Baseball will be underway in less than one month, and many out there are speculating on how the standings will shakeout. With lots of aggressive moves in the offseason, there’s sure to be steep competition for the top of the standings, especially in the American League where teams like the Chicago White Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays went all in for a postseason run.
Over/Under win totals set by bookmakers are a great proxy for performance expectations this upcoming season. As expected, the Los Angeles Dodgers project to have the best record in MLB for 2021, as Vegas has their win total at 101.5 wins. The New York Yankees are the next highest at 95.5, followed by the Padres at 94.5 and the Braves at 92.5.
After a regressed 2020 regular season, the Houston Astros should beat the betting totals in 2021.
The Houston Astros, coming off a disappointing regular season followed by a somewhat redeeming post season, seem to be forgotten amongst the pack of contenders in the American League. Oddsmakers opened with Houston at 87.5 but has since moved down to 86.5 wins for the season (87-75 record). Bookmakers actually have the Oakland As at 87.5 wins for the season, so Vegas is projecting Oakland as the favorites to win AL West race for a second straight year. (Just for reference, the state “rival” Texas Rangers are slated at 69.5 wins for the season – so kudos to them).
This win total for Houston is understandable – the Astros lost both George Springer and Justin Verlander, and it appears they’ll be without Framber Valdez at least a few months. There is also a good chance most of the public bettors are Astro-haters and could be betting the number down in hopes of Houston tailspin in 2021. However, win totals tend be off from time to time, and I think this is the case for this year’s Astros. Here’s why the Houston Astros will beat the 86.5 win total.