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Early leans for 2020 MLB win totals

The DraftKings Sportsbook has released the MLB win totals ahead of the 2020 season. Steve Buchanan talks about six teams to target and two teams to avoid.

Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger tosses his bat after hitting a single during the sixth inning in game five of the 2019 NLDS playoff baseball series against the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium. Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

It’s amazing to think that the 2020 MLB season is drawing closer and closer. Spring Training games are set to being on February 21st but it’s never too early to take a look at the win totals set for each team. The DraftKings Sportsbook has released the win totals for all the teams and we’ll look at six best bets to consider as you pour over this information.

Los Angeles Dodgers over 97.5 wins

The Dodgers are coming off a season where they won 106 games en route to an easy NL West Divisional title. The team remains relatively the same from 2019 but they will have a full season of Gavin Lux, who is the overall number two prospect in all of baseball according to Lux spent the majority of his time between Double-A and Triple-A last season. In his final stop in Triple-A, he slashed .392/.478/.719 with 13 home runs and 39 RBI through 49 games before being called up for 23 games. The addition of his bat, as well as a very solid rotation that includes Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda, should once again put the Dodgers in a position to exceed their win total as it stands.

Houston Astros under 97.5 wins

As you may have heard, a mountain of controversy is surrounding the Astros over this sign-stealing scandal that has come to light. While no discipline has been given to any of the players, the organization as a whole is in flux. The latest controversy surrounds Jose Altuve, who is being accused of wearing a buzzer device on his shoulder to know what pitches were coming. Without going too deep into this, I think this brings an interesting situation to bet the under on their win total. Let’s also not forget, this is a team that no longer has Gerrit Cole, who won 20 games for them last season. The loss of Cole leaves what looks like a vulnerable Justin Verlander to lead the rotation. Sure, it’s difficult to classify the reigning Cy Young winner as “vulnerable” but home runs were a major issue for him, allowing a career-high 36 last season. I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking the over so the under makes plenty of sense.

Minnesota Twins over 89.5 wins

For a team to win 101 games last season, this feels like quite the drop to be projected at 89.5. This is a team that set a new single-season record in home runs with 307, which barely edged out the Yankees, who would have set the record with their 306. Now, the Twins have added Josh Donaldson into the mix, who hit 37 with the Braves last season. Donaldson is creeping up in age at 34 but his bat still certainly looks like it’s in his prime. The move also will help them defensively in the infield, as it will move Miguel Sano to first base. All of this is important because quite frankly, the Twins pitching staff is a complete disaster. The loss of Kyle Gibson to the Rangers leaves them with Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda, once he finishes his suspension for PED use during the first five weeks of the season. The Twins seem to be on the “pitching doesn’t matter” train and will ride it out with their bats. Even still, they’ll be a nightmare for opposing pitchers, especially lefties, each and every night. I’ll take offense over pitching any day so give me the over.

Chicago White Sox over 83.5 wins

This over may come as a bit of a surprise but believe me, the White Sox quietly made some moves to vastly improve their team. In an effort to shore up the rotation, they signed Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez. They also traded for outfield Nomar Mazara and then signed free agent Yasmani Grandal and Edwin Encarnacion. In a division that should be relatively weak to begin with, aside from the Twins, the White Sox have a legitimate chance to improve in a big way from their 72 wins in 2019. They’ve loaded up on power and this is even before we mention Luis Robert — who is one of the best prospects in their system — is looking as if he’ll be their center fielder to start the season. He’s a five-tool player that will join an impressive outfield that includes Mazara and Eloy Jimenez. With all this put together, this win total simply feels too low for a team with a massive amount of potential and likely a team people will sleep on.

Colorado Rockies under 73.5 wins

This team is very talented offensively. I sort of compare them to the National League version of the Twins because, like them, they have no pitching. The biggest problem for them is being away from Coors Field. Offensively, the numbers dropped so dramatically that it led them to a 28-53 record. Now we hear rumblings that the Rockies could potentially trade Nolan Arenado, who is locked up to an eight-year deal at the age of 28. With no upgrades made in their pitching rotation, I think it’s yet another long season for the Rox. German Marquez took a significant step back in 2019 while Jon Gray and Kyle Freeland are far from reliable starters. With the offense set as it is, can they bail the pitching staff out of games? Absolutely. However, the road woes will continue to be a major factor and I think this will be yet another lost season, especially if they go into selling mode. If this number is bet down more, I would start to be wary of taking the under but as it’s set currently, I think this is a perfect number to hit it.

San Francisco Giants under 70.5 wins

If you’re a Giants fan, I don’t think you have much to look forward to in 2020. They’ve lost some key pieces this offseason, most notably Madison Bumgarner, closer Will Smith and OF Kevin Pillar, who was one of their best home run hitters last year. The Giants haven’t exactly made any moves to think they can improve on the 77 win season from last year which has me leaning on the under. This team was near the bottom of the league in almost every offensive category, including home runs, RBI, OBP and SLG. With the lack of moves, especially offensively, it’s hard to see where exactly they’ll be able to improve. This has the makings of a year where they could be getting some extra long looks at some of their prospects, especially Joey Bart at catcher, but that doesn’t mean it’ll turn into wins. This is a very low total to take the under on but I feel quite confident that the under will hit. Unless of course, you feel good about a team with Johnny Cueto as the number one starter.

Two teams to avoid:

Boston Red Sox O/U 88.5

Even with February fast approaching, it still seems unclear what the direction of this offseason is for the Red Sox. It was widely reported they were looking to cut payroll and by doing so, a package deal of Mookie Betts and David Price was the buzz. The Red Sox brass has come out and said they are NOT looking to cut payroll, making this a very unclear and confusing offseason. While the core of this team has stayed intact, they only managed to win 84 games last season. Oh, and by they way, they’re also mixed up in the sign-stealing scandal, as they’ve parted ways with Alex Cora and are currently looking for a manager. It’s fair to say this team underperformed last season but with no new additions as of this writing, it’s hard to think they’ll improve by five wins to hit the over, especially with a bullpen that caused so much heartache last season. This is a complete stay away from me.

Cleveland Indians O/U 86.5

The Indians are potential sellers this season and already traded off one of their biggest pieces in Corey Kluber to the Rangers. Francisco Lindor has been the subject of more trade rumors as well as Mike Clevinger, although that seems more unlikely. Like the Red Sox, the direction of the Indians seems a bit unclear. They’ve lost some major pieces already and if the season goes south, could quickly lose more via trade. This team still possesses a lot of talent, especially offensively but the amount of uncertainty surrounding them makes it tough for me to like either the over or under. The emergence of the White Sox also doesn’t help, as I like for them to hit the over on their win total.

2020 MLB win totals

Team O/U
Team O/U
Arizona Diamondbacks 80.5
Atlanta Braves 89.5
Batlimore Orioles 56.5
Boston Red Sox 88.5
Chicago Cubs 86.5
Chicago White Sox 83.5
Cincinnati Reds 81.5
Cleveland Indians 86.5
Colorado Rockies 73.5
Detroit Tigers 57.5
Houston Astros 97.5
Kansas City Royals 64.5
Los Angeles Angels 84.5
Los Angeles Dodgers 97.5
Miami Marlins 64.5
Milwaukee Brewers 82.5
Minnesota Twins 89.5
New York Mets 85.5
New York Yankees 101.5
Oakland Athletics 89.5
Philadelphia Phillies 84.5
Pittsburgh Pirates 72.5
San Diego Padres 82.5
San Francisco Giants 70.5
Seattle Mariners 65.5
St. Louis Cardinals 87.5
Tampa Rays 91.5
Texas Rangers 76.5
Toronto Blue Jays 74.5
Washington Nationals 88.5

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