Last Updated: 2018-02-07
It doesn’t feel like spring across most of North America, but Spring Training is less than a week away and the MLB Season Win Total markets has been opened up in Las Vegas. With former Atlantis Sportsbook director Steve Mikkelson now at the Rampart Casino, it wasn’t the brick-and-mortar in Reno that posted the first set of odds this year. Instead, it was Matthew Holt and CG Technology that posted the openers.
This has been a weird offseason for Major League Baseball in a lot of ways. Many free agents are still unsigned and everyday MLB players are among them. Pitchers and hitters are still uneasy about where they will play this season, which has made it tough to set numbers and also do a lot of research and homework for the season. But, as we know, Vegas doesn’t want to wait on these things.
I’m still working on my first round of MLB season win totals, which I hope to post sometime next week. I’ve actually started my process earlier this season than in past seasons, but there is a lot of work that goes into them, so progress moves rather slowly. In any event, I have some snap judgments about some of these win totals that I will look to validate more when the full previews come out.
For now, here are the season win total odds at CG Technology that opened on February 7:
Baltimore Orioles 77.5 (u-125)
Boston Red Sox 91.5 (u-120)
Chicago White Sox 68.5 (o-125)
Cleveland Indians 93.5 (u-120)
Detroit Tigers 68.5 (o-130)
Houston Astros 96.5 (-110)
Kansas City Royals 76.5 (u-135)
L.A. Angels 84.5 (-110)
Minnesota Twins 82.5 (u-125)
New York Yankees 93.5 (-110)
Oakland A’s 74.5 (o-125)
Seattle Mariners 81.5 (o-120)
Tampa Bay Rays 76.5 (-110)
Texas Rangers 78.5 (-110)
Toronto Blue Jays 81.5 (u-130)
Arizona Diamondbacks 86.5 (u-125)
Atlanta Braves 73.5 (-110)
Chicago Cubs 93.5 (u-125)
Cincinnati Reds 71.5 (-110)
Colorado Rockies 82.5 (u-130)
L.A. Dodgers 95.5 (u-120)
Miami Marlins 64.5 (o-120)
Milwaukee Brewers 81.5 (-110)
New York Mets 80.5 (o-125)
Philadelphia Phillies 74.5 (-110)
Pittsburgh Pirates 76.5 (-110)
San Diego Padres 69.5 (o-120)
San Francisco Giants 81.5 (-110)
St. Louis Cardinals 84.5 (-110)
Washington Nationals 91.5 (-110)
I’ve got some takes hotter than the Hot Stove on these numbers:
First, I think they’re largely pretty decent. There are a few that stand out to me without a ton of my research completed, but these look to be better than the Atlantis numbers by a pretty decent margin.
Second, as far as the remaining free agents, there are a few guys that could maybe move the needle a win or a win and a half, but that’s really about it. Don’t overreact when Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish, or JD Martinez get signed. They’ll help whichever team that they go to, but they’re not that big when it comes to season-long win totals. Quite frankly, even a Manny Machado deal maybe moves the Indians to 94.5. They’re already a good team. There aren’t any enormous moves that can be made that really tip the scales.
Third, that being said, it may not be bad to speculate on some teams capable of making moves. The Brewers signing Yu Darvish would really help with the low Steamer projections for their rotation. The Twins signing Darvish would help with the loss of Ervin Santana for a couple months. The Royals could be poised to bring back Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. I think the Royals number is decent, but you get the idea.
Here are the snap calls that I’d make with the win totals:
Baltimore Under 77.5 – This one is off about 3-4 wins to me. The Orioles are not a good team. The bullpen is above average, but Brad Brach and Zach Britton will probably be traded and a team may be sniffing around with 1.5 years of control on Darren O’Day. Manny Machado could be on the move. The starting rotation is really bad and the lineup is below average. This is a team to fade and this is an under to play.
Los Angeles Angels Over 84.5 – The true challenger to Houston in the AL West looks to be the Angels. I’m actually a little surprised at this low number since the California natives will be coming in to play some of these. The infield is vastly improved with Ian Kinsler and Zack Cozart and a full season of Justin Upton doesn’t hurt. The top of the order around Mike Trout is a lot better. Getting Garrett Richards back on track and hopefully better health from Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney means that the Angels will have a better rotation. Oh, yeah, and there’s Shohei Ohtani, too. The bullpen is a worry, but this is a pretty strong team across the board. JC Ramirez can slot back into a relief role and the Angels found some decent RPs in Cam Bedrosian, Blake Parker, and Keynan Middleton.
New York Mets Over 80.5 – The Metropolitans are going to try some new things with first-year skipper Mickey Callaway, who is a believer in the advanced metrics. I think we see better lineup construction, better deployment of relievers, and some development from the highly-talented starting staff. The Phillies and Braves are better, but the Mets are still a couple steps ahead of those two squads as far as I’m concerned. I think the Mets are a team lying in the weeds waiting to scoop up some of these bargain bin free agents as well.
Milwaukee Over 81.5 – Wait around on this one because I think some of the people that subscribe to the projection systems will have a different take. Steamer does not like the Milwaukee rotation at all. I happen to like it a lot more than the projection systems do and I believe a lot of last season’s gains for guys like Jimmy Nelson and Chase Anderson are sustainable. The Brewers have a dynamic lineup with the addition of Christian Yelich and still have the ability to move Domingo Santana to get a pitcher. The bullpen is sneaky good with Corey Knebel and Josh Hader. I’m still a believer in this team. They were my favorite season win total last year and I’ll likely be on their side again after this number drops a little bit.
Colorado Over 82.5 – This number just looks too low to me. I will admit that the Rockies outfield has some big question marks, but we should get full years of Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson, and German Marquez this season, who were all impressive last year. The Rockies added Bryan Shaw and Wade Davis to the bullpen. They’ve got a lot of bullpen depth, so long as those guys all manage to stay healthy. Kyle Freeland is an intriguing starter if he can keep that contact quality down and Jeff Hoffman still has untapped potential. Projection systems also hate this rotation, but I think the Rockies are coming in undervalued, especially with the juice to the under.
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