Wednesday, March 27, 2013

2nd Annual MLB Over/Unders

It's year two and we haven't come up with any better schtick for our baseball preview. Instead, we'll take the over/under lines for each team and pick sides. As always, this is a foolproof way of determining who is the smartest blogger. Right now it is Steve. Next year it will be Sean.

Without further ado, part 1 of our 3-part baseball preview.

NL West

Steve Sean Jon
Dbacks 82 Over Over Over
Padres 74.5 Under Over Under
Giants 88 Over Over Over
Rockies 71.5 Over Under Under
Dodgers 91.5 Under Under Under

Sean: The Padres are actually a little bit feisty. I think they can spoil the Dodgers' playoff chances and almost get to .500.

Steve: The Rockies will theoretically have Troy Tulowitzki back and healthy. 72 wins is NOT a lot, and this is still a bad team, but they got some hitters. The CarGos and Fowlers of the world can get you to 90 losses.

Jon: I liked the Padres over a lot more before finding out Chase Headley (/resisting urge to make Blazing Saddles joke) would miss the first month, which leads me to believe they might move him or their other few good players at the trade deadline. I think the DBacks finish with more wins than the Dodgers.

NL Central

Brewers 80.5 Under Over Over
Cubs 72.5 Under Under Over
Cardinals 86.5 Under Under Under
Pirates 77.5 Over Under Over
Reds 91 Over Over Over

Sean: The Pirates are so desperate to get to .500 that they won't rebuild or move veterans at the trade deadline. I guess I have a little faith in them going over 77 but they aren't getting 81. Sid Bream says suck it.

Steve: The Brewers ain't got a .500 season in 'em this year. This team's first baseman, until Corey Hart comes back in May, is Alex Gonzalez. Ricky Weeks having a non-dick leprosy first half does not a .500 team make. That's probably the worst sentence in this blog's history.

Jon: I'll admit my pick of Brewers at .500 goes against logic somewhat, but I have some faith in their young pitchers plus Kyle Lohse (Shaun Marcum 2.0 who is Randy Wolf 2.0 who is Jeff Suppan 2.0) and solid 2 starter Yovani Gallardo will be just good enough to get us there. Reds are the clear class of this division, and a bunch of the Cardinals hitters are in line to regress (see: Carlos Beltran and the incredible exploding tendons).

NL East

Braves 88 Over Over Over
Nationals 92 Under Over Over
Phillies 85 Under Under Under
Mets 74.5 Under Under Over
Marlins* (off)

* The Marlins don't have a line for some reason. No idea why, but I think we can all agree this is a 120-loss team.

Sean: The Braves aren't six games worse than last season, so this one is basically free money. They have so many breakout candidates on their offense plus solid pitching and the best bullpen in the NL. 88 is a joke and, again, this is basically free money.

Steve: The Nationals will still be good, but I expect step-back years for most if not all of their starters. Strasburg won't have an innings limit, but that will equate at most 4 more starts. He'll probably be a little worse, Gio will be worse, Ross Detweiler will be worse, and Jordan Zimmermann will be worse.

Jon: This division is the clear class of the National League, and depending how you feel about the Blue Jays and Athletics, maybe of baseball. Braves and Nats are two of the three best teams in the NL (along with the Reds) and I think they'll both be right around where they were last year. The Nats players are young but are on an upward trajectory and the Braves replaced Prado and Chipper with some Uptons.

AL East

Red Sox 83 Over Over Under
Yankees 84.5 Under Over Under
Rays 86.5 Over Over Over
Blue Jays 89 Under Under Under
Orioles 78.5 Over Under Over

Sean: The Yankees still have enough pitching to win 85 games. They still have Robinson Cano and they will get guys healthy eventually.

Steve: These are all teams you can believe in a little bit. I think all of them will win 80-90 games. I almost want the Yankees to suck more than the Red Sox to be good (almost almost almost) because this is the first year in my memory that the Yankees could potentially be below .500. GOD that would be sweet.

Jon: I don't really get these lines. Boston underperformed last year, and I expect their pitching to get much better, but 84 wins is still a lot. The Yankees pick, I will admit, was motivated purely by wanting them to suck this year with the highest payroll in the league, but Kevin Youkilis is currently the cleanup hitter. And the Blue Jays took the core of a shitty team last year and now are expected to win the AL East?

AL Central

Tigers 93 Under Under Under
Twins 69 Under Over Under
White Sox 80.5 Under Over Over
Indians 79 Under Under Over
Royals 78.5 Over Under Under

Sean: The Twins are obviously pretty terrible, but they do have Joe Mauer and hopefully they can find a good pitcher or two to get them to 70 wins. The AL Central narrowly edges out the NL West for the 5th straight year for most boring division. Yayyyyy.

Steve: The White Sox took such a complete nosedive last year toward the end of the year, and they got no better in the offseason. Chris Sale will have a step back year, and they're replacing A.J. Pierzynski's ridiculous production last year with Tyler Flowers. They need Konerko, Dunn, and Rios not to be any worse, and they need Viciedo and/or De Aza to take the leap. Not feelin' it. Also, ROYALS SLEEPER 2013 EDITION BOOM BABY!

Jon: Well, this division kinda really sucks. The White Sox at 81 wins is a prediction purely based on their division, and I think the Indians are gonna get better this season. The Tigers have the last two AL MVPs, and in my opinion, neither of them are deserved.

AL West

Rangers 86.5 Under Over Over
Angels 92 Over Over Under
Mariners 78 Under Under Over
Astros 58.5 Over Under Under
Athletics 84.5 Over Under Over

Sean: Boo boo bee boo Billy Beaney baseball bunting bad. The A's got very lucky last year and it won't hold up, especially with improved Mariners and Angels teams.

Steve: The Rangers lost Josh Hamilton while adding A.J. Pierzynski and Lance Berkman. All 3 outfielders have a lot to prove, all 5 starters have a lot to prove, and Kinsler can't stay healthy. Way too many question marks for this to be a contender in my book. Also, I know the Astros are the worst, but 59 wins? You can put together 59 wins, right? Ugh maybe not. Oh well.

Jon: This Astros line is fascinating. Baseball wisdom holds that every team can win at least 54 games (only the truly atrocious, and we're talking early-2000s Tigers have gone below recently) which leaves the Astros as about as bad as you can be. They won 55 in the NL Central last year, though, and the AL West should be better. BUT THAT'S WHY THEY PLAY THE GAMES.

Enjoy the season, everybody.

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