The 2018 season starts in less than a month – March 29, to be exact, which means you need to start planning your MLB Betting strategy. Does that seem early to you? It should. It’s the earliest starting date in the sport’s history, excluding international openers. The reason is that as the sport’s new labor contract each team’s 162 games were scheduled over 186 days, up from 183.
So, in order to add four more days off, the overall schedule had to be lengthened a bit. March 29 will also be the first time since the 1968 season — the last year before the American and National Leagues split into divisions — that every team will play on Opening Day. This will be just the 12th season to start on a Thursday following 1901-04, 1907, 1912, 1959, 1973-74, 1976 and 2011. For now, let’s check the latest MLB Odds on Total Wins while making some predictions for several teams.
2018 Season MLB Betting Predictions: Total Wins per Team
— MLB (@MLB) 1 de marzo de 2018
I honestly don’t recommend betting on win totals until right before the season begins. For example, what if you bet on the Los Angeles Dodgers going over their total and Clayton Kershaw suffers a season-ending shoulder injury during spring training? It always pays to wait in case of major injury. Plus, this year there are still some big-name free agents out there unsigned who could make the difference in a total going over or under. Here are some interesting totals from Mybookie.ag.
Boston Red Sox (91.5)
Boston won 93 games last year and the AL East Division for the second year in a row but was knocked off in the ALDS for the second straight year. Pretty impressive win total in 2017 considering the Sox ranked 27th in the majors in home runs and only got 74.2 innings pitched from presumed ace David Price. The former Cy Young winner is in the best shape of his life, so he claims, and has a bit of a chip on his shoulder.
In addition, the Sox added the best free-agent slugger on the market in J.D. Martinez. He provides the power the team needs and will DH mostly. Last season, Martinez hit 45 homers and slugged .690 in 119 games for the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks. He got particularly hot after a midseason trade to Arizona, hitting 29 homers in only 62 games.
Martinez also serves as a counterpunch to the rival New York Yankees’ offseason trade for slugger Giancarlo Stanton and turns the AL East into a virtual dead heat. The only question about Boston is new manager Alex Cora. I like the over for this total.
Washington Nationals (93.5)
Washington won 97 games last year and the NL East for the second time in three seasons. It was favored in the NLDS but collapsed at home in Game 5 and lost to the Cubs. This franchise still hasn’t won a playoff series since moving from Montreal to Washington.
This could be the year. The Nationals have arguably the best pitcher in baseball in Max Scherzer, who has won the past two NL Cy Youngs to go with the AL Cy Young he won earlier this decade in Detroit. Stephen Strasburg is perhaps the best No. 2 in baseball, and Gio Gonzalez a great No. 3.
The Nats also reportedly are interested in signing former Cubs ace Jake Arrieta, who remains out there in free agency. That would easily give Washington the best rotation in baseball. The team might go all-in this year because superstar outfielder Bryce Harper will be a free agent next summer.
Also, keep in mind that the Nats lost outfielder and leadoff hitter left fielder Adam Eaton early last season with a knee injury but he has fully recovered. He’s a terrific all-around player. No holes on this team under new manager Dave Martinez. I like over here.
Miami Marlins (64)
Most every year there’s a 100-loss team in the majors. That means a maximum of 62 wins. Yet the Marlins are given a total of 64? Can you even name me five Marlins players? Of course, new ownership, led by Derek Jeter, staged a massive fire sale this offseason, trading superstar outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, last year’s MLB home-run leader, to the Yankees, as well as two other excellent outfielders, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna, to the Brewers and Cardinals, respectively.
All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon was sent to Seattle. Your projected Miami lineup right now is Cameron Maybin, Martin Prado, Starlin Castro (likely to be traded at some point in 2018), Justin Bour, JT Realmuto (also likely to be traded), Derek Dietrich, Lewis Brinson and JT Riddle. Their ace? Dan Straily.
Seriously, how many games will the Marlins be favored in this season? 25? The Nationals might go unbeaten against their division rivals (one reason I like the over). Miami isn’t winning more than 60 games. Go under, and feel sorry for Manager Don Mattingly.