The Westgate LV SuperBook released their MLB season win totals on Sunday which gives the betting public an idea of how good (or bad) Vegas expects each team in the major leagues to be this season. Future bets like this in which the payout is not available for more than six months from the time of bet are usually for tourists, but if you look carefully enough, there are always a few that jump out as pretty good bets for anyone. Here are five MLB teams we like to win more than their season win total.
Miami Marlins – 81.5
The Marlins were not as active in the offseason as they’ve been in recent past, but they are getting two spectacular plays back from injury that they missed for a portion of 2014. Giancarlo Stanton was having an MVP caliber season before the nasty hit by pitch and Cy Young candidate Jose Fernandez is expected back from Tommy John surgery at the beginning of June. Add in Martin Prado, Dee Gordon, Ichiro Suzuki, Michael Morse and some bullpen help, and this is a team that could certainly take a step forward. They quietly won 77 games a year ago. With better health, the additions, and added experience in the pitching staff, there’s no reason the Marlins can’t win an extra five games this season.
Houston Astros – 75.5
I’ll have to admit, I have a soft spot for betting on bad teams to not be as bad as everyone thinks. The Astros don’t quite fall fully into that category with the 75.5 number, but the public is still down on a team that is teeming with young talent. George Springer is one of the game’s rising stars, Jose Altuve is about as solid a player as you get at the SS position, and the young pitching including Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh is very exciting. They signed a few solid bullpen arms which will fix one of their biggest problems from 2014, and the fact that they have another year under their belt as a whole will help the younger players. There’s certainly a fear that playing in the AL West will take it’s toll, but the Rangers and A’s have a chance to offset the Mariners and Angels. 76 wins would represent a step forward for Houston from its recent past, but they should be able to get there.
Toronto Blue Jays – 82.5
Most people seem to have forgotten that early in the season the Blue Jays were one of the best team’s in baseball. They took a major hit as the season went on and wound up falling out of playoff contention, yet still won 83 games. The additions of Josh Donaldson, Michael Saunders, and Russell Martin are going to be helpful and J.A. Happy should help sure up an already solid rotation. Remember the name Marcus Stroman, this kid has a chance to be one of the best pitchers in the American League in 2015. The AL East is once again not great as the Rays and Orioles have fallen back and Yankees and Red Sox both still have major question marks. The Blue Jays are a lot better than a .500 ball club, but to hit the number, they only need to be two games better.
Chicago White Sox – 81.5
In the American League no team made quite the splash during the offseason as the Chicago White Sox. They were able to bolster the bullpen by adding David Robertson and Zach Duke, add another ace in Jeff Smardzija, and majorly upgrade at two positions with Melky Cabrera and Adam LaRoche. But there’s another piece that’s going far less discussed that should excite people about the White Sox. His name is Avisail Garcia. The power hitting outfielder spent most of last season on the DL after many believed he would be the standout star before Jose Abreu broke out. If Garcia can be even a fraction of what the Sox expected, this team has a real shot at winning the division, let alone finishing .500. 2B, C, and the back end of the rotation are a bit questionable, but that shouldn’t stop the White Sox from winning at least every other game.
New York Mets – 81.5
The key piece for the Mets will be Matt Harvey. If he can return to his 2013 form before the injury the Mets have a chance to have as good a rotation as any in the National League. Of course their division mates the Nationals come to the front of mind when discussing staffs, but the Mets do it with less sexy names like Jacob deGrom and Zach Wheeler. Michael Cuddyer should help New York score a few extra runs and the division (aside from WAS) is pretty close to brutal. Both the Phillies and Braves are likely to be trying to avoid 100 losses, which leaves plenty of wins for the Mets and Marlins to scoop up. Only one division had just a single team above .500 last season, which means the odds are in our favor to hit on either Miami or New York, and if we’re lucky, we might just cash them both.