2nd Annual 30 in 30ish MLB Previews: Over/under and playoff picks

Now that we’ve previewed the 2016 season of all 30 MLB teams, let’s take a look at how the season is going to play out. In this post, we’ll be analyzing Vegas over/under totals for each team and pick the teams that will make the playoffs.

NL East

Atlanta Braves: 66.5
They won 67 games last year and added some pieces to their offense, like SS Erick Aybar, but lost their best pitcher in SP Shelby Miller. Overall, I think they’ll win at least as many games as they did last year, which would be an Over.

Miami Marlins: 79.5
They have one of the best power hitters in OF Giancarlo Stanton and a good young pitcher with SP Jose Fernandez, who should be in the running for the Cy Young Award if he can stay healthy. Stanton is surrounded by some young hitters. I think 79.5 is too many wins, so I’m going Under.

New York Mets: 89.5
Again, this number basically equals the 90 games the Mets won last season. They’ll have OF Yoenis Cespedes for the whole season, plus one of the best starting rotations in the league, led by SPs Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. They’ll play a lot of games against bad teams in the Braves and Mets. I think they can get back to 90, so this is another Over.

Philadelphia Phillies: 65.5
The Phillies are a bad team. They won 63 games last season. They lost a key piece of their offense with the departure of OF Ben Revere and they don’t have  a good pitching staff, which could be a problem when playing teams like the Mets and Nationals. Under.

Washington Nationals: 89.5
They’re going to compete with the Mets for the best team in the division. OF Bryce Harper is one of the best hitters in the majors, and they added Revere to their offense. They’ll likely get more out of OF Jayson Werth than they did last season. On the mound, they have SPs Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. They have a good team, and I’ll go Over.

AL East

Baltimore Orioles: 79.5
The Orioles have some good hitters — namely 1B Chris Davis and 3B Manny Machado — but lack a great rotation. Closer Zach Britton can get the job done to finish games when the starters give him a lead. They won 81 last year, I think they can get up to 80 this year so that’s an Over.

Boston Red Sox: 86.5
We’re looking at a big number for a team that won 78 games in 2015, but adding SP David Price is huge for the rotation. If OF Hanley Ramirez can bounce back from a difficult season last year, that would be a key piece for the Red Sox to turn things around. I think they’ll finish above .500 in DH David Ortiz‘s last season before retirement, but I don’t think they’re quite to 87 wins yet so I’m going Under.

New York Yankees: 85.5
The Yankees are an old team. I don’t think anyone expects DH Alex Rodriguez to come close to the numbers he put up last year. There are question marks in the rotation, especially with veteran SP CC Sabathia, but they have a strong bullpen in the late innings. They won 87 games last year, but I think they’re going Under this year.

Tampa Bay Rays: 81.5
SP Chris Archer proved himself to be one of the best pitchers in the majors last season, but they don’t have much else in the rotation. Outside of 3B Evan Longoria, the Rays don’t have many big-time hitters. After winning 80 games last year, I think they’re around 80-81 again so it’ll be close, but I’m going Under.

Toronto Blue Jays: 87.5
The Blue Jays won 93 games last season, and I don’t see them being much worse this season, especially with SP Marcus Stroman healthy. They still have the reigning AL MVP with 3B Josh Donaldson and OF Jose Bautista. I’m surprised this number is so low because I think they’re winning more than 90 again,so this is an easy Over.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs: 92.5
Many people are all-in on the Cubs this season, after winning 97 games last season. SP Jake Arrieta  and 3B Kris Bryant are expected to lead the way again this season. It’s a tough division with the Pirates and Cardinals there, but I’ve got to go Over with the Cubs.

Cincinnati Reds: 70.5
The Reds won 64 games last season, and I don’t see how they’re much better this year. They traded away RP Aroldis Chapman, one of the best closers in the majors and they’re just not a good team. Under.

Milwaukee Brewers: 69.5
OF Ryan Braun is the best hitter on the Brewers, and C Jonathan Lucroy also has a good bat if he’s healthy after being injured much of last season. But they don’t have much else on the team and I don’t see them getting 70 wins, so it’s Under with them.

Pittsburgh Pirates: 86.5
After 98 wins last season, I’m not sure how the over/under number is this low. They didn’t lose anyone from the core of their team, so I expect OF Andrew McCutchen and SP Gerrit Cole to help lead them to well over 90 games again. This one’s an easy Over.

St. Louis Cardinals: 87.5
Again, after a 100-win season a year ago, the Cardinals’ number is this low? They’re getting SP Adam Wainwright back after he missed essentially all of 2015 on the DL. Like with the Pirates, this is an easy Over.

AL Central

Chicago White Sox: 80.5
The White Sox added offense this offseason, with 2B Brett Lawrie and 3B Todd Frazier joining 1B Jose Abreu. SP Chris Sale is among the best in the game and SP Carlos Rodon could be a good young pitcher. They’re improved over last season, when they won 78 games, so I think they’ll go Over 80.5.

Cleveland Indians: 84.5
The Indians’ success this season could depend on young guys, like SS Francisco Lindor. If he can step up to the next level, he could be a leader for the offense. They won 81 games last season, and I think they could be a game or two better in 2016, but I’m thinking Under for this number.

Detroit Tigers: 81.5
The Tigers only won 74 games last season, but I think they underperformed some. They added OF Justin Upton and SP Jordan Zimmermann to the mix this season. But SP Justin Verlander is key to this team. If he has a good season, the Tigers could contend for the division. Either way, I think they’ll go Over 81.5 wins, potentially more like 86 or 87 wins if Verlander returns to his old form.

Kansas City Royals: 85.5
The defending World Series champions are coming off of a 95-win season. I don’t expect them to reach that number again, especially with the White Sox and Tigers both improved this season, but 85.5 seems like a low number so I’ll go Over.

Minnesota Twins: 78.5
Unlike the Tigers, I think the Twins overperformed last season when they won 83 games. I don’t think they were that good, and without any major additions in the offseason, I still don’t think they’re very good. They’ll be a sub-.500 team, but I think they’ll get close to .500 so I’ll reluctantly go Over and say 79 or 80 wins.

NL West

Arizona Diamondbacks: 82.5
The Diamondbacks won 78 games last season but have now lost added SPs Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller to the rotation and have a good offense with 1B Paul Goldschmidt, but they may have lost OF A.J. Pollock for the season with an elbow injury. They improved significantly this winter, so I’m going Over.

Colorado Rockies: 70.5
They won 68 last year and I think they may actually do a little worse than that this year. They don’t have starting pitching and there’s no telling when SS Jose Reyes may be able to play as rookie SS Trevor Story starts the season filling in for him. Despite having OF Carlos Gonzalez, I’m going Under for the Rockies.

Los Angeles Dodgers: 88.5
The Dodgers have the highest payroll in the majors and perhaps the best pitcher in SP Clayton Kershaw, but they lost SS Zack Greinke to the Diamondbacks and they have some injury concerns on offense. They had 92 wins last year en route to a division title but I don’t see it happening again. I think it’ll be close, but I’m going Under, which would likely be a disappointing season for the Dodgers.

San Diego Padres: 72.5
The Padres won 74 games last year. They added OF Jon Jay in the offseason but lost 2B Jedd Gyorko and OF Justin Upton. I think SP Colin Rea is going to have a breakout season in the rotation, helping to get the team Over 72.5 wins.

San Francisco Giants: 89.5
The Giants won 84 games in 2015, then added SPs Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzjia to the rotation and OF Denard Span to the offense. They still have the likes of OF Hunter Pence, C Buster Posey and SP Madison Bumgarner, making them a formidable team in the West. They have a well-rounded team that I think can reach 90 wins, so I’m going Over.

AL West

Houston Astros: 87.5
The surprising Astros won 86 games last year and now have SS Carlos Correa in the majors for the whole season to go along with 2B Jose Altuve. Reigning Cy Young winner SP Dallas Keuchel should have another good season at the top of the rotation. Over.

Los Angeles Angels: 81.5
Coming off of an 85-win season, the Angels face a tough battle in the division. The offense should be fine with OF Mike Trout and 1B Albert Pujols, but there are concerns about the pitching staff, with SP  C.J. Wilson expected to miss the first month or so of the season. I think the Angels should finish the season above .500, so I’ll go Over.

Oakland Athletics: 75.5
The A’s won 68 games as a last-place team last season and I don’t see how they’re going to be much better in 2016. They added OFs Khris Davis and Chris Coghland, but they’re not game-changers for a team. SP Sonny Gray should have a decent year out of the No. 1 spot in the rotation, but I don’t see the A’s winning eight more games than they did last year, so this is an Under.

Seattle Mariners: 82.5
The Mariners should be on the upswing after acquiring OF Leonys Martin, 1B Adam Lind and SP Wade Miley this winter so they should surpass the 76 wins they had last year, but 82.5 is a big jump. I don’t think they’re there yet, so I’ll go Under for them.

Texas Rangers: 84.5
The Rangers won 88 games last season, and that was with just half a season with SP Cole Hamels, who underperformed with the team, and they’ll now get a full season with him. They added SS Ian Desmond to a roster with DH Prince Fielder and 3B Adrian Beltre. They should get a boost a couple months into the season when SP Yu Darvish is expected to return from Tommy John surgery. I don’t see them winning four fewer games than last season, so I’m going Over for the defending division champs.

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Playoff Picks

National League

NL East Champs: New York Mets
NL Central Champs: Chicago Cubs
NL West Champs: San Francisco Giants
NL Wild Cards: Pirrsburgh PIrates, Washington Nationals

American League

AL East Champs: Toronto Blue Jays
AL Central Champs: Kansas City Royals
AL West Champs: Texas Rangers
AL Wild Cards: Houston Astros, Detroit Tigers

World Series: Blue Jays over Cubs in 6 games

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2 thoughts on “2nd Annual 30 in 30ish MLB Previews: Over/under and playoff picks

  1. Pingback: MLB 2016 regular season recap and playoff preview | Thoughts From Scott

  2. Pingback: 2016 World Series preview: Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland Indians — A battle of the droughts | Thoughts From Scott

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