The first set of Major League Baseball win totals hit the market Tuesday night, roughly eight weeks before Opening Day.
For the sixth straight year, Steve Mikkelson, sportsbook manager at that Atlantis casino in Reno, Nev., is first up with MLB season win totals. After some heavy prep and reading, Mikkelson, a lifelong, diehard baseball fan, posted projected win totals on all 30 MLB teams at approximately 5:30 p.m. PT.
"I always feel like baseball gets short-changed at sportsbooks," Mikkelson told Covers.com in a phone interview Tuesday night. "So, being a huge baseball fan, I like getting them up and being first."
The Philadelphia Phillies are set at 95.5 wins, the highest total of any team. The Houston Astros were listed at 62.5, the lowest of any team.
“My real win total on the Astros would have been like 57.5,” Mikkelson said. “But I can’t post that, so I had to go with 62.5. I would bet, when all the numbers come out, I believe that number will be closer to 66 than 62.”
In the American League, Mikkelson favors Prince Fielder and the Detroit Tigers with 94.5 wins in the AL Central; the Texas Rangers (94.5) in the AL West, and the New York Yankees (93.5) in the AL East.
In the National League, the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals (87.5) are the favorites in the NL Central. The San Francisco Giants at 87.5 are the favorites in the NL West, and, of course, the Phillies in the NL East.
The Toronto Blue Jays, at 81 wins, are the only team that Mikkelson didn’t tack on a half-game to their total.
“The reason for that is I really think they’re going to be .500,” said Mikkelson. “I looked at 80.5 and said, ‘I’d bet the over, and at 81.5, I’d bet the under.’”
The Atlanta Braves also forced Mikkelson some grief.
“Everything I read from everyone expects the Braves to be a lot worse this year. A lot of folks said they’re in the 80 to 82 range,” said Mikkelson, who set the Braves win total at 86.5. “But I like the Braves and think they have a solid team.”
The Washington Nationals saw the biggest increase in projected wins, according to Mikkelson.
“I underestimated them last year, but they played a lot better,” said Mikkelson. “Last year, I think I had the Nationals right at 70 wins; this year, I’ve got them at 80.5”
In addition to the season win totals, Mikkelson released season prop bets including:
--Total number of no-hitters 2.5
--Highest batting average .348
--Highest win total for team – 98
--Highest loss total for team – 101.5
Limits are $500. Teams must play a minimum of 160 regular season games for action.
2012 Major League Baseball Season Win Totals
(Odds courtesy Atlantis Casino sportsbook, Reno, Nev.)
Arizona Diamondbacks 84.5
Atlanta Braves 86.5
Baltimore Orioles 70.5
Boston Red Sox 87.5
Chicago Cubs 73.5
Chicago White Sox 76.5
Cincinnati Reds 86.5 (-120o)
Cleveland Indians 75.5
Colorado Rockies 82.5
Detroit Tigers 94.5
Houston Astros 62.5
Kansas City Royals 78.5
Los Angeles Angels 89.5
Los Angeles Dodgers 81.5
Miami Marlins 82.5
Milwaukee Brewers 82.5
Minnesota Twins 74.5 (-120u)
New York Mets 74.5 (-120u)
New York Yankees 93.5 (-120u)
Oakland Athletics 72.5
Philadelphia Phillies 95.5
Pittsburgh Pirates 73.5 (-120u)
San Diego Padres 70.5
San Francisco Giants 87.5
Seattle Mariners 72.5
St. Louis Cardinals 87.5 (-120u)
Tampa Bay Rays 87.5
Texas Rangers 94.5
Toronto Blue Jays 81
Washington Nationals 80.5