Earlier today, we explained why MLB win totals bets leave less up to chance than any other sports bet.We stand by that statement, but we must add one caveat: watch out for the NL Central.
Sportsbook.com sets the over/unders as follows:
- Brewers 86.5
- Reds 85.5
- Cardinals 82.5
- Cubs 82.5
- Astros 72
- Pirates 67.5
With the notable exception of the Pittsburgh Pirates, it’s tempting to take the over on each one of these teams.
The Brewers added Zach Greinke and Shaun Marcum to a rotation that already featured a legitimate ace in Yovani Gollardo. Soon-to-be free agent slugger Prince Fielder is playing for a nine-figure contract, and Rickie Weeks and Ryan Braun are more than just lineup protection for the hefty lefty. They’re excellent power hitters in their own right.
The Reds won 91 games last year and should get a full seasons of production from Edinson Volquez and Aroldis Chapman, star pitchers who combined for just 76 innings last season.
The Cardinals won 86 games last year, and even without Wainwright, it seems foolish to bet so low on a team led by Albert Pujols, Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan.
The Cubs added a new manager in Mike Quade, a new ace in Matt Garza, and if the second half of last season is any indication of things, a rejuvenated No. 2 in Carlos Zambrano. North-siders think they’re getting a bounceback year, especially after 2010’s 19-10 finish.
The Astros started last year as the worst team in the Majors but went 59-52 after May, seemingly indicating that their young talent can compete in the NL Central. They won 76 games last year, so over 72 seems well within reach.
The issue here is that there probably aren’t enough wins to go around for each team to exceed its Over/Under, no matter what their second-half surges or offseason maneuvers might suggest. Unless, of course, you believe the Pirates will be bad. Like, historically bad.
Come to think of it, that’s actually not so far-fetched.
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