ASA’s 2018 MLB WIN TOTAL PROJECTIONS
OVER 92.5 WINS for the Washington Nationals
The Nationals play in a division they should dominate which, of course, goes a long way toward going “over” on a win total. The Nats again will take advantage of being in the NL East with the Marlins, Braves, Phillies, and Mets. Out of those 4 teams it is not inconceivable that they all finish with a losing record. Miami has averaged 73 wins the past 5 seasons, Atlanta has averaged 71.5 wins the past 4 seasons. The Phillies have averaged 67 wins the past 3 seasons. None of those 3 teams has had a winning season the past 4 years. As for the Mets, they fall hard last year and won just 70 games. The Nationals looks just as strong as recent seasons and Washington has won at least 95 games in 3 of the past 4 seasons. We’re calling for the Nats to get there again this year as well.
UNDER 92 WINS for the Boston Red Sox
Considering half their games are in hitter-friendly Fenway Park, the Red Sox simply need more power in their lineup to live up to their full potential. Last year Boston was dead last in the AL for home runs. In fact, the BoSox were so weak in terms of power production that all but 3 teams in the NL (without the benefit of a DH) hit more homers than the Red Sox did last season. Not much has changed coming into this season and with the Yankees looking very strong in the AL East that could add even a few more losses for Boston this season. The end result is they fall short of this win total and the elbow injury that impacted David Price last season is still a concern for this season. The Red Sox southpaw has struggled to command his other pitches since the injury.
UNDER 94.5 WINS for the Cleveland Indians
The Indians biggest loss heading into this season is that pitching coach Mickey Callaway is now the manager of the Mets. He did a fantastic job with the Indians pitching staff during his time there. No team in the majors had a staff that utilized the curveball as much as Cleveland last season. That was due to Callaway’s impact and the ability for a pitching coach to help the staff work out of funks can not be over-estimated. The absence of Callaway will have an impact. Of course someone like Corey Kluber (practically unhittable breaking stuff) won’t be impacted but others will. For example, Danny Salazar is a weak link in the rotation and also dealing with a shoulder injury and won’t be ready for the start of the regular season but he is the type of guy that could use the help of a Callaway. As for the bullpen, the loss of Bryan Shaw (appeared in nearly half of all Indians games last 5 years) is a key cog that the Tribe will struggle to replace. The Indians are still a strong team but pitching will take a step back.