Early Confidence to Push L.A. Angels 'Over' 86.5 Wins

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 6:41 PM GMT

The live reports from the Cactus League in Arizona for Spring Training continue here at SBR Forum as we look over the various betting odds and what might be good MLB picks to make for season win totals and early season action for this upcoming campaign.

Los Angeles Angels: Projected Win Total Over 86.5 wins: 2nd in the AL West

Owner Artie Moreno wants to start seeing some return on his money for all the high-priced talent he’s brought in. That means wins and that will not come easy, with two teams which are arguably better the Angels in the division.

If the team from Anaheim is to beat the oddsmakers total and return to the postseason, they are going to need better pitching across the board.

What this means to those making baseball picks is Jered Weaver being the pitcher he was prior to last season, despite dips in velocity and strikeouts. Weaver is a tough-minded competitor and has ways to pitch without always having his best stuff, but he needs increased velocity to have greater separation in miles per hour to make his off-speed stuff more effective.

C.J. Wilson appeared to “grow up” in responsibility as the staff leader when Weaver went down and if this newfound maturity sticks, he can be an even greater asset.

When it comes to Garrett Richards, MLB baseball handicappers either love his upside or are frustrated with his inability to be more stable over a series of starts. Richards and the rest of the starters need solid years for the Halos to reach the postseason.

Offensively, the talent is in place, but the Disney-like rollercoaster ride this team goes on can make those trying to beat the sportsbooks nauseating. Since Albert Pujols has arrived in SoCal, the Angels have been shutout 28 times; any offense with Pujols and Mike Trout should not be blanked that frequently.

Angels Showing Good Form To Start

Game Notes: Jered Weaver was touched for three runs in 4 1/3 innings and his velocity seemed down from the previous time I saw him. After the game Weaver said he got “too many pitches up” which is why he was hit. Matt Long, a 26-year old non-roster invitee, helped the Halos with four hits which included a double and triple. 

MLB Season Prospects: The Halos are 17-32 the last two April’s and this is a team in desperate need of a good start to help build their confidence. The schedule could help, having six games with Seattle and three each with Houston and the Mets. My feeling is at this time the slight of leans for Anaheim to go over the total.