Thanks to the quartet of MLB expert picks that I’m about to offer up on four World Series title hopefuls, you could potentially cash in big over the course of the coming season. Now, let’s get started.
2017 MLB Regular Season Wins Totals / Top Picks
Chicago Cubs (2016: 103-58 SU, 75-79-8 O/U)NL Central Division Odds: -500 Season win total: 96
Analysis: Do-it-all shortstop Kyle Schwarber is healthy and that means the Cubs will be even more dangerous than they were last season and that’s just scary when you think about Chicago’s powerful batting order. Chicago added veteran hurler Wade Davis to replace the departed Aroldis Chapman in the bullpen and that also looks like another great move seeing as how Davis had a 1.87 ERA last year for Kansas City.
Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Jake Arrieta are as good as any teams top three starters and the Cubs have arguably the best manager in the game today in Joe Maddon. Sure, Wade Davis battled injuries last season and veteran starter John Lackey is aging faster than an octogenarian, but topping 96 wins looks very doable for the lovable Cubbies in 2017.
Season win total pick: Over 96 wins
Boston Red Sox (2016: 93-69 SU, 77-78-7 O/U)AL East Division Odds: -155 Season win total: 87
Analysis: If left-hander David Price can get over his recent elbow injury to join Rick Porcello and Chris Sale at the top of the rotation, the Red Sox could have the best starting rotation in the American League. Offensively, the Red Sox led the majors in runs a year ago but will have to overcome the loss of the now, legendary David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz. The good news is that Boston has plenty of talent starting with youngsters Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi first and foremost. The BoSox also look like they could struggle to close out games is Craig Kimbrel isn’t the answer. Still, I like Boston to narrowly top their 2017 win total odds.
Season win total pick: Over 87
St. Louis Cardinals (2016: 86-76 SU, 83-73-6 O/U)NL Central Division Odds: +600 Season win total: 84.5
Analysis: The Cardinals managed to win 86 games last season and although that was well behind Chicago’s 1003 wins, I believe St. Louis could be even better in 2017 than they were a year ago. The Cardinals added to their overall talent base by signing veteran outfielder Dexter Fowler and subtracted from the Cubs all at the same time. Matt Carpenter and Aledmys Diaz are expected to provide the pop in St. Louis’ lineup and the Card have a gifted young closer in Seung-hwan Oh, a player that was one save shy last year of being the sixth rookie ever to have 20 saves and 100 strikeouts.
St. Louis will need a good season out of Michael Wacha and Adam Wainwright after their pair of top starters struggled last season and St. Louis loses the big bats of Matt Holliday and Brandon Moss. Still, I think it’s more likely than not that the perennial-winning franchise reaches 85 wins in 2017.
Season win total pick: Over 84.5 wins
Texas Rangers (2016: 95-67 SU, 79-73-10 O/U)AL West Division Odds: +265 Season win total: 84.5
Analysis: I know the Rangers continually underachieve at the worst time possible, but that usually doesn’t happen until the postseason. Texas looks like the AL West division winner for the third straight season and could have the best pair of 1-2 aces in all of baseball in veterans Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish, though it must be noted that Darvish needs to stay healthy.
As is always the case for Texas, the Rangers will score their fair share of runs in 2017, making the upcoming campaign all about the Rangers pitching – again. Just know that the Rangers had the second-worst bullpen ERA in the American League at 4.40 while being forced to use a whopping 11 different starting pitchers last season. Still, I like Texas to reach the 85-win mark to top their 2017 win total odds.
Season win total pick: Over 84.5 Wins