MLB Numbers Game: Focus on Over-Under Win Totals
The official start of Baseball is five weeks away. Let’s focus on Over-Under regular season wins totals for 10 teams as we prep for the season openers.
Over-Under victories totals bets are one of the most engaging in any sport because they keep you involved the entire season. Not only does it force you to put on your thinking cap but it also keeps you hooked from March through October, depending upon how your bet is trending. Over the long baseball season, anything can happen and it usually does. Here are 10 bets to hold your interest all season long.
In baseball, that means 162 games and over six months of action. But because there are so many games it oftentimes comes down to a few quirky plays that turn a few games over the course of the season. And the oddsmakers—as usual—are generally right on the money.
We like to bet four or five teams each year since it gives us a chance to break even or at least not lose our entire bankroll. So to give you some cushion, we’ll throw out 10 bets we’re considering for the 2023 season. We won’t actually make the bets until the last week of spring training because of all the various things that can happen in the spring—injuries, the emergence of a rookie star, and a dozen other things that can affect the course of the season.
So here are the 10 teams we’re eyeing.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers won a club record 111 games last season. Their projected total in 2023 is 96.5. In 2022, the Dodgers won 106 games. Yes, they let some superstars get away in the last couple of years in Corey Seager, Trea Turner, Max Scherzer, Cody Bellinger and a couple of others. But one thing the Dodgers always have is a deep farm system. They’ve got some young players projected to become superstars. Is it time to give up on them?
Was last year a fluke when the lowly Baltimore Orioles were in contention in the AL East into September? They finished over .500 for the first time since 2016 when they won a wild card berth and improved over 52 wins in 2021. The young core of this team is still together including the amazing catcher, Adley Rutschman, a superstar in the making. At 77.5 will they regress or push forward?
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The Oakland A’s are a curious team. One year, they’re up, the next year, they’re down. One thing is consistent, however; they trade away their homegrown talent before they become stars. Last year it was like WalMart in Oakland. They shed players and salary like water and as a result, they dropped to 60 wins, down from 86 and in contention in 2021. This year the sell-off hasn’t stopped but can they capture magic in a bottle as they sometimes do and exceed the MLB low projection of 59.5 wins?
New York Mets
What happens when you lose one of the best pitchers in the majors to free agency, but then pick up last year’s American League Cy Young Award winner? Well, with the New York Mets, you never know. And with Justin Verlander, a 40-year-old slinger, will he endure longer than the departed Jacob deGrom? They resigned their fireball closer and added a couple of other starting pitchers, but even with that they are projected to drop from ‘22’s 101 wins to 95.5. Who’s buying it?
Pitching, pitching, pitching. The Texas Rangers went all-in on Jacob deGrom paying him an average salary of $37 million. For a guy who made 21 starts last year? But then they added Nelson Evoldi from the Red Sox, added Andrew Heaney and re-signed Martin Perez. Now if their offense can click with Corey Seager and Marcus Semien leading the way, maybe they can significantly boost last year’s pathetic 64 wins to the projection of 81.5.
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Chicago White Sox
Can you say underperforming? That’s been the story of the Chicago White Sox for the past three years under Tony LaRussa, their ancient manager. Now that Tony’s gone, how will a fairly stacked roster respond to the new guy, Pedro Grifol? Can the Sox return to their 1991 form of 93 wins and a division championship and erase last year’s 81 win effort? If they win 84 games, they’ve done it.
A visit to last year’s World Series for the Philadelphia Phillies was a credit to team chemistry but can that be duplicated? With Bryce Harper sidelined through half of the year, will the addition of Trea Turner at short make a difference? They won 87 games to get them in the door in ’22, but can they return with a win total goal of 89.5? And that’s with losing star pitchers Zach Eflin and Noah Syndergaard. They did add former Met Taijuan Walker.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays radically altered its lineup for 2023, shedding players like Teoscar Hernandez, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Ross Stripling, but adding Chris Bassitt, Daulton Varsho, Brandon Belt, Kevin Kiermaier, and Erik Swanson.
They are a very consistent team, winning 91 and 92 games the last two years, but can this re-stirred roster maintain that consistency? The goal is 92.5.
Who is going to be the Orioles of 2023? Last year the Detroit Tigers were supposed to bust out, but all they did was bust. Lots of quality young players weren’t up for the pressure and slumped to a 66-win season, following 77 in ’21 and no winning year since 2016. The young guys are a year older and vets like Miguel Cabrera and Javy Baex should assist them. It’s only 69.5 wins!
New York Yankees
Heavily favored to win the AL East, the New York Yankees are also heavily favored to flop in the playoffs. But all we care is total wins. Can newly signed Yankee-for-life Aaron Judge lead them to 99 wins and obliterate the prediction of 94.5. Judge can’t pitch so that’s a big mountain to overcome.
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