Los Angeles, CA
Ready for some baseball? The season kicked off in Australia of all places. But just before the rest of the season begins, I assembled a panel of baseball die-hards to discuss this season's win totals. This year's roundtable included Joe Speaker, Derek, StB, and yours truly.
Check out what we had to say about 2014 National League Win Totals, which I posted earlier today.
And here's our take on the American League win totals...
|Can the Ghost of Kirk help the Tigers run the table?|
FYI... these are the original opening lines from the LVH in Las Vegas.
2014 AMERICAN LEAGUE - WIN TOTALS
DETROIT TIGERS 89.5
Derek: OVER. The Tigers will win the AL Central easily. This team is one of the AL favorites and I expect them to deliver by crushing the competition in the Central division. Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter in the game.
JoeSpeaker: OVER. They ride the staff, plus Cabrera, plus a middling division to an easy 95 and then Justin Verlander gets to throw to a 30-inch plate in the playoffs.
StB: OVER. The Tigers have the best rotation in the AL, if not MLB. Losing Fielder may hurt but pitching wins championships. Some of the best breweries in the Midwest are in Michigan. Thankfully, Comerica serves a bunch of Bells, Founders, and New Holland.
Pauly: UNDER. Without Fielder and Fister, they'll struggle to win 90. Yeah, I'm fading the public here it seems.
OAKLAND A's 89
Derek: OVER. How can you bet against the A's? This team always finds a way to win with a small payroll. They might not finish in first place this year but I expect them to make the playoffs once again. My only knock on this team....Scott Kazmir, really?
JoeSpeaker: UNDER. I'm such a jinx. Talking with an Angels fan colleague and I uttered the following sentence, "I have a bad feeling the A's are due for some bad luck this year." Before I finished the sentence, Jerrod Parker went down for the season and A.J. Griffin had to rest his gopher-ball throwing arm for three weeks. That's bad news for what was a strength a month ago. That starting pitching depth will be sorely tested now, with concerns over Griffin and Scott Kazmir's history. The offense will be better (Reddick and Norris should put up better numbers), but the A's will miss the playoffs this year. Even 20 games with the Astros won't get 'em there.
StB: OVER. The AL West should be exciting and extremely competitive. The A's will survive the fight.
Pauly: UNDER. Billy Beane must be smoking the rope again. Rock the Kazmir, rock the Kazmir.
BOSTON RED SOX 87.5
Derek: UNDER. I expect the Red Sox to regress and miss the playoffs. Or at least that is what I'm praying for. Is Big Papi juicing again?
JoeSpeaker: OVER. Blah, blah, blah. Over. Series contenders once again. Johnny Gomes rules. Would dearly love to see Grady Sizemore be good again, even if it is in red socks.
StB: UNDER. Work with people in Boston. They are annoying. The beer is just okay. Narragansett is like Pabst. Too hipster for me.
Pauly: UNDER. Big Papi back on the sauce. Plus, it's time to fade all of New England. The Sox won't even win the AL East. They're playing second fiddle to Tampa.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM 87.5
Derek: UNDER. Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton got old fast. Mike Trout is on my fanatasy team!! I had the #2 pick too. Miguel Cabrera went #1 in my league.
JoeSpeaker: OVER. It's happening. I'm gonna throw up. It all comes together for Mike Scoscia's Angel's this year (wretch). Getting Skaggs and Santiago will pay off in the second half of the season, while their offense keeps them afloat in the first half (puke). Even though Pujols and Hamilton won't perform to their contracts, they'll be good enough (gruck). They'll win the division if they can avoid their slow starts of the past two years (blurgh). And even I can appreciate Trout.
StB: UNDER. Everyone can't win over 85 games in that division, even with the Astros. Good beer though.
Pauly: UNDER. Fade teams with bloated payrolls. When did the Angels turn into a west coast version of the Yankees?
TAMPA RAYS 87.5
Derek: OVER. This team has a big decision to make this year. Trade David Price or keep him? I expect them to trade him come July. Either way, they'll make the playoffs.
JoeSpeaker: OVER. Always bet on Maddon. And a ridiculous starting rotation.
StB: OVER. The Rays still seem to be competitive. Supposedly they have a good beer bar in the stadium but finding what they may pour there seems to be impossible. If they have Cigar City, I'd give them couple more wins.
Pauly: OVER. I love the Rays to win the AL East. Florida is one of the most corrupt states in the union and you have to watch your back down in the swamp. I have no idea how that fits in with win totals, but I think David Price stays and the Rays go deep.
TEXAS RANGERS 86.5
Derek: OVER. They made a big trade for Prince Fielder to help them fight off the A's. Smart move because it should get them a first place finish in the AL West.
JoeSpeaker: UNDER. Gosh. I thought the Rangers were going to be awesome this year. Now they're all hurt. Beltre, Choo and Fielder will keep them interesting and Ron Washington will still bunt in the first inning.
StB: OVER. I expect them to contend with the A's, and at the very least make the playoffs. I wouldn't mind getting my mitts on some Saint Arnold either.
Pauly: UNDER. I smell a huge bust with Fielder. The Rangers will barely keep their heads above the .500 line.
NEW YORK YANKEES 85.5
Derek: OVER. Robinson Cano left the Yanks for the Mariners and a $240mil contract. That hurts but luckily they have deep pockets and signed Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Masahiro Tanaka to big contracts.They're bullpen is suspect this year since Mariano Rivera retired. So are their situations at 2B and 3B but I can't see the Yanks missing the playoffs two years in a row. They need Derek Jeter, CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira to have bounce back years. I think the Yanks will shock the world and win the AL East and send Jeter off into the sunset with a World Series win over Don Mattingly's Dodgers. And the best part about that is ARoid is suspended and won't be on the team.
JoeSpeaker: UNDER. What to think about the Yanks? Will they score enough runs (no)? Will Tanaka be the savior (maybe)? Will Jacoby Ellsbury be jumped by a bunch of guys named Murph (definitely)? I'm taking the under due to too many question marks (on the team and in this forecast).
StB: UNDER. More attention will be spend on Jeter than winning ball games. Beer here is terrible. They think that Miller is a craft brewer.
Pauly: UNDER. Fade the Yanks. End of an era. No more Mo Rivera. It's now time for the BRONX BUMS. Jeter's last year is going to be a shit show. Unless... Jeter really is in the Illuminati, then Dick Cheney helps rig the World Series and Jeter rides off into the sunset with one more ring.
SEATTLE MARINERS 80.5
Derek: UNDER: Let's see how long before Cano demands a trade. What's the OVER/UNDER on that?
JoeSpeaker: UNDER. C'mon. Every time expectations rise for this team, they poop themselves. Yes, they have Cano and Felix. And more holes than my Saturday pair of underwear.
StB: UNDER. They spent a lot of money in the offseason. Sucks to be in such a tough division. They are maybe the third best team? Maybe? At least they have great beer. I could spend a happy weekend series here.
Pauly: OVER. Did you know the Mariner's hit the second most HRs in the big leagues? I had no idea until I listened to the Betting Dork podcast. Man, you now add Cano to that roster. The Ms will surprise some folks, especially the Angels and the Rangers. And King Felix? You've all seen The Wire. "The KING stays the KING."
CLEVELAND INDIANS 80
Derek: OVER. Terry Francona is a great manager but I see the Indians taking a step back this year after making the playoffs last year.
StB: OVER. Cleveland will have another good year. They may not challenge Detroit for the division but they will bring the pain to some teams. Plus, they have a great selection of brews from the Midwest. Word is they rotate some of the selections to appeal to fans of the visiting team. I like that.
Pauly: OVER. I'm getting a flashback from Major League when those die-hard working class fans make jokes like "They still suck." But... (insert Lee Corso voice)... "Not so fast, my friend!" The 2014 version of the Tribe will actually surge past the .500 mark and win in the mid-80s.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS OF CANADA 79.5
Derek: UNDER. The Blue Jays will have a massive fire sale come July. Jose Reyes to the Yanks?
JoeSpeaker: OVER. Fluke last year or the beginning of a Tribe renaissance? I'm going with the latter. Great leadership. Fun team. Genuine stars like Kipnis and Santana. Lots of games vs. White Sox and Twins.
StB: UNDER. I hear the craft beer choice blows. Nothing else to say, eh?
Pauly: UNDER. Remember last winter when everyone went nuts because the Blue Jays made all those insane offseason moves? How did that work out? Same shit, different year.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS 79.5
Derek: OVER. KC won 86 games last year. I expect them to leap frog Cleveland and finish in 2nd place in the AL Central.
JoeSpeaker: OVER. Another team that is always on the rise. Lots of talent here. Can they put it all together? I'll peg them for a .500 season, just pipping the over.
StB: UNDER. They were a pleasant surprise last year but I can't see them doing it again. Even though they have some good breweries in the area (Boulevard and Tall Grass) they don't get much inside the stadium. Maybe that changes with the Belgians coming to town.
Pauly: OVER. Lorde is their savior. She wrote that song Royals, which took the world by storm. She's not American and has no clue about K.C.'s baseball squad. But according to my pal Mattazuma, the Kiwi girl say a photo with George Brett (sporting Royals uniform) and was inspired to use the name in a song. How cool would it Lorde's song helped resurrect an ancient franchise once considered one of the most prestigious in all of professional sports? It's time for K.C. to finally rise up out of the ashes. When will every Royals' fan start wearing their hair like Lorde? Stringy, unkempt and frazzled like she just had a nooner. Oh, and the Royals will win at least 80 games. Maybe even as many as last year.
BALTIMORE ORIOLES 78
Derek: OVER. I like the late free agent signings of Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz but the competition is stiff in the AL East. Adam Jones and the Orioles will miss the playoffs.
JoeSpeaker: OVER. No miraculous out-performance of their Pythagorean Runs Scored numbers last year, which was no surprise, but additions of Cruz and Jimenez should put the O's back in the race. Pitching is thin, but Dylan Bundy is lurking.
StB: OVER. They have always offered a good selection of beer here. Plus I hear they play some baseball in the background.
Pauly: OVER. I almost said push. This is a good number. I can see them hovering around the 80-81 win mark. If the Yankees actually have a decent season, then it will come at the cost of the Os. But the Yanks will be dreadful this year, which means the Os will not be the doormat of the AL East.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX 77
Derek: UNDER. The Sox lost 99 games last year. Chris Sale is a stud and watch out for Jose Abreu at 1B. He's the latest Cuban sensation. But the rest of the team stinks.
JoeSpeaker: UNDER. Fire up the Hawk Harrelson schadenfreude machine. I would love a supercut of his sad calls of loses/opposing home runs. get on it, internet.
StB: UNDER. Boring team in a big stadium. Like the Yankees, they don't know what craft beer is.
Pauly: UNDER. No love for the Chisox. They won't lose 100 games this year, but how about 90? Bring back the softball uniforms.
MINNESOTA TWINS 71.5
Derek: UNDER. The Twins lost 96 games last year. I expect a repeat performance.
StB: UNDER. Target Field is a nice place to visit. They have a good selection up there too. MN beer is up and coming. Too bad you can't say the same about the baseball team.
Pauly: UNDER. Expect another winter of discontent for Twins' nation.
HOUSTON ASTROS 63.5
Derek: UNDER. Houston will lose 100 games this year. Take that to the bank.
JoeSpeaker: UNDER. These poor shits.
StB: OVER. Hey, even a blind squirrel finds a nut. The real interesting part is if this team is good in 2015 or 16 as that is what they seem to be building to. They should have a good beer selection to satisfy their fans but word is that its just okay.
Pauly: OVER. The Astros will NOT lose 100 games this year. No joke. I'm serious. The Astros can legitimately win more games than the Twins, so at least 65 wins is doable.
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Check out our roundtable for 2014 National League Win Totals.
Roundtable participants: Derek, StB, JoeSpeaker, and Pauly.
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