MLB Regular Season Wins: Can the Milwaukee Brewers Win 90 Games for the First Time Since 2008?
Best Over Totals To Wager
As the regular season approaches, MLB futures and props are a hot topic right now. One of the more popular props is win totals. Today, the focus is on the best over totals to wager. Many of the better teams to wager on the over, have a line eclipsing the 81 win threshold. Starting with the Milwaukee Brewers, here are the best teams to wager over the win total for the 2018 MLB season.
Milwaukee Brewers Over 84.5 Wins
The best over win total to wager on for the 2018 MLB season belongs to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers surpassed 84.5 wins last season going 85-77. This season, the roster appears stronger overall, and the Brewers are in serious contention for a playoff spot.
The Brewers could start the season a little slow. After playing the Padres, the Brewers play ten consecutive games against the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals. However, the Brewers follow that with a stretch of 18 of 22 games against teams finishing with a losing record in 2017.
The Brewers have the kind of pop in their lineup that can win games. Last season nine players on Milwaukee hit at least 11 home runs, and three hit 30 or more. Their pitching is productive as well. Their top pitcher last season, Zach Davies, went 17-9 with a 3.90 ERA. Davies recently turned 25 and should continue to improve in his third full MLB season.
With a relatively soft schedule to start, the Brewers can have a successful first two months (prediction – 28-16) and play .500 ball the rest of the year to top 84.5 wins in 2018. Topping the 90-win plateau is a little optimistic, but 87-88 wins could be enough for a Wild Card spot.
Los Angeles Angels Over 84.5 Wins
With Mike Trout returning, the addition of Shohei Otani and Zack Cozart, the Angels are poised to improve on their 80-82 record from a year ago. Despite appearing thin at pitching, the Angels’ team ERA was below league average last season (4.20 compared to 4.35). If their pitching can match last year’s performance, their offensive talent should carry them to a winning record.
The Angels have the longest tenured manager in the Majors. Under Mike Scioscia, the Angels have never posted three consecutive losing season. Since he took over as manager in 2000, the Angels have a .538 winning percentage and have won 85 games or more ten out of 18 years.
It also appears the Angels are willing to spend and trade for more talent. Many feel the organization is wasting the prime of Mike Trout. If they cannot, at a minimum, show signs of improvement in 2018, Trout may opt to take his skills elsewhere when his contract is up in 2020.
Also, looking at the rest of the American League, the Angels are a good candidate to snag the second Wild Card. Since the 2012 season, when the MLB playoffs expanded to two Wild Card teams, no second Wild Card team in the AL or NL has won less than 85 games. The Angels should finish closer to the 88.83 win record of the six American League teams who grabbed the second Wild Card spot, meaning they will surpass their win total in 2018.
Baltimore Orioles Over 72.5 Wins
The lowest win total to wager the over on belongs to the Baltimore Orioles. The Baltimore Orioles finished with their lowest win total in six years last season (75 wins) but had won 81 games or more in the previous five seasons and made the postseason three times.
The Orioles lost a few veteran players this offseason, but the recent signing of Alex Cobb (to go with the signing of Andrew Cashner in February) help the Orioles remain competitive. The Orioles bring back the majority of their potent lineup in 2018. The Orioles had seven players hit 20 or more home runs last season (most in the league last season). Of those seven players, only catcher Wellington Castillo is on a new team in 2018.
The power in the Orioles lineup and the additions to the starting rotation should help the Orioles finish around or slightly above the 76-win mark they ended at in 2018.
Washington Nationals Over 92.5 Wins
With how mediocre the NL East is, the Washington Nationals should run away with the division and surpass 92.5 wins with room to spare. The Nationals have won at least 95 games in three of the last four seasons. This year, they have a chance at topping 100 wins for the first time.
Last season the National were 47-29 in their division (most division wins in the NL). With how bad their division looks, the Nationals could win 50 games this year (say 50-26). For the Nationals to top their 92.5 win total, they would only need to go 43-43 against the rest of the league.
One fact to make a note of is the Nationals worst record in the last six years (83-79) was the same year Bryce Harper took home the NL MVP. The success of the Nationals is not as contingent on Harper as one may expect. Harper played only 111 games last season, yet the Nationals won 97 games (the second most in franchise history).
The Nationals are one of the deepest teams in the NL. They had five players finish in the top-20 for MVP voting last season and have the reigning CY Young winner Max Scherzer. With their talent and a manageable schedule, betting the over is the best wager to make.
San Francisco Giants Over 81.5 Wins
After a disastrous 2017 season, the San Francisco Giants are all in for 2018. Making some of the most significant splashes in the offseason and with players returning from injury, the Giants should climb out of the basement of the National League and contend for the postseason.
Including last season, the Giants have won at least 82 games in seven of the previous nine years. Their 64 wins last season were the clubs lowest total in a full season since 1985. While comparing 1985 to 2017 is not overly relevant, the Giants did improve to 83 wins in 1986.
For the Giants to hit the over this season, they need to win 18 more games. Improving by 18 games is not uncommon in the MLB. The record for most significant single-season improvement belongs to three teams. Most recently done by the 1999 Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamonds went from 65 to 100 wins (in the franchise’s second season).
The Twins had the largest improvement last season winning 26 more games, followed by the Diamondbacks who increased their win total by 24. The Giants’ roster, if healthy, is better than the 2017 Diamondbacks and Twins.
The Giants added former NL MVP outfielder Andrew McCutchen to pair with catcher Buster Posey (another former NL MVP) and pitcher Madison Bumgarner (who missed half of the 2017 season) is healthy entering the 2018 season. The three are amongst the best at their positions. Although the NL West is the best division in baseball, the Giants should fare much better in 2018.
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