2011 MLB Over/Under Win Totals - Initial Thoughts

I'm a big fan of the over/under win total bet for baseball. Since 2000, I've written a column each spring with my picks (here's last year's story where I went 2-of-3). Over that span I've picked winners 60.4 percent of the time (29 of 48) and 70.1 percent on a cash-weighted basis.

Here's the first over/under totals I've seen this spring, from (h/t to

Arizona- 72
Atlanta- 88.5
Baltimore- 74.5
Boston- 96
Chicago C- 82
Chicago W- 84.5
Cincinnati- 87
Cleveland- 71
Colorado- 87.5
Detroit- 83.5
Florida- 81.5
Houston- 73.5
Kansas City- 70
LA Angels- 85
LA Dodgers- 82
Milwaukee- 84.5
Minnesota- 87
NY Mets- 78.5
NY Yankees- 91
Oakland- 82.5
Philadelphia- 97
Pittsburgh- 65.5
St. Louis- 87.5
San Diego- 75.5
San Francisco- 88.5
Seattle- 70
Tampa Bay- 86
Texas- 88.5
Toronto- 75.5
Washington- 72

At first glance I really like the under on the Royals and the over on the Brewers. I'd bet them now if I could.
I also like the under on the Mets and Astros and the over on the Twins and Rays.

But I need to crunch some numbers before I write the full story and make my final picks.
I need to do that article earlier this spring because the lines have moved a lot the past two springs after they were initially released.
My guess is the Brewers will rise since the Zach Greinke acquisition is high profile.

Who you got after your initial take?


By: Chris Morgan
On: 2/20/2011 11:23:00 PM
The two that really stick out to me are under on Boston and Cincinnati. I don't feel strongly about any of the overs at the moment.
By: bkslast
On: 2/21/2011 2:43:00 AM
Just on a quick first look Under on Atlanta and Over on Cleveland
By: Kevin Payne
On: 2/21/2011 7:08:00 AM
2-for-3 last year but didn't that you break even overall? I like the Baltimore over, they had the best record in the AL East after Showalter took over. I'd tread lightly on the Rays, the rest of the division will be better than last year and the lack of a bullpen alone will cost them a handful of games.
By: kennruby
On: 2/21/2011 7:35:00 AM
I don't like the over on Tampa at all. I expect a down year. Cincinnati is a clear under to me - they caught lightning in a bottle last year, but I doubt they can repeat. I'm not sold on the Cardinals either - they feel like an 84-78 team to me.
By: schoenke
On: 2/21/2011 8:34:00 AM
Yes, I picked 2 of 3 but the loser was a bigger bet so I was .500 on money (I lost the Astros bet on the last day. I'm still very bitter).
By: gooklaw
On: 2/21/2011 9:11:00 AM
Over on the Brewers seems easy - aren't they the BEST team in the division??
By: Erickson
On: 2/21/2011 11:57:00 AM
I think MIL over should hit, but (as Joe Sheehan's newsletter points out - guys, you should subscribe, the bottom three spots in the order are pretty sketch (CF, LuCroy, Betancourt). The top five is great, but they're going to have to stay healthy and produce, otherwise they're not going to score as much as people think. The pitching is definitely better, though. I sort of think of them as a Stars-and-Scrubs team - if the stars stay healthy, they'll win.
By: schoenke
On: 2/21/2011 12:18:00 PM
Royals wins the last seven seasons: 67, 65, 75, 69, 62, 56, 58.

But they're going to be 3 games better in 2011 after trading away their best pitcher? I really hope that line doesn't decline five wins by the time my story comes out.
By: herbilk
On: 2/21/2011 1:06:00 PM
If we're just talking offense, I'm not sure CF/Lucroy/Betancourt is any worse than what they got from CF/Lucroy/Escobar last season. Escobar had a .270 wOBA last season. Only two players in the majors were worse than him offensively.

I don't think there is a favorite in the NL Central. Any of the teams out of STL, CIN and MIL could win between 85-90 games depending on injuries or career years. It certainly seems like a pickem to me.

I think Houston under 73.5 looks like a good bet.
By: Mark Stopa
On: 2/21/2011 2:08:00 PM
I can't believe the disparity between NY and BOS. I was just in Vegas and the World Series lines for both were about the same (I can't recall them exactly, but I'm certain they were roughly equal). The difference between 96 wins and 91 is huge.
By: Chris Liss
On: 2/21/2011 4:12:00 PM
The Royals must be an error. I don't see how they can possibly be slated for 70 with that team.
By: Scott Pianowski
On: 2/21/2011 4:12:00 PM
What NL lineup looks good at 6-7-8? Not many.

I'll be flabbergasted if the Milwaukee number doesn't rise.
By: tumanic
On: 2/21/2011 6:08:00 PM
Brewers over, Royals need to play anything else!
By: mvbb17
On: 2/21/2011 6:38:00 PM
I'd take the under for both Texas and SF, both at 88.5. I think 90 wins takes the AL and NL west and there are 3 teams in each league that are relatively equal. Not to say niether team could do it, but there's probably only a 33% they get to 90.
By: mvbb17
On: 2/21/2011 6:43:00 PM
Also a bit surprising to see MIN at 87 with DET at 83.5. I'm more of a believer in the Tigers this year than the Twins. And if KC can't win 70, I don't think Cleveland can either with their projected starting rotation this year.
By: robyg1969
On: 2/21/2011 7:18:00 PM
Toronto over 75.5 is a lock. They have strong pitching, young power hitting and the other teams in the east save for Boston and Balt got weaker.
By: Poincare
On: 2/22/2011 4:13:00 AM
My #1 bet is the same as yours: OVER 84.5 on the Milwaukee Brewers. Erickson makes an excellent point about how the Brewers offense has little depth after the top five, and you just can't find another CF, C, or SS that can hit to replace any of them. I could still see the Brewers making some kind of deadline deal to acquire a Torii Hunter type player fill the #6 slot and play CF. I also like LuCroy enough to think that he could be a viable #6 hitter by the end of this season. I'm not a fan of Betancourt but at least he does do something on offense. I don't think it's too much to expect a dozen home runs and 60 RBI's, which wouldn't be bad at all from the #8 slot. I also love the Brewers top three starters Greinke, Gallardo, and Marcum. I expect them to contend this season, which almost by definition will require more than 84.5 wins.

My #2 bet is one that nobody has mentioned yet even once. I really like the over 72 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. There's enough quality young talent on that team that just a little bit of jelling and they should clear .500 easy. If Justin Upton finally becomes the player so many of us expect him to be and a couple of pitchers like Dan Hudson and Ian Kennedy come through you'd win this bet easily, coasting the entire 2nd half because the D-backs have been comfortably above .500 all season. Maybe I'm a little optimistic, but I still like this bet enough that I would put money on it.
By: Erickson
On: 2/23/2011 11:24:00 AM
The Brewers have already gone up to 85.5 and the Cards have already fallen from 87.5 to 84.
By: gooklaw
On: 2/23/2011 7:10:00 PM
Looks like a great thing to do (if you can do it) is parlay SD over and KC under - they play each other, so you will get some correlation, always a wonderful thing when parlaying...of course the book might realize that and not let you do it.
By: Bxbomberphan
On: 2/26/2011 10:18:00 AM
At first glance I love the Brewers over 84.5(I think they will win 90 games). I like the Tampa Bay under 86( I don't see them winning more than 81 games). St. Louis under 87.5 (I did not like them at that number with Wainwright). Texas under 88.5.(they will win about 85). Yankees over 91 is a gift.

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