MLB American League regular season win totals picks and predictions: The haves and have-nots

Mar 10, 2019 |

Now that both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado have both signed their mega deals with their new squads, we can finally take a proper look at MLB regular season win totals. We follow up with the American League which looks very top heavy in 2019 and may have have three 100-win teams for the second straight season. 

Odds courtesy The Superbook at Westgate.

AL EAST

Baltimore Orioles – O/U 59.5

Boy. Seasons don’t get much worse than the one the Orioles had in 2018. To the tune of 47 wins. That’s not a typo. 47. For a little perspective, the Orioles finished 61 games behind the division winning Red Sox in the AL East. Your initial reaction to the O’s number could be “That sure is low,” but oddsmakers just can’t bring themselves to make it any lower. Baltimore didn’t make any improvements to the roster that couldn’t score and couldn’t pitch. The farm system is bare. The outlook isn’t great. They can’t lose 115 games again. Right? Either way a 13-win improvement seems unlikely.

PREDICTION: Under 59.5

Boston Red Sox – O/U 94.5

The defending World Series champs might have some issues in the coming years, but 2019 should be no problem. They will trot out essentially the exact same squad that won a franchise record 108 games and a Major League leading 876 runs last season. The outfield may be the best trio in baseball and they solidified their rotation by resigning Nathan Eovaldi. If there is one area of concern its in the bullpen after letting Craig Kimbrell and Joe Kelly walk in free agency. However, that’s something Dave Dombrowski can easily address mid-season. And those concerns won’t amount to 14 fewer wins.

PREDICTION: Over 94.5

New York Yankees – O/U 96.5

The Yankees are saddled with having the highest win total (along with the Astros) in baseball for 2019 at 96.5. The Bronx Bombers lived up to their name last season setting the Major League record for home runs in a single season with 267. And they’re poised to challenge that number this season. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton anchor as dangerous a lineup as there is in baseball. Their talented youngsters a year older and they have some low risk high reward signings like Troy Tulowitzki and D.J. LaMahieu in the mix. The rotation was one of the Yanks’ weakness last season, so they swapped Sonny Gray for James Paxton and resigned J.A. Happ and C.C. Sabathia for stability. But the big reason a lot of people like New York to win the East and more in 2019 is the insanely good bullpen. They even upgraded that this offseason signing Adam Ottavino. It would take a lot to go wrong for this number to Under.

PREDICTION: Over 96.5

Tampa Bay Rays – O/U 84.5

The Rays were one of the biggest surprises of the 2018 season, winning 90 games behind Cy Young winner Blake Snell (boy can this organization pump out pitchers) and manager Kevin Cash’s revolutionary “Opener” strategy. This is a really hard team to peg heading into 2019. Charlie Morton was a nice signing, but they also traded away some good young pieces in Mallex Smith and Jake Bauers. They hit for contact. But no power. It’s just hard to the “Opener” being as successful this season.

PREDICTION: Under 84.5

Toronto Blue Jays – O/U 75.5

The Blue Jays rebuild is in full swing in 2019, but the future isn’t too far off. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Co. should see significant playing time this season. There are rebuild lineups much worse off than this one, and the rotation has depth behind Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez. That said, they and the other remaining holdovers on the roster could be shipped off come July and there are bound to be growing pains.

PREDICTION: Under 75.5

 

AL CENTRAL

Chicago White Sox – O/U – 74

The White Sox offseason has to be considered a disappointment. They thought they had a legitimate shot at both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado and came up 0-for-2. But there is some hope on the horizon for the South Siders. Yoan Moncada and Reynaldo Lopez highlight the Pale Hose young talent. They also brought in guys like Yonder Alonso, Alex Colome and Ivan Nova. In a division that projects to be the worst in the MLB they could maybe have a breakout year. But there are still just a few too many holes up and down the roster.

PREDICTION: Under 74

Cleveland Indians – O/U 91

Cleveland has got be the most baffling organization in baseball right now. They traded away Edwin Encarnacion and Yan Gomes and let Andrew Miller, Michael Brantley, Josh Donaldson and many more walk in free agency. It’s also been rumored they’ve been trying to move Corey Kluber. But if Kluber sticks around the rotation will be strong. Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez are great, but the quality in the lineup drops pretty drastically behind them. And it’s sounding like Lindor will start the season on the DL. Last year’s team won just 91 games and with all the subtractions it seems unlikely they reach that number again this season.

PREDICTION: Under 91

Detroit Tigers – O/U 69.5

Who else is pumped for Miguel Cabrera’s comeback season!? That’s pretty much all Tigers fans can look forward to in 2019. Detroit would probably love to move on from this generation’s greatest right-handed hitter, but it’s still one the hook for at least $154 million. They tried to solidify the rotation, bringing in veterans Matt Moore and Tyson Ross, but they haven’t been good since 2015. On top of it all, the farm system is still pretty bare.

PREDICTION: Under 69.5

Kansas City Royals – O/U 69.5

Have we mentioned how bad the Central is going to be this year? Well, the Royals may be the epitome of that. Kansas City is another team in the middle of a rebuild, but with a farm system that is lacking. Watching Adalberto Mondesi will be fun, and the pitching rotation is surprisingly adequate. But there is no lineup depth, especially now that Salvador Perez is out for the year with Tommy John surgery and a bullpen that was one of the worst in baseball saw little improvement.

PREDICTION: Under 69.5

Minnesota Twins – O/U 84

Finally. Something positive to say about the Central. The Twins had a down year last season after reaching the Wild Card game the year before and went out had themselves quite the offseason. Minnesota signed Jonathan Schoop, C.J. Cron, Marwin Gonzalez and Nelson Cruz. Byron Buxton is primed to have a bounce-back season and the rotation is solid. The Twins could surprise a lot of people this season and is my pick to win the Central.

PREDICTION: Over 84

 

AL West

Houston Astros – O/U 96.5

The Astros unsurprisingly are the other team with the highest regular season win total at 96.5. Houston won 103 games last season and had the MLB’s best run difference. Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa or Alex Bregman are all legitimate MVP candidates. The lineup was already dangerous as they come, and all they did was add Michael Brantley, one of the purest hitters in the league. If there is a weakness, it’s the backend of the rotation, but Houston can still make some moves to address that and they still have one of the deepest farm systems in baseball, so reinforcements aren’t far off.

PREDICTION: Over 96.5

Los Angeles Angels – O/U 82.5

This number seems perfect for the Angels. They have averaged 79.8 wins a season over the last four yeas. And you always think the Halos are on the verge of breaking out, but in the end, they seem to fall around the .500 mark. And the whole world thinks, “Another wasted year for Mike Trout.” The lineup is strong, especially if they can get healthy. (It will be a few months before Shohei Ohtani can hit, and Zack Cozart is already banged up). Cody Allen instantly improves what was a mediocre bullpen at best. But the problem here is the rotation. No, Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill are not the answer. And if the Angels aren’t world beaters on offense, it could be another lost season in the Trout era. Luckily, for them the Mariners are taking a big step back and the Rangers are in rebuild mode.

PREDICTION: Over 82.5

Oakland Athletics – O/U 83.5

The A’s came out of nowhere last season to win a whopping 97 games last season. They did it mostly by outslugging their opponents and a terrific bullpen, while getting by with a mish-mash of average starters. The A’s were another team to employ the “Opener” strategy and 2019 looks to be more of the same. They sign so-so pitchers Mike Fiers and Marco Estrada, while bringing in Jurickson Profar to replace the departed Jed Lowrie. Not many teams do more with less than the A’s, but same as with the Rays, this strategy seems hard to back in consecutive seasons.

PREDICTION: Under 83.5

Seattle Mariners – O/U 71.5

The Mariners were oh so close to ending their playoff drought reeling off 89 wins last season. And what do their fans have to show for it? A fire sale! Yup, it’s rebuild time in Seattle. Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, James Paxton, Edwin Diaz, Jean Segura and Mike Zunino are all out. There is some talent left on the roster with the likes of Kyle Seager, Dee Gordon and newly acquired Edwin Encarnacion all around. The rotation is unspectacular. And any of those veterans could be moved midseason. And while Seattle is accumulating assets, they won’t help in 2019.

PREDICTION: Under 71.5

Texas Rangers – O/U 71.5

The Rangers are yet another American League team in rebuild mode. They won just 67 games last season thanks to an offense that can basically only score when it hits home runs and a pitching staff that was one of the worst in baseball. They brought in some re-tread arms for this season, but no one that inspires any confidence. This one is just getting started.

PREDICTION: Under 71.5

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