Three Teams Won Over 100 Games Last Season
Three teams eclipsed the 100-win marker last season, and yet none are projected to reach that lofty plateau in 2018.
The Los Angeles Dodgers led the major leagues with 104 victories, followed by the Cleveland Indians at 102 and the World Series champions from Houston with 101.
The Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants won the fewest games of all 30 teams in the 162-game schedule with 64 each.
Trades, free agent signings and injuries all play a role in how many wins your favorite team will garner this year. Let’s take a look at eight clubs (four from the National League and four from the American League) and try to pick those that will win more than the betting line and others that will win less (odds provided by Bovada).
Four Picks On The Over
The Rockies have spent big money on their bullpen, adding closer Wade Davis and relievers Brian Shaw and Jake McGee. They still have one of the best leadoff hitters in the game in Charlie Blackmon (.331, 37 HR, 104 RBI), but they let Carlos Gonzalez walk in free agency.
The Rockies went 87-75 last season in the NL West, five wins more than the betting line. Even so, manager Bud Black should lead them again this year over the .500 mark.
The Astros, who won their first World Series title last year, look like they have improved over the offseason. They added to an already strong starting rotation by dealing for Gerrit Cole from Pittsburgh. They also get a full season from former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, who was acquired at last year’s trade deadline.
Houston led the league in runs scored and allowed the fourth fewest in 2017. They won 101 games in the AL West and promise to have another star-studded lineup this season.
The Mariners will have no problems scoring runs this year, not with this lineup. They acquired Dee Gordon and Ryon Healy to slot in around their stars — Jean Segura, Kyle Seager, Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz. The question remains the starting rotation and the health of former Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez.
Seattle earned 78 wins last season, finishing third in the AL West. They failed to reach the playoffs for the 16th straight season. They won’t catch the Astros, but this lineup should do some damage.
Dave Martinez takes over on the bench for the Nationals this season. He has one luxury that will make life much easier for the rookie manager — two-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer.
The NL East champs, who won 97 games last season, still have their big three — Bryce Harper, Jordan Zimmerman and Daniel Murphy — to power a potent lineup. They should win their third straight division title.
Four Picks On The Under
Chicago Cubs (94.5)
In the last three season, the Cubs have averaged 97.3 wins. Former MVP Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo anchor a solid lineup, while Yu Darvish and Jon Lester will lead the starting rotation. Newcomer Brandon Morrow will close for the first time in his career.
The Cubs have done little to improve a team that won 92 games last year and lost in the divisional series. Odds are they will repeat as NL Central champs, though.
A few years ago, the Tigers were playing in the World Series. Last year, they had the worst record in baseball. Since last season, they have dealt Justin Velander, J.D. Martinez, Justin Upton and Ian Kinsler.
Miguel Cabrera, arguably the best hitter in baseball a few years ago, is past his prime. The Tigers are definitely in rebuilding mode after finishing last in the AL Central and in for a few bumpy seasons.
New York Mets (81)
Last season was a disaster. Many of their stars — like Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes — underperformed or had injury issues. They only had one player with more than 500 at-bats.
The Mets, who had 72 wins last year, ranked near the bottom of the league in runs, stolen bases and ERA. To finish better than .500 this year is a bit optimistic.
Toronto Blue Jays (81)
The Blue Jays won 76 games last season after winning 89 in 2016 and 93 in 2015. Marginal acquisitions in the offseason have done little to improve the club that finished fourth in the AL East in 2017.
The one surprise last season was first baseman Justin Smoak who had a breakout year with 38 homers. Division rivals in Boston and New York are loaded with talent. Toronto is not.