Los Angeles, CA
Spring is a time of rebirth and hope. It also coincides with the start of the baseball season when everyone has a positive outlook. Of course, the grind of a 162-games season and a crappy team can make your summer unbearable. That's why wagering on win totals can make things a little interesting.
I assembled a panel of our baseball fanatics (primarily A's, Brewers, and Yankees fans) for a roundtable discussion on MLB win totals. This year's roundtable includes Joe Speaker, Derek, StB, and yours truly.
Check out what we had to say about 2014 American League Win Totals.
And here's our take on the National League...
|"Magic Johnson said I'm special...."|
FYI... these win totals were the original "opening lines" at the LVH in Las Vegas...
2014 NATIONAL LEAGUE - WIN TOTALS
LOS ANGELES DODGERS 93.5
Derek: OVER. Don Mattingly and the Dodgers win the NL West easily. The only thing that will stop this team is injuries. Kershaw is a stud and they have a deep starting rotation. On paper, the Dodgers should steamroll through the season and make a World Series appearance. I picked them to be a bust last year, but they're too loaded now not to crush the competition. Can Yasiel Puig duplicate last year's success? This should be an exciting team to watch this year.
JoeSpeaker: OVER. This division sucks. Everybody hates them, a fact the team will embrace, and they will delight in rolling over everyone and twirling their hipster, handlebar mustaches. They'll get Kemp and Billingsley back and run away and hide from the rest of the NL with 104 wins. This will really piss off my mother.
StB: UNDER. I simply don't believe they are the best team in Major League Baseball. The Cardinals or Tigers are. Yes, the Dodgers lineup looks impressive, borderline scary. But I don't see Puig doing what he did last year. Their beer selection is blah but they do have Fireman's, which I think is underrated.
Pauly: UNDER. Wisdom of the Ocelot suggests you fade Big Market teams when it comes to any futures (Super Bowl, NBA title, MLB win totals) because the true numbers are slightly off. Bookies adjusted the numbers due to the legion of die-hard fans who push the total higher than they should. That translates into me fading the Dodgers, Yankees, and Red Sox totals. Besides... Golden Boy Kershaw is already on the DL.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS 91.5
Derek: OVER. Boy, was I wrong about the Cards last year. I thought they were going to stink it up in 2013. I expect them to win the NL Central this year with all the young talent they have.
JoeSpeaker: OVER. I'm so jealous of this team and the abundance of talent they seem to bring up every darn year. Will the league adjust to Wacha and Miller? Will they avoid a sophomore slump? Bourjos a breakout candidate.
StB: OVER. If any team can go over a 91 wins, it's the Cards. Thank God they don't just sell Bud in the stadium. Toss in the brews in the park -- Schlafly, O'Fallon, and now Goose Island -- its an okay place to visit.
Pauly: UNDER. Am I the only one who thinks the Cards won't win 90 games? Yes, they're teaming with youthful exuberance, but they also lack experience. Alas, I don't want to look bad and I feel pressured to take the OVER, but the Cardinals should be lumped in with those overvalued big market teams with an extremely fanatic and loyal fanbase that pushes the number slightly higher than it should be.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 87.5
Derek: OVER. The Nats should win the NL East. They have a very strong starting rotation with Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, and Doug Fister. Bryce Harper just might explode this year after suffering through injuries last season.
JoeSpeaker: OVER. I took the over on these dum dums last year and they underperformed. But I'm stupid enough to try them again.
StB: UNDER. Aren't the Nats always up here? Don't they usually go under? At least they have a good selection of beers.
Pauly: OVER. This is their year. Right? I'm banking on the Nationals to run the table. The Natties will defeat the Tigers in the World Series. Added bonus... a championship for the Nationals will further embarrass that shitbag, buffoon Dan Snyder.
ATLANTA BRAVES 87.5
Derek: OVER. This franchise just wins. I can see a second place finish with a Wild Card appearance.
JoeSpeaker: UNDER. Loss of Hudson (via free agencey) and Kris Medlin (Tommy John) will doom them.
StB: UNDER. They overachieved last year. Do they even drink beer down there? If they do, I bet they call it "Coke."
Pauly: UNDER. Chipper retired and Greg Maddux is headed to Cooperstown. This is not your daddy's team that had 4 Aces in the hole. At least Atlanta still has top-notch strip clubs.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS 85.5
Derek: OVER. If Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum can return to Ace status, this team will hit the over easily. Buster Posey is a stud.
JoeSpeaker: UNDER. Screw this team. Lineup looks solid (BP loves them) and defense is stellar (Panda excepted). And one's gotta like their rotation with Hudson, Cain and Baumgarner, but there's no depth there, so any injuries could prove devastating.
StB: UNDER. I work with people in SF. They seem to only care about the team in September. Thus, I like to see the Giants blow chunks. I am going under here, garlic fries aside. Good beer, though.
Pauly: UNDER. I expect the top dogs (Giants and Dodgers) in the NL West to falter and the underdogs (Padres and Rockies) to rise up and create a NEW WORLD ORDER for baseball's PACIFIC RIM.
PITTSBURGH PIRATES 84.5
Derek: OVER. Andrew McCutchen is the MAN. This franchise is finally on the rise. Not since the Barry Bonds years has there been this much excitement for Pirates' fans.
StB: OVER. Last year I refused to buy into the hype. This year, I will. They may win 85 games. Plus they have some really good beer in their ballpark.
Pauly: UNDER. Last year was a fluke. The Pirates will regress. Andrew McCutchen is strong enough to carry the Pirates for most of the season, but he needs help if they want to go to the Promised Land. The bullpen will fail to replicate their redonkulous performance from last year. Plus, eccentric lefty A.J. Burnett and his pies will be missed.
CINCINNATI REDS 83.5
Derek: OVER. The Reds might miss playoffs this year if the Pirates are for real. Losing Shin Soo Choo and Bronson Arroyo is going to hurt the Reds.
JoeSpeaker: OVER. Tons of talent. Attitude questions. They should be able to weather the Chapman injury. Billy Hamilton should be fun.
StB: OVER. The Reds still seem to be battling for a pennant. Good up and coming breweries in the area too.
Pauly: OVER. If the bullpen doesn't sort itself out, the Reds will be third banana in the NL Central, which is going to cannibalize itself. With that said, it's going to be a fun summer in you live in southern Ohio. Yeah, I'm making an outrageous prediction here, but the Reds(tockings) will be neck-and-neck with St. Louis for the division crown.
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS 80
Derek: OVER. Everybody loves Paul Goldschmidt in Arizona. I smell a third place finish in the NL West finish for the D-Backs after they added Bronson Arroyo, Addison Reed, and Mark Trumbo to the roster.
JoeSpeaker: UNDER. Might have gone for the over before the Corbin injury. Pitching going to be a huge problem for them. Crappy trade for Mark Trumbo looks even worse now
StB: UNDER. They seem to surprise people here and there. I'll go under because no one raves about a great brewery in the desert.
Pauly: UNDER. I have a positive outlook for the Rockies and Padres, which means someone in the NL West has to be the doormat. No respect for the D-Backs. Remember the pool incident? There's lots of holes in the desert. Maybe they'll bury their own corpses? When will this franchise fold up shop and move to San Jose?
MILWAUKEE BREWERS 79.5
Derek: UNDER. All eyes will be on Ryan Braun. I have Yovani Gallardo and Jim Henderson on my fantasy team. I hope they don't stink... but they probably will.
StB: OVER. My team. Last year, I let the heart rule my prediction and went over. This year…I do the same, even though the major buzz coming out of camp is a dog. Yes, a dog. A stray mutt showed up in camp and won the team over. My prediction? I will be sick of the dog by the All-Star break. Meanwhile, look for a fight to break out when there's a promotion for a dog bobble head or stuffed animal. You are not limited to Miller or Coors at Miller Park. You can get a beer from close to every decent-sized brewery in the state.
Pauly: OVER. I almost said push. This is a great number. Tough division. I smell another 81-81 break-even season. I'm more interested in betting on the sausage races.
SAN DIEGO PADRES 78.5
Derek: UNDER. A lot of people consider the Padres a sleeper team this year. I'm not buying it.
StB: OVER. I think the Padres are a sleeper. That hoppy beer they like in southern Cali will get them at least 80 wins.
Pauly: OVER. How about some California Love? Dodgers are overrated and the Giants are one shoulder injury away from imploding. That means the Padres are in the perfect spot to bust some skulls. They can hold their own in an over-hyped NL West and will play .500 ball.
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES 76
Derek: UNDER. This team got "old and crappy" fast. That Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay euphoria disappeared fast. Real fast. Halladay is retired now and I expect the Phillies to keep falling behind the rest of the NL East. Ryan Howard posted two horrible seasons in a row after lighting the league on fire from 2005-2011. He needs a bounce-back year real bad.
JoeSpeaker: UNDER. I'll take the under if this is "Days Before Jimmy Rollins Chucks a Donut at Ryne Sandberg." I'll take the under on wins, too.
StB: UNDER. What have the Phillies done to get better? Maybe add to the beer available in the concession stands. I am still waiting to get my first taste of some Troegs. I think the Phanatic will be struggling to entertain this year, and may spend more time drinking.
Pauly: UNDER. I have nothing snarky to say. Sixers blow chunks. Eagles just signed Mark Sanchize. What the heck is happening to Philly? It's turning into a really bad M. Night Shyamalan flick.
COLORADO ROCKIES 75.5
Derek: UNDER. This team is in for a long season. I expect Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez to be on the trading block come July. Tulo to the Yanks?
StB: UNDER. When the beer roster is better than the baseball roster, you are in trouble. Do yourself a favor and visit the (Denver) area just for the beer.
Pauly: OVER. Rocky Mountain High! The sports gods were pleased with Colorado's decision to legalize marijuana, so they blessed Denver with a Super Bowl berth. Now it's the Rockies time to soar. Yes, the Rockies are going to blaze their way into the playoffs via the Wild Card. This is no pipe dream, or a half-baked assessment. The Rockies are legit contenders in the most-overrated division in all of baseball.
NEW YORK METS 73.5
Derek: OVER. I like what the Mets did in the offseason by signing Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon. But, I'm kind of shocked they didn't make a play for Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz. The Mets blew it, while the Orioles swooped in and snagged them on the cheap. Still, I expect the Mets to finish in third place again, even without Matt Harvey who is recovering from Tommy John surgery.
StB: UNDER. Mets sucks in that stadium. Beer selection may be okay for a visitor but it seems they sell the locals short.
Pauly: UNDER. The new stadium is jinxed. The Mets need to perform an exorcism by sacrificing a live chicken using candlesticks with the help of two Catholic priests and 300 voodoo priestesses.
MIAMI MARLINS 69.5
Derek: OVER. This team will NOT lose 100 games like they did last year. You will want to watch this team whenever Jose Fernandez pitches.
StB: UNDER. I wonder if management tries to win every year. How they won a couple of World Series is mind boggling.
Pauly: UNDER. I smell a 100 losses this year. I feel bad for the players and fans. It sucks when ownership doesn't give a rat's ass about your future and use your fandom as a tax write off. Time for the masses to lead a revolution. Maybe Cuban exiles will help form OCCUPY MARLINS?
CHICAGO CUBS 68.5
Derek: UNDER. The Cubs might lose a 100 games this year.
StB: UNDER. This team is terrible, yet not as bad as the beer selection. When you pour Old Style and boast about it, then you are may be deranged. This organization still thinks it is 1972. With all the great breweries in the city and suburbs, they stick with swill that probably comes straight from the urinals. It wouldn't be that difficult to get some Half Acre, Metropolitan, or Revolution.
Pauly: OVER. The Cubbies will fade 100 losses... barely. But that's about it. Jay Cutler still sucks.
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Roundtable participants: Derek, StB, JoeSpeaker, and Pauly.
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