Sunday, March 2, 2014

MLB 2014 Over/Unders

Here are the over/unders for each team from Bovada, Las Vegas. Last year I was 14/30, so this year I hope to at least break even:

1. Dodgers 92.5 Over
The most expensive team in baseball is also probably the most talented, with two former Cy Young winners (Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke) heading their rotation and All-Stars at just about every position, not to mention a budding superstar in Yasiel Puig.

2. Cardinals 90.5 Over
St. Louis won 97 last year and should win a similar number this year. They have a potent lineup loaded with MVP-types (Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter, Matt Holliday), a deep starting rotation, top-notch relievers and solid defense. They also have a good mix of veteran and young talent.

3. Tigers 89.5 Over
Despite trading away a good starting pitcher (Doug Fister) and great hitter (Prince Fielder), Detroit still has the talent to win 90+ games and the division. The starting rotation boasts three legitimate Cy Young candidates (Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez) and their lineup has Miguel Cabrera, which is really all you need. Plus the bullpen is much-improved, especially with Joe Nathan added to the mix.

4. A's 88.5 Over
Thanks to their incredible depth, Oakland is a powerhouse once again.

5. Rays 88.5 Over
Tampa Bay has one of baseball's best pitching staffs that could get even better if Chris Archer and Alex Cobb improve. Their bullpen should be better as well and a full season from Wil Myers will aid the offense.

6. Nationals 88.5 Over
Washington won 86 games last year, which was roundly viewed as a disappointment for them. Their rotation (Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez, Fister) is too good for that to happen again.

7. Red Sox 87.5 Over
The defending World Series champs are very balanced. They have power (David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, Will Middlebrooks), speed/defense (Xander Bogaerts, Shane Victorino, Dustin Pedroia), a great rotation (Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jake Peavy, Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront) plus a dominant closer (Koji Uehara). They won't win 97 games again, but 90-93 should be well within their reach.

8. Braves 87.5 Over
Atlanta is loaded with young talent, as they just demonstrated with their recent flurry of contract extensions to Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Julio Teheran, Craig Kimbrel, and Andrelton Simmons. And that's without including the Upton brothers (both of whom are under 30), Mike Minor, Kris Medlen, and Alex Wood.

9. Rangers 86.5 Over
Texas toughened up its offense by trading an over-the-hill Ian Kinsler for Prince Fielder and signing Shin-Soo Choo. Nelson Cruz won't be missed so long as Alex Rios doesn't have one of those disaster seasons.

10. Yankees 86.5 Over
They won 85 games last year when pretty much everything that could go wrong did go wrong, so with better health and luck they should be contenders this year. Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Carlos Beltran will more than make up for Robinson Cano's absence, and Masahiro Tanaka gives New York another top-tier starter to join CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda. The only way they don't win at least 87 is if their infield (Kelly Johnson, Brian Roberts, Mark Teixeira, and Derek Jeter) is as bad as everyone fears and Sabathia's struggles continue.

11. Angels 86.5 Under
LA lacks pitching beyond Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson and is just too old (12 of their 13 most expensive players are 30 or older). Mike Trout can't do any more than he's already doing, and neither Josh Hamilton nor Albert Pujols are the players they were before the Angels signed them.

12. Giants 86.5 Over
Everyone in the rotation besides Madison Bumgarner bombed last year, and that's not going to happen again. San Fran's still light on offense, but I see better seasons from Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, and Pablo Sandoval this year.

13. Reds 84.5 Over
Cincinnati's had three 90-win seasons in the past four years. Losing Choo hurts, but they still have ample firepower with Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, and young Billy Hamilton ready to run wild. Even without Bronson Arroyo, the rotation of Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Mike Leake and Homer Bailey is still really good.

14. Pirates 83.5 Under
Even if Gerrit Cole emerges as an ace, I'm not convinced there's enough pitching here. Can't say I love a rotation that's depending on Wandy Rodriguez, Charlie Morton, Edinson Volquez, and Francisco Liriano, and the bullpen's probably due for some regression as well. Andrew McCutchen's a stud, but the rest of the offense is rather ordinary.

15. Royals 81.5 Over
Kansas City lost Ervin Santana but improved in other areas, signing Omar Infante, trading for Norichika Aoki and getting a decent fill-in for Santana (Jason Vargas). They still have a great young core and James Shields for another year, so a winning season should be in the cards.

16. Mariners 81.5 Under
Cano can't elevate Seattle to a winning record by himself.

17. Indians 80.5 Over
Cleveland came out of nowhere to win 92 games in Terry Francona's first season managing the Indians, despite down seasons from their top two free agent acquisitions Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher. Like the Orioles, they have lots of good, young-ish position players. Losing Ubaldo Jimenez hurts, but a full season from Danny Salazar should make up for that. And maybe this is the year Trevor Bauer breaks out?

18. Orioles 80.5 Over
Baltimore bolstered their rotation with Ubaldo Jimenez and their lineup with Nelson Cruz, who brings power to baseball's most powerful offense.

19. Diamondbacks 80.5 Over
Arizona was a .500 team last year and should be a better team with Mark Trumbo and Bronson Arroyo on board.

20. Blue Jays 79.5 Over
With basically the same team everyone predicted to win the World Series last year, Toronto should at least field a winning record in 2014.

21. Brewers 79.5 Over
Their rotation suddenly looks very interesting with Matt Garza joining Yovani Gallardo, Marco Estrada, and Kyle Lohse. Ryan Braun's going to give the lineup a big boost, as should a healthy Aramis Ramirez and improving Jean Segura.

22. Padres 78.5 Over
People like the Padres this year, and they have surprisingly good depth. I think a .500 season and maybe even a winning record could be in the cards for San Diego, who's hoping for bounce backs from Chase Headley, Josh Johnson and Cameron Maybin.

23. Phillies 76.5 Over
Philadelphia got older, but they still got better. Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and A.J. Burnett make up a formidable big three in the rotation, but they better hope somebody besides Jimmy Rollins plays at least 140 games this year. Ryan Howard and Chase Utley can still hit a little, Domonic Brown finally broke out, and ditching the Youngs (Michael and Delmon) amounts to addition by subtraction.

24. Rockies 76.5 Under
Colorado can score runs all day long, especially when Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez are healthy, but they'll miss Dexter Fowler and Michael Cuddyer's likely to regress. Their pitching is woefully short on hurlers who can miss bats, which doesn't bode well for a team that calls Coors Field home.

25. White Sox 75.5 Under
Jose Abreu was a big get for them, but the rest of their lineup is a disaster. Chris Sale can pitch, but few others can. The White Sox lost 99 games last year, and I don't think they improved enough to gain 13 wins in the W-L column.

26. Mets 73.5 Under
They won 74 with Matt Harvey, so they'll probably win closer to 70 without him. Curtis Granderson is likely to disappoint.

27. Twins 70.5 Under
Their rotation is better with Phil Hughes and Ricky Nolasco, but who else besides Joe Mauer is going to hit on that team?

28. Marlins 69.5 Under
Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton are great, but when it comes to saying nice things about Miami that's basically it. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Garrett Jones will improve the offense and their young rotation is intriguing, but they're still the Marlins.

29. Cubs 69.5 Under
The Cubs are going to be really bad again, but at least Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo should be much better than they were last year.

30. Astros 62.5 Under
Houston will be better with Dexter Fowler, Scott Feldman and in improved bullpen, but will still lose at least 100 games.

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