirates picked up 69 wins last season and I want nothing to do with this total, although I am leaning to the over.
Pick: Over 69.5 (-105)(You’re Out!)
St. Louis Cardinals – 87.5 (-105/125)
The Cardinals didn’t make a ton of moves during the off-season. They traded utility-man Jose Martinez to Tampa Bay for a nice pitching prospect in Matthew Liberatore. St. Louis did lose outfielder Marcell Ozuna and pitcher Michael Wacha to the free agency market, but they had depth last year so those aren’t giant losses. The team is coming off of a 91 win campaign and I believe that they will toy with that number once again, but I don’t have huge confidence in the over until I see how the other teams in their division are playing.
Pick: Over 87.5 (-105)(In The Hole)
Washington Nationals – 89.5 (-125/-105)
The defending World Series champions weren’t overly active through the break. They saw outfielder and fan favorite Gerardo Parra as well as slugging third baseman Anthony Rendon both head out via free agency. The only big signing of note for the team was infielder Starlin Castro who comes over from the Marlins. The Nationals had 93 wins last year and I could definitely see them repeating their run from last season, but I’m not going to be super confident in the over until I see how much of a loss Rendon was to their line-up.
Pick: Over 89.5 (-125)(You’re Out!)
Atlanta Braves – 91.5 (-105/-125)
Atlanta has pieced together a roster that, on paper, should make a deep playoff run. They lost pitchers Julio Teheran and Dallas Keuchel as well as catcher Brian McCann to the market. Their free agent signings were stellar, however, as they snagged outfielder Marcell Ozuna and catcher Travis d’Arnaud as well as pitchers Cole Hamels and Will Smith. The Braves put up 97 wins a year ago and I definitely see them having another outstanding season as all of their additions were improvements on their losses.
Pick: Over 91.5 (-105)(Home Run)
Philadelphia Phillies – 84.5 (-120/-110)
I am not totally sure what to make of this Phillies team. They did pick up a huge player during free agency in shortstop Didi Gregorius but they lost pitcher Drew Smyly as well as infielders Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez. Philadelphia is coming off of a .500 season with 81 wins and I don’t believe their one off-season signing is enough to improve their roster by much. I am picking the under for the sake of this article although I personally want nothing to do with this total until I see how their division opponents are playing.
Pick: Under 84.5 (-110)(You’re Out!)
New York Mets – 86.5 (-115/-115)
There is a lot of hype surrounding this team once again this season and I don’t understand why. They did sign pitchers Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha, but unless these two players improve, I don’t see them making a huge difference as neither were stand-outs with their former teams. The Mets lost third baseman Todd Frazier to free agency and he was a big part of their line-up. New York had 86 wins a year removed and I don’t really see them improving this year although this total sounds about right.
Pick: Under 86.5 (-115)(You’re Out!)
Miami Marlins – 63.5 (-125/-105)
You would think a team like Miami that had only 57 wins last year would have made some moves during the winter, but this was not the case. They lost their starting second baseman Starlin Castro to free agency and the only player of note the team signed was catcher Francisco Cervelli. The Marlins have made a name for themselves in recent years as one of the worst teams perennially, and I believe that they will have another season in the cellar of the league, though I can’t in good faith bet actual money on a total this low.
Pick: Under 63.5 (-105)(You’re Out!)