- With the Bronx Bombers still beset by injuries, winning 38 games is a stretch
- Retooled Arizona looks to take the fight to the LA Dodgers in the NL West
- See analysis of the MLB’s 2020 win totals plus best bets for the 60-game regular season
The 2020 pandemic-shortened season is almost upon us, and while teams are still shaking out the cobwebs in a second round of “spring’ training”, the best bets for 2020 MLB win totals are also starting to take shape.
Can the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers really exceed their 37.5-win totals? Alternatively, are the Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers really awful enough to stay under 20.5 and 21.5 wins, respectively?
Read on for three of the best bets based on the current 60-game MLB season.
2020 MLB Win Totals
|NL Team||Win Total (FanDuel)||AL Team||Win Total (FanDuel)|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||31.5 (+104o/-128u)||Baltimore Orioles||20.5 (-110o/-110u)|
|Atlanta Braves||33.5 (-110o/-110u)||Boston Red Sox||30.5 (-125o/+100u)|
|Chicago Cubs||31.5 (-130o/+100u)||Chicago White Sox||31.5 (-116o/-106u)|
|Cincinnati Reds||31.5 (-110o/-110u)||Cleveland Indians||32.5 (+100o/-122u)|
|Colorado Rockies||27.5 (-110o/-120u)||Detroit Tigers||21.5 (-102o/-120u)|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||37.5 (-116o/-106u)||Houston Astros||35.5 (-104o/-118u)|
|Miami Marlins||24.5 (-106o/-116u)||Kansas City Royals||24.5 (-104o/-118u)|
|Milwaukee Brewers||30.5 (-118o/-104u)||Los Angeles Angels||31.5 (-116o/-106u)|
|New York Mets||32.5 (-120o/-110u)||Minnesota Twins||34.5 (-122o/+100u)|
|Philadelphia Phillies||31.5 (-106o/-116u)||New York Yankees||37.5 (+102o/-124u)|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||25.5 (+106o/-128u)||Oakland Athletics||33.5 (-110o/-110u)|
|San Diego Padres||30.5 (-118o/-104u)||Seattle Mariners||24.5 (-106o/-116u)|
|San Francisco Giants||25.5 (+134o/-164u)||Tampa Bay Rays||33.5 (-126o/+104u)|
|St. Louis Cardinals||31.5 (-116o/-106u)||Texas Rangers||28.5 (-116o/-106u)|
|Washington Nationals||33.5 (-102o/-120u)||Toronto Blue Jays||27.5 (-116o/-106u)|
Odds as of July 15.
Yankees Disembarking from Hype Train
If there’s one constant in Major League Baseball, it’s that the New York Yankees will always find themselves wrapped up in hype entering a new season. Even with a pandemic-shortened schedule, 2020 is no different.
The Bronx Bombers gave Gerrit Cole the largest contract ever given to a pitcher, and this is a team that was narrowly edged by the Minnesota Twins for the most home runs ever hit in a season with 306.
Gerrit Cole: 5.2 IP 4 H 0 R 1 BB 9 K. pic.twitter.com/NsWHdVPIcl
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) July 12, 2020
However, for the second straight year, injuries haven’t been kind to the Yankees, particularly when it comes to their starting rotation. Right-hander Luis Severino is out following Tommy John surgery, James Paxton is coming off back surgery, and Masahiro Tanaka took a Giancarlo Stanton come-backer to the head. On top of that, closer Aroldis Chapman and infielder DJ LeMahieu – a surprise AL MVP contender last year – have both contracted the coronavirus.
First look at Masahiro Tanaka since he was hit by a 112mph Giancarlo Stanton line drive on the right side of the head on Saturday. Masa was diagnosed with a mild concussion and has been doing well. (Picture via New York Yankees) https://t.co/SRmWoAXFk0 pic.twitter.com/nybQ4PvlxE
— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) July 8, 2020
Those are in addition to lingering doubts about the fitness of Stanton, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Aaron Hicks.
Aaron Judge BLAST ‼️ ? ? pic.twitter.com/QBBagm0o7W
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) July 15, 2020
While none of those should be enough to prevent the Yankees from reaching the postseason, it’s looking increasingly likely that 38 winsis a stretch.
Pick: Under 37.5 (-124)
Twins Set to Build on Explosive 2019
With a major-league record 307 home runs and the second-most wins in franchise history, 2019 was a season for the ages for Minnesota.
Don’t expect it to take its foot off the gas in 2020, however.
Josh Donaldson’s lowest average exit velocity against a particular pitch grouping in 2019 was an absurd 90.6 mph vs breakingballs. That’s how you get in the 98th percentile in exit velo. #MNTwins pic.twitter.com/1bDEn5U38S
— Cody Pirkl (@CodyPirkl) July 8, 2020
The signing of former MVP Josh Donaldson, who is coming off a comfortable 37-homer season, should keep the offense ticking over in high gear. That is particularly true for a lineup that will spend most of the season feasting off the very hitter-friendly pitching slate that the AL Central Division is currently serving.
Here’s Kenta Maeda getting Ehire Adrianza swinging.#MNTwins pic.twitter.com/ehpUjF5KbV
— Tom Froemming (@TFTwins) July 16, 2020
Starters Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, and new additions Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill should be able to provide enough of a foundation for the offense to keep the wins coming.
Pick: Over 34.5 (-122)
D-Backs Set To Surge
Even without any additions to last season’s ballclub, Arizona’s winning percentage of .525 is perfectly in tune with its 31.5-win total.
The team did anything but stand pat over the winter, though.
In came left-hander Madison Bumgarner, a three-time World Series winner, to bolster a rotation that was already on the rise with the likes of Robbie Ray, Zac Gallen, and Luke Weaver.
What does Madison Bumgarner need to do, to regain the dominance from his early career?
He has lost a tick in Velocity, but the bigger change has been in his FB Vertical Break values. The chart below shows how his whiff %, ERA, and BAA benefit from the higher VB. pic.twitter.com/krfLoZFoYR
— Carter Capps (@CarterCapps) July 15, 2020
Arizona’s batting order also got better from one that averaged just over five runs per game in 2019.
Starling Marte traded from Pirates to @Dbacks. Last season, he set career highs in …
HR – 23
Slug pct – .503
OPS – .845
XBH – 60
Runs – 97 pic.twitter.com/i0HzOwb3Tc
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 27, 2020
The team added Kole Calhoun and Starling Marte to a solid lineup that was just one home run from featuring three 30-home run hitters: Eduardo Escobar (35), Ketel Marte (32), and Christian Walker (29).
Pick: Over 31.5 (+104)