Baseball SZN is almost upon us and I could not be happier. I came out of College Basketball up 30.09 units and that’s not even my favorite sport. Baseball is where it’s at and I’m going to try and blow that 30.09 out of the water with baseball season. These are the preseason bets I saw the most value in and put a little thought into before placing them. There’s a potential to make some real money here so if you’re smart you’ll #RideWithMac.
Zack Greinke’s velocity has taken a huge hit this season and he’s barely hitting 89 on the radar gun. Greinke and Miller are both starting the season on the DL and Shelby Miller could be out until late June. They have some good, young pieces on this team, but ultimately, they need more help on their pitching staff. I think the Diamondbacks are going to be extremely overvalued this season. They should have some success within their division, but they don’t matchup well with the rest of the MLB. Losing JD Martinez obviously doesn’t help and his replacement Steven Sousa is going to begin the season on the DL.
Red Sox o92
The Red Sox have one of the best rosters in the MLB and one of the best pitching staffs. Rick Porcello struggled after his CY Young season and David Price had a shaky season as well. I expect Price to come back strong and shake off all of the off the field distractions that he let get to him last season. Chris Sale is one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball and you can pretty much count on him for 15+ wins. Adding JD Martinez to an already stacked roster is only going to help the Red Sox as Martinez will be rounding the bases at Fenway often with the short fence in Right Field.
The Cubs have one of the most versatile lineups in the MLB and one of the better pitching staffs in the National League. The Cubs will get to play a bulk of their games against the Reds, Pirates, Cardinals and Brewers, all teams that they should be able to have winning records against. Kyle Schwarber is on a mission to make this season his breakout season and this comes after a season of 30 home runs even though he was not at the Major League level the whole season. Schwarber looks slim and he’s ready to mash balls all over the friendly confines. Ian Happ had a power surge in Spring Training and hopefully he can keep it up for the start of the season. The Cubs play their first month of the season against average to below average teams until they meet up with the Indians on April 24th, so they should be able to give themselves a nice cushion at the start of the season.
White Sox o70.5
As young as the White Sox are and as inconsistent their young pitchers have been, I think they can put together a 72 to 75 win season. That’s still under .500, which is exactly what I expect from them, but I think they’ll do too well to get a high draft pick and then when they do finish under .500 all the fans are going to say “well it’s a rebuilding year, just wait til 2020.” Yeah that’s not how baseball works. Prospects that are supposed to be legends do not always pan out. Take Mark Appel for example, the number 1 pick in the 2013 draft is retired (taking a break in his words) from baseball. Jorge Soler on the Cubs was supposed to be a guy that you could count on for 30 to 35 home runs a year and he never really panned out. Not all prospects play to their full potential and a lot of scouts overvalue young players.
The Brewers got a lot better this season and I’m a little worried that if the Cubs under perform, that the Brewers can catch up with them in the division. The Brewers played unexpectedly well at the beginning of last season and ended up 1st in home runs in the National League and 4th in ERA in the National League. I think Zach Davies and Chase Anderson will continue to have success like they had last season and the addition of Christian Yelich to their lineup will help them immensely. Domingo Santana made the list for top 10 Right Fielders this season and I expect his strike out rate to go down and home run rate to go up. This is going to be a dangerous Milwaukee team if they get hot at any point during the season.
Justin Turner is starting the season on the DL and the Dodgers starting Left Fielder as of now is Matt Kemp. I don’t think they have the same firepower that they had last year. They have the best pitcher in baseball in Clayton Kershaw, but he’s not always healthy and that could hurt their chances at getting over 96 wins this season. They will still win their division easily, but their pitching staff other than Kershaw can be questionable at times. There are too many chances at inconsistency for me to trust this Dodgers team to win over 96 games so I’m taking the under.
Cole Hamels, Doug Fister, Martin Perez, Matt Moore, Mike Minor and Joe Palumbo. I don’t really need to say much more than that. The starting pitchers for the Rangers are an obvious weak point and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that pitching is a huge part of baseball. Pitching can make or break a team, pretty simple, and these pitchers have more potential to break the Rangers than make the Rangers. I expect a pretty dismal season from the Rangers, sorry Rangers fans.
Most Home Runs
JD Martinez +400
This is a value bet if I’ve ever seen one. There’s a nice short fence in Right Field at Fenway and JD loves himself some oppo Yabos. I know the popular pick is going to be Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, but if Martinez is healthy, he’ll beat them both with ease. The Red Sox get to play some games in Yankee Stadium too and that’s a real short porch in Right Field for JD to mash some balls out of.
Home Run Total
There’s three guys that can easily hit 50 this year if they all stay healthy. Judge, Stanton and Martinez can hit upwards of 150 home runs between the three of them this year, so this one is a no brainer to me. Plus the balls are supposedly juiced and there was a huge influx in home runs last season and I expect the same this year. Chicks dig the long ball.
I think Paul Goldschmidt will have to blow this number out of the water in order for the D-Backs to win games this season. Goldy is always good for around 120 RBI per year, but he’s really going to have to step up his output for his team. Nolan Arenado is another pick that I like to surpass this number. Arenado got real hot towards the end of the year last season and was pouring in RBI left and right. I think he can do even better this season and might have a 140 RBI year.
Red Sox +150
This is another value bet and I think the Red Sox have a more complete team than the Yankees. The Yankees are the only team that the Red Sox really have to worry about in this division. The race in the AL East is always a tight one, but I expect the Red Sox to win it for the third year in a row.
The Cubs should be able to win their division by a couple games over the Brewers. The division will probably come down to the last few days of the season unfortunately, but I think the Cubs are the most complete and experienced team in the NL Central.
While I do think the Dodgers are going to be overvalued this season, they are still the best team in their division and should win it no problem. The Giants might surprise some people and be in the hunt at the end of the season, but ultimately will fall short to the Dodgers.
Teams to Make Playoffs
Like I said above, the Brewers have gotten a lot better this season and could even be a threat to win the division. They should be able to secure a Wild Card spot as they had one of the better off seasons among the National League teams.
The Angels are finally going to make the playoffs with Mike Trout and baseball fans everywhere should be happy to see the best player on the biggest stage. They’ve added Zack Cozart and Shohei Otani, and while they may not contribute for 15 more wins themselves, I think the rest of the Angels team has improved as well. I expect the Angels to grab the second Wild Card spot and play the Yankees in the play-in game.
Teams to Not Make Playoffs
The Cardinals are another team that I think are extremely overvalued this season. I don’t think adding Marcell Ozuna is going to change their season that much and Adam Wainwright is starting the season on the DL for them. Carlos Martinez is their best pitcher on their pitching staff, but he can’t carry them the whole season. Their offensive players are getting older and have been on the decline the past two seasons, with the exception of Yadi Molina (roids). I don’t want to bash the Cardinals too much, but they don’t have a great roster and they’ll have to play the Brewers and Cubs for a majority of the season and that’ll hurt them.
I like the Twins, but I don’t think this is their year. I don’t necessarily think it’s going to be their own fault that they don’t make the playoffs. There are a lot of teams in the American League that have gotten a lot better this off-season and it’ll show in the final standings. They can easily finish second in the AL Central this year, but I think the Wild Card is going to go to the Angels and Yankees.