Now that we have passed Memorial Day, we generally should have a good idea who teams are in Major League Baseball with the dog days of summer ahead. Here are five teams that are expected to have worse records this year than last and what their projected wins totals were at back in the spring.
MLB Win Total Betting Prediction for the 2017 Season
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) May 28, 2017
Chicago Cubs (96.5)
Of course the Cubs won the 2016 World Series to end their 108-yard title drought. They led the majors with 103 regular-season wins but there’s no chance the Cubbies get to that number or even that 96.5 mark as they are hovering around .500. The rotation has given up 39 home runs in 49 games. And that’s well ahead of their pace from one season ago when they gave up 108 in 162 games. The Cubs led the league in ERA last year. The Cubs are also hitting an NL-low .217 with men in scoring position, and the defense has been subpar. The Cubs have been swept three times this year after enduring that only twice all of last season.
Kansas City Royals (75.5)
The Royals might top that win total of 75.5 but they aren’t going to reach the 81-win mark they did last year. The Royals still rank last in the majors in runs scored, but the good news is that they start a 10-game homestand this week against the Tigers, Indians and Astros. By taking two of three from the Tribe in Cleveland over the weekend, the Royals recorded their first series win over an A.L. Central opponent this season and first since taking two-of- three at Detroit last September 23-25. More bad news, ace Danny Duffy is expected to miss 6-8 weeks with a Grade 1-plus strain of his oblique. Duffy was knocked around for six runs over just four innings in Sunday’s loss to the Indians and now figures to be sidelined through mid-to- late July.
Texas Rangers (85.5)
The Rangers won the AL West with 95 wins last year but won’t get to that number after losing ace pitcher Cole Hamels for two months. Hamels threw last week in back-to- back days no side effects from throwing for the first time in three weeks. He will also increase his workouts and have his strained right oblique examined next week. “Just the initial plan was it takes three weeks to heal and build back up, and then just stretching it back out,” Hamels said. “I’m not starting at the bottom, but I think I’m pretty close. I think I can accelerate quickly, but I want to be safe. I don’t want to have to think about it.” There’s been no change in the eight-week recovery timetable the Rangers initially outlined for Hamels back on May 3, so it’s not expected that he’ll rejoin the rotation until shortly before the All-Star break.
Toronto Blue Jays (85.5)
The Blue Jays made the playoffs for the second straight season in 2016, finishing at 89-73 and earning a wild-card spot. It would take a minor miracle for that to happen again with the Jays last in the AL East. Francisco Liriano (shoulder) will rejoin the Blue Jays’ rotation this weekend. The exact day hasn’t been determined yet, but Liriano felt good during a rehab start Sunday at Triple-A Buffalo. The left-hander has been on the shelf for nearly three weeks with inflammation in his pitching shoulder. Over the last 3 weeks, the Blue Jays have gone 13-6, gaining 4 games in the AL East standings over that time. In fact, Houston is the only team in MLB in the last 21 days with a better record (14-5). Too little too late.
New York Mets (87.5)
The Mets made the playoffs last year with an 87-75 mark. But injuries, mainly to ace Noah Syndergaard and top hitter Yoenis Cespedes, have ruined this year’s team. Syndergaard is happy with the progress he’s made while rehabbing his partially torn lat muscle. But he has “no clue” when he will resume throwing, and there remains no prospective date for his return to the big leagues. The team placed Syndergaard on the 10-day DL May 1 after an MRI revealed the tear. They transferred him to the 60-day DL a week later — making it highly unlikely he will return before the All-Star break. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Monday that the club hopes Yoenis Cespedes (quad, hamstring) will be ready in 7-10 days. Cespedes originally landed on the disabled list in late April with a left hamstring injury, but he was held out of a rehab game over the weekend with right quad soreness.