Bookmaker.com has posted its initial over/under odds for regular season team wins. Here are the American League totals (for entertainment purposes only, of course):
Red Sox 95 Yankees 91.5 Rangers 87 Twins 86.5 White Sox 85.5 Rays 84.5 Tigers 83.5 Athletics 83.5 Angels 83 Blue Jays 76 Orioles 76 Indians 71 Mariners 70 Royals 69.5
Based on those totals the Red Sox are viewed as the clear class of the league after adding Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to a team that won 89 games last season. However, they also lost Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre, and the Red Sox have won more than 95 games just twice since 1979.
On the flip side it’s worth noting that the Yankees have won fewer than 92 games just twice since 1996, so even after a disappointing offseason an over/under of 91.5 victories seems pretty pessimistic for a team that won 95 games last year.
At the other end of the spectrum an over/under of 69.5 wins may seem low for even the Royals, but their amazing collection of prospects isn’t likely to help much this season, Zack Greinke is gone, and they’ve topped 69 wins just twice since 2001. If anything the Royals stand out as one of the better “under” bets.
Seattle was the worst team in the league last season with just 61 wins and didn’t do much to upgrade the roster this offseason, but the offense going from historically awful to merely very bad would add a significant number of victories. It’s tough to see the Mariners being actual contenders, but 70-75 wins should be doable.
Without having put a ton of thought into this, I like the Yankees, Orioles, and Mariners the most for “over” and the Red Sox, Angels, and Royals the most for “under.”