The All-Star Break is a natural time to look at updated wins totals for each team in the majors on MLB odds. Will we have a 100-win team in 2014? Here are three 'over' recommendations and three 'under' with the season starting back up Friday.
Glass Half-Full Threesome
Detroit Tigers 'over' 90 wins at -210 on MLB odds
There are two ways to look at this. If you believe the Tigers will go 'over' as I do, it helps that the Tigers have played the fewest games in the majors with 91. Thus at 53-38, they would have to go only 38-33 to reach 91 wins. That seems pretty much a cinch as long as Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez stay healthy. Plus the Tigers can beat up on the weak AL Central often. Their final seven games of the year, for example, are against the White Sox and Twins. The one negative which makes me hesitant to place my MLB pick on them is that Detroit has games to make up due to weather and is scheduled to play 54 games in 55 days out of the break. That can wear a team down for sure. The only other concern is if Detroit clinches the AL Central too early and takes its foot off the gas.
St. Louis Cardinals 'over' 88 wins at +120 on MLB odds
Of the Cardinals' remaining 66 games, only 32 are against teams that entered the break at .500 or better. They get 10 against the NL Central last-place Cubs. The Cards enter the break at 52-44 and thus need to go 37-29 to hit 89 wins. The losses of pitchers Jaime Garcia (out for year) and Michael Wacha (return TBA) are a concern, but I'm of the belief the Cardinals will use some of that excellent farm system to land a starter and/or bat. The Cards also are likely to be in a dogfight for the NL Central and/or wild-card spots all season so there's no letting down.
Boston Red Sox 'over' 76 wins at -145 on MLB odds
Who would have thought we would see this low of a total at the break when the Sox were around 90 in the spring? Those making sports picks on them were the most surprised. Boston is last in the AL East at 43-52 and the MLB odds makers know this. They Red Sox are playing a lot of rookies. But there's still some prideful guys on the team and it wouldn't surprise me if the Sox finished around .500 for momentum into next year when they are likely to contend again.
Glass Half-Empty Trio
New York Yankees 'under' 81 wins at +120
This one will be close. But have you seen that Yankee rotation now that Masahiro Tanaka is out? Hello, Hiroki Kuroda, David Phelps, Brandon McCarthy, Shane Greene and Chase Whitley. Horrible. I'm also dubious Tanaka will even return this season as the Yankees can't ruin their No. 1 possession for future years. The lineup isn't much better. GM Brian Cashman will try to make a move, but the Rays aren't likely to trade him David Price. What other top-of-the-rotation pitcher is there to be had? Cole Hamels? Sorry, Mr. Jeter, no playoff baseball for you.
Oakland A's 'under' 98 wins at -160: The A's have looked incredible with their MLB-best 59-36 record and they made the big strike in acquiring Cubs pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. However, it's not easy to win 99 games these days. Oakland has had other pretty good teams over the past decade but hasn't won more than 96 since 2002. The back half of the rotation is still a worry. Sonny Gray might be on an innings limit and maybe Scott Kazmir too. What hitter scares an opposing team? Oakland could get to 95-96 wins but not 98 or more.
Seattle Mariners 'under' 85 wins at -110: The pitching staff, led by Cy Young favorite Felix Hernandez, is excellent. That lineup leave a lot to be desired other than Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager. In addition, the Mariners always are killed from a travel perspective because they are the most remote franchise. Of Seattle's 67 remaining games, 36 are away and 38 against teams with a record of .500 or better. The Mariners are 51-44. They will finish just a win or two shy of 85 -- barring the addition of a big bat -- but at least without a losing record for the first time since 2009.
MLB Free Picks: No team reaches 100 victories for the third straight season but no club loses 100, either.