2012 MLB Win Totals Report

The 2011 baseball season ended just like every other season in the past, you know, with a team erasing a 10.5 game deficit in August to win the wild-card, rallying twice on their last out and having the hometown boy (David Freese) lead them to a World Series. All kidding aside, the 2011 season will be remembered by the Cardinals late season run and their ability to scrap out wins at the most improbable times.

With 2011 in the rear view mirror, the calendar has now turned to April, which means hope springs eternal for all thirty teams. The dream of playing October baseball still a possibility.

One of the hardest, yet most profitable ways to make money in MLB is betting the pre-season over/unders on win totals. Having alot of money tied down for six months hinders some, but with the right preparation and research there is tons of value on the betting market for us to exploit. Listed below are the projected win totals.

Regular Season Wins –

  • Over +86.5 -111
  • Under +86.5 -125

Regular Season Wins – Atlanta Braves

  • Over +86.5 -118
  • Under +86.5 -118

Regular Season Wins – Baltimore Orioles 

  • Over +69.5 -106
  • Under +69.5 -130

Regular Season Wins – Boston Red Sox

  • Over +89.5 -125
  • Under +89.5 -111

Regular Season Wins – Chicago Cubs

  • Over +74.5 -118
  • Under +74.5 -118

Regular Season Wins – Chicago White Sox

  • Over +74.5 -118
  • Under +74.5 -118

Regular Season Wins – Cincinnati Reds

  • Over +86.5 -118
  • Under +86.5 -118

Regular Season Wins –

  • Over +78.5 -111
  • Under +78.5 -125

Regular Season Wins –

  • Over +80.5 -115
  • Under +80.5 -120

Regular Season Wins – Detroit Tigers

  • Over +92.5 -120
  • Under +92.5 -115

Regular Season Wins – Miami Marlins

  • Over +84.5 -106
  • Under +84.5 -130

Regular Season Wins – Houston Astros

  • Over +63.5 -118
  • Under +63.5 -118

Regular Season Wins – Kansas City Royals

  • Over +80.0 +100
  • Under +80.0 -139

Regular Season Wins – Los Angeles Angels

  • Over +92.5 -118
  • Under +92.5 -118

Regular Season Wins – Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Over +81.5 -118
  • Under +81.5 -118

Regular Season Wins – Milwaukee Brewers

  • Over +84.5 -118
  • Under +84.5 -118

Regular Season Wins –

  • Over +73.5 -125
  • Under +73.5 -111

Regular Season Wins –

  • Over +71.0 -133
  • Under +71.0 -105

Regular Season Wins –

  • Over +93.0 -125
  • Under +93.0 -111

Regular Season Wins –  

  • Over +71.5 -118
  • Under +71.5 -118

Regular Season Wins – Philadelphia Phillies

  • Over +93.5 -106
  • Under +93.5 -130

Regular Season Wins – Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Over +73.5 +100
  • Under +73.5 -139

Regular Season Wins – San Diego Padres

  • Over +73.5 -106
  • Under +73.5 -130

Regular Season Wins –

  • Over +87.5 -118
  • Under +87.5 -118

Regular Season Wins –

  • Over +72.0 -118
  • Under +72.0 -118

Regular Season Wins – St Louis Cardinals

  • Over +84.0 -133
  • Under +84.0 -105

Regular Season Wins – Tampa Bay Rays

  • Over +86.5 -106
  • Under +86.5 -130

Regular Season Wins – Texas Rangers

  • Over +90.5 -125
  • Under +90.5 -111

Regular Season Wins –

  • Over +80.5 -164
  • Under +80.5 +120

Regular Season Wins –

  • Over +83.5 -125
  • Under +83.5 -111

From these win totals, there is one team that has a total way too low and two others that are worthy of wagering on.

Toronto Blue Jays OVER 80.5 wins -164

On GM Alex Anthropolis’s blueprint of success, he pegged the 2011 season as one to grow and develop the young core he has put together. With an 81-81 record, that can be deemed a success. The eventual goal for the Jays is to content for the division in 2013, but the core that is already put together can contend for the a wild card, with an outside shot at the division. When scouring through this roster and understanding where they are as a franchise, the 2012 Blue Jays have an abundance of similarities to the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays.

The easiest comparison to make between the two is that they both play in the ultra-competitive AL East. Being in a division with teams that spend over $100 million makes it tough for small of his market teams to compete, but making shrude decisions on players and leadership is what wins in baseball. Both the 2008 Rays and this years Blue Jays have strong, smart leadership that has the support and respect from the guys in the clubhouse. Finding that kind of manager is hard, but even having him in your clubhouse wont help unless you can fill the lineup card with talented players. In 2008 Joe Maddon had young players like Carl Crawford, B.J Upton and a hearalted young third baseman named Evan Longoria. In Toronto this year they will take the field with guys like Jose Bautista, Adam Lind and a hearalted young third baseman named Brett Lawrie. The Langley, British Columbia native got his feet wet at the end of last season and definately didnt disappoint:

Brett Lawrie 2011 Stats (in 150 at-bats)

.293/.373/.580, 9 HR, 25 RBI, 26 R

Evan Longoria 2008 Stats (after 150 at-bats)

.252/.326/.453, 7HR, 28 RBI, 22 R

If you were to extrapolate Lawrie’s 2011 stats over the 448 at-bats stretch Longoria had his rookie season, the numbers would look like this:

Brett Lawrie 2011 (counting stats)

27 HR, 74 RBI, 77 R

Evan Longoria 2008 Season (counting stats)

27HR, 85 RBI, 67 R

Longoria was the missing piece in the middle of the order the Rays needed. His youthful energy and instant success gave them a face of the franchise and a feared power hitter in their order. Toronto expects all that and more from Lawrie, who will have the protection in the order Longoria never really had that season in 2008. I dont think its absurd to expect 30 home runs, 90 RBI’s with a .285 average from Lawrie.

Toronto’s biggest weakness last year was their bullpen. Their save percentage (56.9) and blown save chances (25) both were the worst in the American League. Changes needed to be made, and Anthopolous went full speed ahead and grabbed Francisco Cordero and Sergio Santos. The experience factor of Cordero is a great compliment to the fireballer Santos, who is a retirement away from 42 in pinstripes from being the best closer in the East. They will improve on last years horrible numbers, and even if they move to the mean, those 9th inning one run leads will stay as such.

Optimism is running rampid in Toronto, as for the first time in over a decade they have a team that can win more then they lose and possibly contend in September. The price tag is steep at -164, but with an emerging ace in Ricky Romero, a powerful lineup and an improved bullpen, asking them to win 81 games is more then reasonable expectation.  And if you hear Toronto fans talking playoffs, dont think theyre crazy; they’ve seen it happen before.

Detroit Tigers UNDER 92.5 -118

No team in 2011 dominated their divsion more than the Detroit Tigers. Their 15 game lead over second place Cleveland was tops in the majors, with their 50 in-division wins being only second to the Milwaukee Brewers 51. The expectations were not high going into last year, but only a year later the bar has been set as high as it possibly can . The Tigers are  a trendy pick to win the Wolrd Series, and for good reason. They have the reigning AL CY Young and MVP winner Justin Verlander, the best right handed hitter in Miguel Cabrera and the biggest power threat from the left side of the plate in Prince Fielder. So, with all that said, how does this team stay under 92.5 wins?

The simple answer is that they got very lucky last year. A lot of things needed to go right for the Tigers to win over 90 games last year, and alot of things did. Ace Justin Verlander had what truly is a once-in-a-generation season. The way grandfathers talk about Sandy Koufax in 1965 and fathers talk about Roger Clemens in 1986, we will be telling our kids about Verlander’s 2011 season:

Sandy Koufax 1965 Season (Won CY Young and MVP)

26-6, 2.04 ERA, 335.2 IP, 382 K, .855 WHIP

Roger Clemens 1986 Season (Won Cy Young and MVP)

24-4, 2.48 ERA, 254 IP, 238 K, .965 WHIP

Justin Verlander 2011 Season (Won CY Young and MVP)

24-5, 2.40 ERA, 251 IP, 250 K, .920 WHIP 

Expecting anything near this would be unfair for Verlander, but it is reasonable to think he wins 20 games, an ERA in the 2.80 area with 240 IP and strikeouts being a more realistic expectation. Manager Jim Leyland might quietly hope for a few more striekouts, since the defense he will be trotting out there might be the worst in baseball. Of their 8 everyday defensive options, only Austin Jackson and Alex Avila would be considered above average. Fielder, Jhonny Peralta, Brennan Boesch and Ryan Raburn are all below-average defenders with Delmon Young and Cabrera (now at third) being huge liabilities in the field. Ground ball pitchers like Rick Porcello and Doug Fister will be holding their breathe with every hard hit ball, and thus their numbers will suffer.

The breaks continued for the Tigers when players overachieved or had career years. Among these guys were Alex Avila, Jose Valverde and Jhonny Peralta. In just his second season as the starting catcher, the 24 year old All-Star hit .295 with 19HR and 82 RBI. Those are great numbers for a catcher who appeared in 141 games, which brings us to our concern: the amount of games he played. Manager Jim Leyland has been very outspoken on how we wish he could have sat Avila more last year, and that he will give him more time off during the season to keep him from breaking down in October. Their back-up plan is Gerald Laird, who with his last tour of duty had trouble hitting his weight. Expect less at bats and maybe a bit of a slip-off statiscally for Avila.

“Papa Grande” was as good as there was last year (it’s tough to get better than 49 of 49 in save chances) closing games out. The Tigers were 29-17 in one run games, which was second in the majors behind Milwaukee. I expect Valverde to come back closer to the average, blow 3-6 saves and they lose some of those one run games they won last year.

The biggest production surprise didnt come from Brennan Boesch of Alex Avila, but from Jhonny Peralta. Prior to the 2011 season Peralta had shown flashes of 20HR+ power in Cleveland, but his long swing and attitude got him traded late 2010 to the Tigers for a bag of seeds and a pack of Marlboro’s for the Skipper. The 2011 season was definitely the best of Perlata’s 9 year career:

Jhonny Peralta Prior to 2011 ( 8+ season with Cleveland and 217 AB’s with Detroit in 2010)

.264BA/ .329 OBP/ .422 SLG/ .751 OPS

Jhonny Peralta 2011

.299BA/ .345 OBP/ .478 SLG/ .824 OPS

Even with his very impressive numbers, his average was hanging in the .310 area until the last month, where his line was .259/.297/.407/.704. I expect Peralta’s numbers to fall back to near his career average, with a .270/.330/.440/.775 line being more realistic.              

There is no doubt Detroit will represent the Central Division in the playoffs. But making the playoffs is different  then what the oddsmakers expect from them this year, which is asking them to win 93 games. Too many things need to go right again, arms need to stay healthy and some of their younger guys ( Austin Jackson, Brennan Boesch, Rick Porcello, Al Alberqueque) need to raise their game if they want to surpass the win total.    

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Posted in MLB Baseball Articles, MLB Baseball Player News

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