Nightghost looks at each MLB team’s expected pitching matchups throughout ALL of 2020 and projects their win totals, then heads to Vegas to get down on some futures!
This is my analysis of each team’s win/loss over/unders. What I did was try and project each pitching matchup over the course of the season and see where each team lies. I assessed based on projections, matchups, schedule, injuries etc. I then took the numbers I came up with for each team and then compared them to multiple books totals to see how far off the numbers were. I picked my actual bets based on the room for variance within my projected total and the books offered total. Here is what I came up with:
New York Yankees (43-17)
The Yankees should have no problem winning this division and possible the best record in baseball if they can stay healthy. What I found with the Yankees is that outside of their first 10 games, and their matchups with the Rays, the Yankees may have the easiest schedule out there. When analyzing their matchups against the other teams in the AL and NL East, the Yankees project to face a majority of 3-4-5 pitchers in their opponent’s rotations. With a win total of 37.5 being offered at almost even money I find enough room with the depth of the yankees lineup and pitching to make a small play on the over 37.5. It’s very possible that Masahiro Tanaka winds u leading this team in wins on the year over Cole and Paxton which is why I have been drafting Tanaka everywhere I can.
Tampa Bay Rays (40-20)
I am very confident in this team to secure the first Wild Card spot IF they don’t wind up taking the division from the Yankees. This pitching staff may be the deepest in the AL let alone the AL East so I am expecting a lot of big things from them this season. My win total for the Rays came in at 40 wins (remember, this is all predicated on an ideal situation so I am looking for the room in the listed win totals in justifying my play). The Rays total comes in at 33.5 which to me is very low. I find that the Yankees will have more of a chance to be riddled with injuries (outside of covid), so a division title for the Rays in this race is very much possible. I project both the Rays and Yanks to open up a little slow and both teams starting out to a 6-4 type record. August 1st through the 27th will be solely division matchups for the Rays which should allow them to stock pile wins in matchups against all four teams. The run scoring will be my biggest concern for the rays and always has been which is why they’re a team I usually stay away from. Their pitching lead them to a top 3 finish in terms of runs against in 2019 and they should be able to produce the same way this season while also getting a healthy Blake Snell back from surgery. I will be playing the Rays over 33.5 and also making a small play on them to win the AL East at +350.
Boston Red Sox (31-29)
This team won’t make the playoffs this year and wont be getting any preseason plays from me. My projected win total for the Sox came in at 31. The line being offered on the Sox is 30. There’s not enough room for me to make a play on this team on either side. What I do look forward to with the Sox is their matchups against the Yankees, O’s, Jays, etc. The Sox lineup is still a run producing high octane offense so we will be making a lot of plays on this team in terms of over unders. This team’s rotation and bullpen are atrocious so a .500 finish is about the ceiling I see for this team coming in.
Toronto Blue Jays (24-36)
This is a team that I will enjoy watching this year but won’t be playing much action on either. Their expected win total from the books is 27.5. This is a team that I hope starts producing offensively with the young name they have but the rotation is going to make competing very difficult. While they went and added Hyun Jin Ryu and Tanner Roark to their staff, I don’t see Ryu being able to reproduce his numbers from last year. Ryu should finish as the best pitcher on the team (which obviously isn’t saying much), so outside of his starts and a few Roark starts, the Jays will do more for their development than actual competing. I will not be making a play on their total but if I had to, I would take the under.
Baltimore Orioles (11-49)
Yes. I did project this team to have less than 15 wins. Why? See below.
For a team putting out this lineup and using a rotation like this, it’s not hard to see why they’re projected so low. Their over under comes in at 20.5 and I feel that’s high enough to place a small wager on the O’s being the worst team in baseball. This is a team that went 24-52 in their division last year and they’re coming in this year into a locked AL/NL East schedule where every team besides the Red Sox and World Series Champions in the Nationals have improved. This is going to be another excruciating year for O’s fans so let’s see if we can make a little on their under.
Atlanta Braves (37-23)
I’m going to start by saying that this total is an unplayable total right now. This total is projected at optimal circumstances for the Braves but we are not there with them. With Markakis opting out and Freeman not being there to open the season, we can’t trust what the Braves will be giving us. I wasn’t a fan of the Puig signing like I wasn’t with his trade to Cleveland last year so I don’t see his covid test and not signing with them as significant. What is significant for the Braves is that the negative variance we would see with them due to their lineup issues should benefit our plays on the Phillies total and playoff prop.
Philadelphia Phillies (36-24)
The Phillies are my darkhorse team this season with the shortened schedule. Their offense could sneak in as a top producer this season with them being loaded from top to bottom. Joe Girardi comes in this year on the bench and I love the addition of Didi in this park. With the Braves not being healthy to start the season and the projected lineup and rotation (Wheeler has opted out), this team could have the makeup to not only be a top wild card team, but a division winner that could make it to the NLCS. I expect this team to be buyers at the trade deadline and would love to see them add an arm whether it be a starter or a reliever. Their lineup should be set so expect some big things from the Phillies this year. Harper entering his second year with the Phils where he put up career numbers last year should be a boost as well.
New York Mets (34-26)
The Mets have my eye this season. Not trading Marcus Stroman last year helps this rotation that lost Zach Wheeler (Phillies) and Noah Syndegaard (out for season). The Mets should be able to keep pace in the NL East but I’m not expecting them to make significant leaps. If the Mets are out of it early we will see Stroman get dealt. We know the Mets track record so it’s up to them to not be their own worst enemy this year. The shit already hit the fan with Beltran having to step down as manager a day after he was announced and just this week Degrom had to leave his start with back tightness. The Mets did add Dellin Betances this year who could wind up taking over the closer role if Edwin Diaz can’t find his form from two years ago. With their team total being 32.5 I don’t see enough room to make a play on either side.
Washington Nationals (33-27)
I am personally laying off the Nationals this season. As the defending World Champs, the loss of Rendon, and the length of their schedule last season going to a game 7 in the World Series, I’m expecting so sluggishness to the Nats team this year. You can argue that the time off has been enough for them to rest and get back to their top form but with the concerns regarding this season and the fact that they are the defending champs, I can see the Nats rotation going less innings in starts this season. I project them to finish 4th in the division if the Braves rebound so I will not be making any preseason plays on them.
I am going to be laying off the Marlins this year because I will be interested to see how their pitching performs. While their offense may not produce much run support I will be looking to see how the Marlins young arms fare.