MLB Picks for AL West: Breaking Down 'O/U' Total Wins Based on Off-Season Odds Movement

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, February 19, 2015 8:14 PM GMT

With spring training here, we breakdown the West teams by their order of 2014 finish and with their 2015 win totals on MLB odds.

AL West Team

2014 record

Opening WS odds

Current Win totals

Current WS odds

LA Angels

98-64

+1000

88.5

+1200

Oakland A's

88-74

+2000

81.5

+2500

Seattle Mariners

87-75

+1800

86.5

+1600

Houston Astros

70-92

+10000

74.5

+5000

Texas Rangers

67-95

+3300

77.5

+5000

*MLB Odds courtesy of Bodog

 

Los Angeles Angels (98-64)

2015 win total: 88.5, with both options at -115 on MLB odds
The Angels led the majors in wins last season in reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2009. They were pretty sizable betting favorites in the ALDS against wild-card winner Kansas City, but Los Angeles was swept by the combined score of 15-6. Still, the overall success kept the Angels mostly quiet this offseason. The biggest move was trading second baseman Howie Kendrick in a three-way deal that landed the Halos promising young pitcher Andrew Heaney from the Marlins. Heaney is penciled in as the team's No. 5 starter, and Josh Rutledge will replace Kendrick at second. The only other new regular in the lineup should be DH Matt Joyce. The key is keeping Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols healthy and that pitcher Garrett Richards makes it back from his 2014 season-ending injury. Richards seems on track but Hamilton already has undergone shoulder surgery this month and may not be ready for Opening Day.

MLB Projection: 'Over' 88.5 wins. This team my not lead all of baseball in runs again, but the lineup should be just fine. Ditto the rotation as long as Richards is OK and Jered Weaver stays off the DL. L.A. is the +160 favorite on the MLB odds to win the division and should be.

 

Oakland A's (88-74)

2015 win total: 81.5 with 'under' a -125 favorite at sportsbooks
The A's were the best team in baseball for a large chunk of last season before fading at the end and then blowing a big lead in the wild-card game and losing a classic to Kansas City. GM Billy Beane had gone for it all last season in trading for guys like star pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jon Lester. Both are gone now, with Samardzija dealt to the White Sox for youngsters and Lester leaving as a free agent for the Cubs. Beane made a crazy amount of deals this offseason. Some, like in trading Samardzija, All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson and All-Star catcher Derek Norris, seemed to hint at a rebuilding year in Oakland. Yet Beane also acquired super-utility man Ben Zobrist from the Rays, closer Tyler Clippard from the Nationals and signed DH Billy Butler from the Royals. This team will look very different, including an entirely new infield.  Better or worse? Hard to say yet.

MLB Projection: 'Under.' Beane  might not be done dealing. He could flip Zobrist as well as No. 2 starter Scott Kazmir if Oakland gets off to a slow start.

This handicapper has analyzed the AL Central Futures Odds as well.

Seattle Mariners (87-75)

2015 win total: 86.5, with 'over' a -125 favorite
Seattle just missed a wild-card spot last year with a last-week fade but it still was a successful season as the franchise won its most games since 2007. The next step would be a first playoff berth since that record-setting 2001 team won 116 regular-season games. Anytime Felix Hernandez is on the mound, no matter the location, the M's will be favored at sportsbooks to win. He was expected to win the 2013 AL Cy Young Award but finished a surprising second to Cleveland's Corey Kluber. The pitching staff was terrific last year and should be very good again, so take this into consideration when placing your MLB picks. The big offseason additions were DH Nelson Cruz, last year's big-league home run champion, and outfielders Seth Smith and Justin Ruggiano, who likely will platoon in right field. The M's also get a full season of center fielder Austin Jackson after he was acquired at last July's trade deadline.

 

Houston Astros (70-92)

2015 win total: 74.5, both -115
Not many teams would celebrate 70 wins, but for Houston it was major cause for celebration after Houston led the majors with 111, 107 and 106 losses the previous three seasons. The Astros have had a lauded farm system for a few  years and they brought up two of their touted sluggers in outfielder  George Springer and first baseman Jon Singleton in 2014. Springer looked pretty good with 20 homers in just 78 games before his season was cut short. Singleton struggled mightily. Both will remain in the every-day lineup. The star of this team remains diminutive second baseman Jose Altuve, the 2013 AL batting champion. The Astros are probably a year away from thinking .500 and spending some big free-agent money. Their big offseason moves were trading for Braves outfielder Evan Gattis and Cubs third baseman Luis Valbuena (sending out center fielder Dexter Fowler for Valbuena and pitcher Dan Straily). The club also signed free-agent outfielder Colby Rasmus and likely closer Luke Gregerson. The rotation remains a major question mark. So does new manager A.J. Hinch.

MLB Projection: 'Under,' but this is finally a franchise on the rise.

Click here to follow up on the AL East Futures Odds

Texas Rangers (67-95)

2015 win total: 77.5, with 'over' a -125 favorite in MLB betting
Texas had won at least 90 games every season from 2010-13 and fully expected to again heading into last year after big-ticket acquisitions in slugging first baseman Prince Fielder and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. Fielder. However, no team was hit harder by injuries as the Rangers totally collapsed and lost their most games since 1985. Fielder had his worst season, playing only 42 games. Top prospect Jurickson Profar didn't play a single one at the big-league level. Choo was limited to 123 games and struggled. Yu Darvish, one of the 10 best pitchers in baseball, only made 22 starts. Literally nowhere on the diamond were the Rangers not affected. The club was mostly quiet this offseason, not losing anyone of note and trading for Brewers starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo.

MLB Projection: 'Over.' Everything that could go wrong last year did. This should be a team that competes for a wild-card spot at least under new manager Jeff Banister.