Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Picking the best MLB over-under bet for 2018

Grant Brisbee’s latest.

The first step is to rummage through and get some quick thoughts. The Dodgers and Astros being at 96.5 seems high, just because it’s hard for any team to count on 97 wins. On the other hand, both teams are loaded and deep, and if something breaks, they’ll trade prospects for glue. The Marlins seem like a lock to lose 100 games, except it’s really, really hard for teams to lose 100 games. Baseball doesn’t like extremes.

I would like to take a break and point out that I’m entirely confident in the Mariners winning exactly 81.5 games. It would be the crowning achievement of Mariners-dom.

Brian White Posted: February 24, 2018 at 09:33 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: gambling

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. zachtoma Posted: February 24, 2018 at 09:20 PM (#5630096)
I was gonna say Giants over instinctively but 87.5 seems a little bit aggressive honestly. They were never a true-talent 98-loss team and they've added some decent talent this year, but it looks like the betting lines have more than adjusted for that.

EDIT: That was their 2017 line which... lol. They are at 81.5 for 2018, that seems closer to the mark, I might take it.

Honestly, one that jumps out at me is Kansas City 71.5. UNDER. That team is bad, they could easily be the worst in baseball this year.

Miami at 64.5...OVER. They still have some decent players left, and they get to play the Phillies and the Braves like 30-40 times.

Milwaukee 84.5...UNDER...regression year.

San Diego 69.5...tempted to take the OVER

Tampa Bay 77.5...UNDER, Texas 77.5...OVER

TFA settles of A's OVER 74.5 which seems like a reasonably good pick too.
   2. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: February 24, 2018 at 09:40 PM (#5630099)
I like the White Sox OVER at 68.5. There are three bad teams in that division and with 19 games against each one of the three is going to wind up at 75 or up and the White Sox look like the team best equipped to pull that off.

I’ll quibble with your 64.5 OVER bet on the Marlins. There are two things at work. One is the intangible aspect that I suspect that clubhouse is just ####### toxic right now. They have to be miserable. The tangible aspect is that guys like Realmuto and Bour are going to get shipped out. They could be bad to start the year then go something like 15-40 after the deadline.
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: February 24, 2018 at 11:16 PM (#5630110)
Nationals at 92 seems to be the safest over on the planet. They are in a division in which 3 teams are actively trying to not win.. (Braves, Phillies and Marlins) if the Nationals lose 3/5ths of their rotation to Tommy John Surgery they still likely break 92 wins.
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: February 24, 2018 at 11:20 PM (#5630112)
I'm not sure I'm getting the fangraphs projection the NL east is projected to win 90(nationals) 81(Mets) 74 Phillies, 73(Braves) 64 Marlins....I'm just not seeing how that is even possible. (although I guess it aligns with the NL east record last year as that comes out to about a 77 win average)
   5. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 24, 2018 at 11:46 PM (#5630118)
The Phillies aren't actively trying to not win anymore. They have now brought up to the majors all the players they expect to someday win with, instead of a bunch of stopgaps like Cody Asche. I don't think they have anyone they intend to trade at the deadline this year for more prospects, except relief pitchers.

Maybe the day they someday win... will be today.
   6. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: February 25, 2018 at 12:03 AM (#5630119)
I disagree with the Brewers having a regression year. I admit that losing Jimmy Nelson is a big loss. But here are the positives.

1. Chase Anderson missed six weeks last year. He might never have an ERA under three again, but I think he's solid.
2. Junior Guerra is healthy and resumed his yearly winter ball routine, where he pitched well. He might bounce back big.
3. Matt Garza and Wily Peralta are gone forever. So is Neftali Feliz trying to be a closer.
4. Matt Albers won't be the 2017 Nationals version, but he should at least be better than Carlos Torres.
5. Josh Hader is here for the full year. He came up in June last season.
6. Lots of potential minor league pitching reinforcements - Brandon Woodruff, Aaron Wilkerson, Taylor Williams, Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta.

1. Jonathan Villar stunk last year after watching Robinson Cano at the WBC for 3 weeks in spring training. Bounce-back potential.
2. Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain are on the team and Brett Phillips and Keon Broxton will be in AAA for depth.
3. Ryan Braun was banged up last year and you never know how it's going to go with these older guys. Bounce-back potential.
4. Orlando Arcia won't be 24 until mid-summer, and his bat should keep getting better.
5. IMO, Eric Thames isn't very good and I am keeping my fingers crossed that Braun takes the bulk of the 1B starts.

The Pirates and Reds might both be mediocre this year, so the Brewers hopefully get it done against them.
I don't know why the Brewers staff is thought of so poorly. They had an ERA+ of 110 last season. I don't want them to sign a pitcher.
I'm going with a nice round 90 wins. They have a potentially great lineup. Villar - Yelich - Cain - Shaw - Braun - Santana - Arcia - Pina.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: February 25, 2018 at 12:33 AM (#5630121)
I don't know that I'd be making any over/under bets until I see where the rest of the FAs land. For all we know, in the next couple of weeks the Brewers will sign Arrieta and trade Santana for a 2B or reliever.

I get the feeling it's almost impossible to get a projection as bad as I think the Marlins are going to be. Just through the process of adding up a bunch of .6 WARs (plus a few decent ones), the Marlins seem to project to something like 20-22 WAR so 68 wins or so. Who am I to argue that Miguel Rojas and Rafael Ortega are over-projected at nearly 1 WAR -- I've never heard of either guy.

So the Royals also look awful. Their #4 projected position player is already Raul Mondesi Jr at 0.9; their #5 has a top comp of Jonathan Herrera. Even so, they seem to push through to 10 WAR on offense and maybe another 12+ on pitching.
   8. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: February 25, 2018 at 01:23 AM (#5630125)
JAKE ARRIETA......I just want to know if he was pitching hurt at all the last two years.
If you combine his final 16 starts of 2016 with his first 16 starts of 2017, he has a 4.55 ERA over 188 innings.
His WHIP was a respectable 1.27, but I would be kinda scared to give him over $20 million a year.
He bounced back very nicely in July / August last year, did he just have a dead arm period?
   9. Endless Trash Posted: February 25, 2018 at 02:09 AM (#5630127)
It would take a miracle for Tampa to hit 78, no? That one really stands out to me.

BTW the Marlins are +50,000 to win the World Series.
   10. bfan Posted: February 25, 2018 at 09:01 AM (#5630144)
They are in a division in which 3 teams are actively trying to not win.. (Braves,


I do not think this is correct. Not being a patsy for the latest over-priced FA that Scott Boras happens to be peddling is not actively trying not to win. If the Braves were actively trying not to win, at a minimum they would have flipped Tyler Flowers, a very good catcher who will not be a part of the next great Braves team.

We all know what actively trying not to win is; it is moving Orzuna; Yelich; and Stanton (or, in the Braves case, Kimbrell, Simmons and Justin Upton).

Really, it made no sense for the Braves to spend on Darvish or Arrieta, with the young arms they have coming up in the next few years (and for whom they need to provide MLB innings, to gain experience). It made no sense for them to sign DH in waiting JD Martinez.
   11. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: February 25, 2018 at 12:11 PM (#5630190)
The Phillies aren't actively trying to not win anymore. They have now brought up to the majors all the players they expect to someday win with, instead of a bunch of stopgaps like Cody Asche. I don't think they have anyone they intend to trade at the deadline this year for more prospects, except relief pitchers.

Maybe the day they someday win... will be today.


Scott Kingery might end up in the minors for another year, so he's the one prospect with shine left. I'm generally unexcited about all these young players -- they all seem like 2 WAR players -- who are going to be stars? But they aren't Darin Ruf and Cody Asche, either.

I'd sure like them to get a FA starter. I'm unenthused about any of their starters beyond Nola. Maybe one or two become back of the rotation starters, but if they are thinking about contending for 2019 into the early 20s, they will need starting pitching.
   12. eddieot Posted: February 25, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5630215)
The Phillies aren't actively trying to not win anymore. They have now brought up to the majors all the players they expect to someday win with, instead of a bunch of stopgaps like Cody Asche. I don't think they have anyone they intend to trade at the deadline this year for more prospects, except relief pitchers.

True but their projected payroll right now is $10M below the Rays so they're not exactly trying to win either. Why the union isn't complaining about them is beyond me. They have the third richest media market to themselves.

Still Vegas expects them to win 9.5 games more than last year. That's quite a bump up but I'm holding out hope they'll still sign a decent starter (or even two?). If the current rotation can step up just a bit, they add a veteran and whatever freaky voodoo Kapler is selling works I can squint and see them winning 76 or more.
   13. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: February 25, 2018 at 02:11 PM (#5630235)
Pirates under 73 is free money this year. That team is tanking.
   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 25, 2018 at 02:42 PM (#5630243)
One is the intangible aspect that I suspect that clubhouse is just ####### toxic right now. They have to be miserable.
No, they signed Cameron Maybin for veteran presence, so it's all good now.
   15. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: February 25, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5630251)
I would like to see MLB cut back a little on the division games. Maybe play home and away 4-game series against non-division foes.
This would result in approximately 80 non-division games, 62 division games and 20 interleague. I'm sick of watching the Brewers
play the Cubs, Reds, Pirates, and Cardinals 18 times each. Cutting it down to 15 or 16 would at least be a little better.
   16. Sunday silence Posted: February 25, 2018 at 03:37 PM (#5630260)
If you look at the fangraphs pre season analysis, it has the Mets roster at about 40 WAR suggesting a 90 win season or so. Of course they are careful to say that you are not supposed to use WAR for predictions. But Sh!t if you cant make informed guesses about a how team will perform based on WAR then I dont want the whole point of WAR is. Of course there are always going to be issues with injuries and player usage.

Another caveat is that the Mets starting pitching is especially thin with nothing much after deGrom and Thor.

ANd this survey was done a couple months ago so it may not be upto date with any recent acquisitions

but still 40 WAR is 40 WAR. No?

LINK: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2018-zips-projections-pittsburgh-pirates/

the graphic link at the top links to all the teams.
   17. Sunday silence Posted: February 25, 2018 at 03:57 PM (#5630263)
If you look at the fangraphs pre season analysis, it has the Mets roster at about 35 WAR suggesting a 85 win season or so. Of course they are careful to say that you are not supposed to use WAR for predictions. But Sh!t if you cant make informed guesses about a how team will perform based on WAR then I dont want the whole point of WAR is. Of course there are always going to be issues with injuries and player usage.

Another caveat is that the Mets starting pitching is especially thin with nothing much after deGrom and Thor.

ANd this survey was done a couple months ago so it may not be upto date with any recent acquisitions

but still 35 WAR is 35 WAR. No?

LINK: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2018-zips-projections-pittsburgh-pirates/

the graphic link at the top links to all the teams.

EDIT TO CORRECT THE PREVIOUS POST. STUPID EDIT FUNCTION TIMES OUT>,,,,
   18. Walt Davis Posted: February 25, 2018 at 06:11 PM (#5630333)
Well, ZiPS seems very high on some pretty marginal players. Conforto at 3.7 WAR is certainly within the realm of understanding -- but in just 513 PA? Seems optimistic (he did have a very nice year). Lagares at 1.6 WAR in just 366 PA -- that's a 2.8 WAR player. d'Arnaud and Plawecki combining for 3-3.5 WAR in a full season? I have no idea who Victor Cruzado is (or even his top comp Ntema Ndungidi) and I'm a bit doubtful he can produce 0.8 WAR in 376 PA.

Still I suppose the offense isn't outlandish. They hit a full season's worth of position player PAs somewhere around selecting 2 of Reyes, Evans, Nido, Nimmo, Urena, Rivera, Cruzado and that all adds up to about 22-23 WAR. An average set of position players would be around 18 WAR, so that's not outlandish -- would have put them 5th/6th in the NL last year. It is about 9 WAR better than what they did last year and it's hard to see why that would be expected. But good news Mets fans -- this projection doesn't include Frazier or Bruce. Bruce probably doesn't help much but Frazier adds another win or two.

HOLY ####### #### METS FANS!! Brandon Nimmo's #1 comp -- Rich Becker!!
   19. Walt Davis Posted: February 25, 2018 at 06:30 PM (#5630344)
Oh yeah, pitching .... by ZiPS the rotation of Noah, deGrom, Matz, Molina, Gsellman, Conlon, Harvey eats up the SP innings ... and Boscan, (not that one) Oswalt and Lugo reasonable extra SP options as long as it's not Noah or deGrom starts they're filling in for. That's about 14 WAR of SP ... hmmm, that would have been #4 overall last year and a 11 WAR improvement. Half of that improvement would be Noah and Matz so that's certainly possible, rather doubtful about the remaining improvement. The pen is "projected" to 6-7 WAR (depending on Familia) which would have been the top of the NL range last year (#5 to #1 is conveniently 6-7) and a 3-4 win improvement.

So yeah, I think I'll stop using ZiPS projected WAR as a quick and dirty way to judge team quality. Or cut it in half or something. I'm not sure what the issue is -- maybe none -- but it seems way too optimistic here. Apparently I've been risking a karate chop for a few years now.
   20. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 25, 2018 at 07:13 PM (#5630366)
Traditionally I place one Under bet each season and normally pick on a NL Central club. I had to sweat out the Reds under last year until the final week, leaning Pirates this year but will wait to see how rosters shake out in a few weeks.
   21. Rusty Priske Posted: February 26, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5630499)
I think the Blue Jays will be over 81 wins fairly easily.

That doesn't mean I think they are a playoff team or anything.
   22. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: February 26, 2018 at 10:23 AM (#5630508)
He bounced back very nicely in July / August last year, did he just have a dead arm period?


Batters started laying off the slider and he lost the 2015 pinpoint command of it, so he could no longer paint it for strikes when he needed to. He gets the command back in fits and starts, but not consistently and sometimes not even for a whole game.

Pirates under 73 is free money this year. That team is tanking.


Yeah, this would be my bet.
   23. PreservedFish Posted: February 26, 2018 at 10:47 AM (#5630516)
ZiPS seems bizarrely in love with the Mets. The system is even more optimistic about Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario than Mets fanboys are.
   24. TDF, trained monkey Posted: February 26, 2018 at 11:08 AM (#5630526)
The Reds will be a .500 team this year, barring a repeat of last year when every single SP lost significant time to injury (including the top-2 missing the entire season combining for 18 starts). Take the over.
   25. Rally Posted: February 26, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5630654)
If you look at the fangraphs pre season analysis, it has the Mets roster at about 35 WAR suggesting a 85 win season or so. Of course they are careful to say that you are not supposed to use WAR for predictions. But Sh!t if you cant make informed guesses about a how team will perform based on WAR then I dont want the whole point of WAR is. Of course there are always going to be issues with injuries and player usage.


If you want to use it for predictions you've got to look at relative WAR. I know the sites all set the definition of replacement level to a 48 win team. But the pre-season WAR for all 30 teams averages out to 35.4. Mets are at 37.7, so that looks like an 83 win team in a balanced schedule, but then Fangraphs shows their win projection at 81-81. The difference is probably scheduling, maybe playing the AL East for interleague will hurt a bit.

My guess is injuries account for projected WAR for MLB being about 1060, while by definition it will end up at 1000.
   26. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 26, 2018 at 04:22 PM (#5630754)
The Reds will be a .500 team this year, barring a repeat of last year when every single SP lost significant time to injury (including the top-2 missing the entire season combining for 18 starts). Take the over.

I was going to recommend taking the under. It's a tough division with teams that have improved in MIL and STL, and their home/home interleague series is with the Indians (another top contender). Maybe the CIN pitching comes back and they're better, but I'd be more likely to suspect 65-97 than 81-81.
   27. PreservedFish Posted: February 26, 2018 at 04:43 PM (#5630769)
The Reds will be a .500 team this year, barring a repeat of last year when every single SP lost significant time to injury (including the top-2 missing the entire season combining for 18 starts).


Not really seeing this. Were those injured SPs any good? And do the Reds somehow replicate the boffo years they got from Zack Cozart and Scooter Gennett? Heck, Votto could have a slightly worse year but still All-Star quality year and it would drop them 2 wins.
   28. Khrushin it bro Posted: February 26, 2018 at 06:04 PM (#5630805)
I bet my buddy that the A's would have a better record than the Giants, was that stupid?
   29. bfan Posted: February 26, 2018 at 06:30 PM (#5630810)
I bet my buddy that the A's would have a better record than the Giants, was that stupid?


Yes, it was stupid to bet with a buddy, because at the end of the transaction, one of you will resent the other.
   30. TDF, trained monkey Posted: February 26, 2018 at 06:44 PM (#5630815)
Were those injured SPs any good?
DeSclafani: 2015/16 - 308 IP, 3.74 ERA, 4.3 bWAR 2017: DNP
Finnegan: 2016 - 172 IP, 3.98 ERA, 2.3 bWAR 2017: 13 IP

Granted, those hurt included Homer Bailey and John Lamb, but the Reds were left with:

Tim Adelman lead the team with 122 IP. He's now pitching in Korea.
Scott Feldman was 2nd on the team with 111 IP. He's currently out of a job.
Bronson Arroyo made 14 starts after 2 full seasons out of baseball. He retired mid-year due to embarrassment.
   31. Khrushin it bro Posted: February 26, 2018 at 07:26 PM (#5630819)
Yes, it was stupid to bet with a buddy, because at the end of the transaction, one of you will resent the other.


Haha ok, we only bet a night's rounds worth of beers and play softball together. He's a Giants fan and I prefer the A's. I meant will I win said wager.
   32. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 26, 2018 at 09:19 PM (#5630850)
I do not think you will win said wager.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
.
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogSmith, Baines elected to Baseball Hall of Fame
(168 - 9:11am, Dec 10)
Last: Fernigal McGunnigle

NewsblogWill the A's be in the air next season? Signals are fuzzy.
(7 - 9:04am, Dec 10)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogThibs' Hall of Fame Tracker
(376 - 9:01am, Dec 10)
Last: Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!)

Hall of MeritHarold Baines
(29 - 9:00am, Dec 10)
Last: progrockfan

Hall of MeritMock Hall of Fame Ballot 2019
(58 - 1:19am, Dec 10)
Last: The Run Fairy

NewsblogFormer Miami Marlins president gives his take on A-Rod, Bonds, Girardi and much more
(14 - 12:54am, Dec 10)
Last: Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network)

NewsblogOT - NBA Thread (2018-19 season kickoff edition)
(3423 - 12:45am, Dec 10)
Last: there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135

NewsblogLance Armstrong is mad he gets more criticism than A-Rod, saying “Alex Rodriguez didn’t raise half a billion dollars”
(68 - 10:42pm, Dec 09)
Last: Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant

NewsblogOT: Soccer Thread (The Berhalter Thread?)
(91 - 10:36pm, Dec 09)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature

NewsblogChinese To Own Louisville Slugger And Wilson, Iconic MLB Bat And Glove Brands
(26 - 10:16pm, Dec 09)
Last: Jose Canusee

Hall of Merit2019 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(270 - 9:33pm, Dec 09)
Last: bachslunch

Hall of MeritMock 2019 Today’s Game Hall of Fame Ballot
(56 - 8:57pm, Dec 09)
Last: Bleed the Freak

Sox TherapyThe Band Is Back Together...Now What?
(14 - 7:26pm, Dec 09)
Last: Davo and his Moose Tacos

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (December 2018)
(398 - 5:23pm, Dec 09)
Last: Master of the Horse

NewsblogOT - 2018 NFL thread
(104 - 4:54pm, Dec 09)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

Page rendered in 0.3820 seconds
48 querie(s) executed