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MLB Picks: MLB Futures and Team Win Totals
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Things I look for in MLB OVER win totals
- Significant improvements in roster/manager
- Projected growth of core young players
- Unlucky in the previous season (injuries, performance)
- Buyers at the trade deadline
MLB Win Totals To Bet
Seattle Mariners OVER 87.5 wins (DraftKings -110)
The Mariners have posted back-to-back seasons of 90 wins and while they were somewhat lucky in 2021 by Pythagorean theory, they backed it up in 2022. They saw huge strides in offensive output with a jump from 26th to 15th in SLG and 28th to 16 in OBP. Their pitching also saw significant improvements ranking 8th in ERA, 8th in WHIP, and 9th in K/BB. (16th/13th/14th in 2021).
A full season of American League Rookie of the Year, Julio Rodriguez and Luis Castillo make them a stronger unit in 2023. The Mariners showed me a lot in the ALDS against the Astros last year even though they were swept 3-0. All of the games were close and could have gone either way.
This is a team that has quietly improved its overall team depth and has 95 wins written all over them.
- Mariners to win American League (DraftKings +900)
- Mariners to win World Series (DraftKings +1900)
Atlanta Braves OVER 94.5 wins (DraftKings -110)
The Braves finished with 101 wins in 2022 and look just as strong in 2023. They just happened to run into the Phillies starting pitching combo in the playoffs of Aaron Nola/Zack Wheeler along with some very hot bats. If not for that series, I still think the Braves were in line to win the National League and give the Astros all they could handle in the World Series.
This is a team that can hit, hit for power, and has deep starting pitching. They also have the resources to make a significant trade at the deadline. I was higher on them before the Raisel Iglesias injury news, but teams like the Braves can overcome a closer situation with their depth.
The Mets and Phillies have suffered some injury dings early on and the Marlins/Nationals are still a long way away from competing.
- Braves to win the National League (DraftKings +370)
- Braves to win the World Series (DraftKings +750)
Red Sox OVER 78.5 Wins (DraftKings -115)
Everything went wrong for this team in 2022, but they made a lot of additions in the off-season to overcome some major holes (1B, OF, Closer) along with getting Chris Sale back. I do think the Yankees and Rays slide back a bit from 2022, so this gives the Red Sox a chance to be a 82-84 win team.
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Cubs OVER 77.5 Wins (DraftKings -115)
The Cubs made a lot of additions in the off season but none of them look huge on paper with the exception of Dansby Swanson. The sum of the whole is greater than the parts in this case (Swanson, Jameson Taillon, Trey Mancini, Cody Bellinger, Michael Fulmer, Eric Hosmer).
But much like the Red Sox, they had a lot of black holes in the line up last year, that at least are league average now.
They play in one of the weakest divisions in baseball and could see the Brewers being sellers at the deadline. With 74 wins in 2022, I have to think they hit at least .500 in 2023 with 81 wins or a little more.
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MLB Win Totals UNDERS
Things I look for when deciding on Unders
- Overachieved in previous season
- Key player losses from previous season
- Lack of improvement in the off season
- Early season injury impact
- Sellers at the trade deadline
Tampa Bay Rays UNDER 88.5 Wins (DraftKings -115)
The Rays were 86-76 last season and missed their win total by 3.5 after going OVER three seasons in a row (four if you count 2020). But the win expectations for the Rays were 77.5, 84.5, and 86.
The Rays did not do much in the off-season and have already started to see some starting pitching injuries early on. The division is also more balanced with the Yankees, Blue Jays at the top, and the Red Sox bouncing back.
This is a team that struggles to score runs, especially with very little power and while those struggles are fine at home in a low run-scoring environment, it makes life difficult on the road. They saw their team SLG drop to 25th and OBP to 20th after being 8th and 10th in 2021.
I see the Rays are more of a 82-85 win team at most this year.
Washington Nationals UNDER 59.5 Wins (DraftKings -110)
This is a team that did nothing in the off-season and saw their division get better. They are a long way away from competing and it is scary to think about the core of superstar players this team had just a few years ago. After trading Juan Soto, they went 20-39 (.339 win percentage).
With just 55 wins in 2022, it is hard to imagine how they get to 59.5 in 2023.
Other teams I like to go UNDER their Win Totals
Colorado Rockies UNDER 65.5 Wins (DraftKings -120)
Another team that did very little in the off-season and saw their division stay the same or get a little stronger. While the Dodgers are not as strong, they are still the Dodgers. The Padres are significantly better and the Diamondbacks are ascending.
The Rockies won 68 games last year which seems like smoke and mirrors as they look to be even worse on paper. Their last three full-season win totals are just 68, 74, and 71.
This is a team that will continue to struggle on the road, as their home park inflates their offensive numbers.
Other MLB Futures to Bet Now
Most Regular Season Wins by Any Team UNDER 105.5 (DraftKings -125)
Last year two teams went over this (Astros and Dodgers) and both teams are not as strong as they were in 2022. I do not see any team hitting the over especially with the balanced schedule and rule changes. While there are a lot of bad teams that did nothing in the offseason to get better (Reds, A's, Rockies, Royals, Nationals), the league is much more balanced at the top at least in my opinion.
Two AL West Teams Will Make the Playoffs (DraftKings -120)
I am high on both the Astros and Mariners which makes this a very attractive bet. The AL Central is still pretty weak and probably only gets one team in and I like the AL East to get three teams in.