Sportsbook Releasing First 2016 MLB Season Win Totals Preview

Doug Upstone

Monday, February 15, 2016 6:48 PM GMT

The first of several MLB season win totals have been released and it comes with a very large question mark in this reporter's humble opinion considering myself a baseball expert also.

For the 10th straight year, sports book director Steve Mikkelson has been the first in Nevada to post MLB totals. Over the years his work has been widely praised and he had the highest release of any sportsbook on Kansas City last year at Over/Under 86 wins.

NATIONAL LEAGUE WIN TOTALS

 

AMERICAN LEAGUE WIN TOTALS

Team

Win Total - 2016

 

Team

Win Total - 2016

Arizona

84 ½

 

Baltimore

80 ½

Atlanta

65

 

Boston

85 ½

Chicago Cubs

89

 

Chicago White Sox

80 ½

Cincinnati

71

 

Cleveland

84

Colorado

68 ½

 

Detroit

85

L.A. Dodgers

87

 

Houston

85 ½

Miami

80 ½

 

Kansas City

87

Milwaukee

71 ½

 

L.A. Angels

82 ½

N.Y. Mets

88

 

Minnesota

77 ½

Philadelphia

66 ½

 

N.Y. Yankees

85

Pittsburgh

87

 

Oakland

75 ½

San Diego

74

 

Seattle

83

San Francisco

90

 

Tampa Bay

78

St. Louis

87 ½

 

Texas

86

Washington

87

 

Toronto

87

 

What absolutely jumps off the page for me on theses MLB odds was the lack of teams projected to win 90 games. Only San Francisco is thought to reach that benchmark according to his predictions, which is quite difficult to believe on two fronts and here is why.

Let's start with recent history. Since 2010, there has been 51 teams to reach 90 or more wins during the regular season and here is the breakdown.

2015 - 7 teams

2014 - 6

2013 -11

2012 -9

2011-9

2010 -9

I am not saying anywhere close to this many teams were projected to be at 90 wins or more by any sportsbook, but just one does appear incredibly low given the history. Thus, teams that are close would certainly be likely candidates, like the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis, New York Mets, Washington, Kansas City, Texas and Toronto, to be OVER plays for MLB picks.

The other as factor in this equation is referred to as the "Houston Model". The Astros along with the Cubs a few seasons ago, went to next to nothing payrolls, brought in meager MLB players to lose on purpose in order to acquire top level talent with high draft picks over several seasons and last year they both benefited from that approach.

Whether anyone agrees or disagrees with this is different article, however, this helps certain teams in various divisions win more games than maybe they should. In the National League, you have Philadelphia, Atlanta, Cincinnati and Milwaukee who are following this path, which has to help the contenders in the NL East and NL Central assemble higher win totals. Oakland is the only obvious team in the American League going this route yet again.

 

Other Baseball Observations
The American League appears quite competitive. Yes, Toronto and Kansas City ran away to division crowns and that could definitely be the case in the Royals case again, but early on, the AL East should be quite competitive, as Boston and the New York Yankees added players which should benefit them and the Blue Jays starting pitching is back to similar position as a year ago with David Price now in Red Sox uniform.

Detroit would appear to be the most serious challenger to Kansas City and a potential Over play and I know some sharp bettors who are bullish on the Chicago White Sox for Over action. Though not excited about what Cleveland did in the off-season, let's remember Cleveland was sixth in run differential in the AL last at +20, which was ahead of division winning Texas (+18) and they could be factor.

The NL Central appears fascinating again, but after averaging 93.3 wins over the past three seasons and being a postseason washout, does Pittsburgh take a step backwards, with everyday lineup looking a little weaker with ordinary bench.

The Los Angeles Dodgers sure have the look of third place team in the NL West unless the offense perks up to cover for starting pitching, raising Under possibilities. If all breaks right for Arizona, they have made the moves to contend in division and have to be on Over plays radar.