MLB Expert Betting Advice: Outlook for Teams with High Futures Odds
Spring training is a time for hope. Everything is new and fresh and often young, and almost every team thinks that they could be better than people think they will be - that this could be, to some extent at least, the year. What we want to look at here are not the teams that might actually be right about that, but the ones that are fooling themselves. The teams that are on an express train to nowhere. Let's look at the bottom third of the league in terms of futures odds. Which squads could deliver some decent value? And which ones are just going to burn money in bulk. (Odds to win the World Series are from BetOnline)
Miami, +50000: Derek Jeter said, with a straight face, that this year in Miami it was going to be more about the game experience than about winning. I'm sure it's going to be a freaking great experience watching a hopelessly awful team lose again with 5,000 other fans around you. This team is a mess.
Baltimore, +50000: How bad is Baltimore right now? I'd rather watch the Marlins. You can get good crab in both cities, but Miami has better beaches - and you'll need somewhere to go to entertain yourself, because the ballgame won't do it. Baltimore, like Miami, has bungled the rebuilding process horribly, turning a long process into one that may never end. This team is going to be horrible. The good news, at least, is that both they and Miami are capable of losing often enough that oddsmakers can't adjust the price enough to make it unprofitable to bet against them.
Texas, +25000: I spend more time looking at this team than at many each year - a lingering throwback to my days of obsessive Nolan Ryan fandom. And when I looked at this team, I kept coming back to the same number - 70 wins. The season win total is at 70.5, so I'm not alone in that feeling. No value here, then.
Kansas City, +25000: We'll keep this simple. The Royals won 58 last year. Their win total is at 70. I feel like they could win 75. There is some hope here, and they feel like they deserve at least a little bit more respect than this price suggests.
Detroit, +25000: The Tigers have not been good for a few years, and they aren't going to be good for a few more. But they are capable of going over their season win total of 68.5. They won 64 last year, they mostly treaded water in the offseason while getting a year more experienced, and they probably deserved to be a little better on the road last year than they were. This team won't be good, but they should be a little better than expectations.
Toronto, +10000: I am, maybe naively, harboring a little optimism for this team. They are going to be very young, and there will be plenty of mistakes. But the top of their rotation is strong, their farm system is loaded right now, and their new coaching staff feels like a great fit. They won't be good. But it feels like there is a chance they could be a little better than they are expected to be.
Pittsburgh, +8000: Any other parents out there? I often tell my kid that I don't really care if he wins or loses, but I get really upset when he doesn't try. I feel like if I was the parents of the Pirates, I would be upset a lot. They aren't good. They aren't bad. They don't seem to be trying hard to get much better. They just are. It's kind of pathetic, really.
Seattle, +6600: I respect what the Mariners have done. They won 89 games last year and hung around the wild card race for a while. But they could see that they weren't going to get any closer. They had maxed out as they were. So, they went nuclear, selling off anything with value to speed up a rebuild, and embracing the process fully. They will see their win total drop dramatically - the win total is at 71.5. We can't judge where they are going to be at until we see them play, but it's a year for patience here.
San Francisco, +6600: This team threatened to make a big offseason move and couldn't get it done. That's a blow to their swagger heading into a year that isn't going to be easy anyway. They are heading towards likely selling their ace at the deadline. That won't help, either. I am a long way from optimistic here.
Cincinnati, +6600: This is a fascinating situation. Bored of rebuilding, the Reds have built a surprisingly solid rotation and added Yasiel Puig to anchor the offense. It's all a bold approach - a bit of a crazy one in some ways. It could go great, or it could fail hilariously. And I'm not sure which way it will go. It will be fun if it works out reasonably well, but I have a wider range for possible wins for this team than almost any. I think we just have to wait for a month and check in again to see where they are at.
Chicago White Sox, +6600: The White Sox are playing the long game. The very long game. But they are doing a decent job of it, and they have some nice enough young talent - and more coming along. Patience is the key with this team. Just pretend they don't exist for another year or two then revisit them.
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