The Chicago Cubs rallied past the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the National League Championship Series last year and made their first World Series appearance since 1945, edging the Cleveland Indians in an epic seven-game showdown.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
All three of those teams are expected to continue their dominance this season according to oddsmakers, who have already released MLB Over/Under Win Totals for 2017.
Defending World Series champion Chicago has the highest Win Total posted at 95.5, a number the team easily topped last season with an MLB-best 103-58 mark. The Cubs won the NL Central by 17.5 games and also had the highest run differential in baseball at +252.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers beat out the San Francisco Giants last year in the NL West, and their Win Total this season is listed at 93.5, the second-highest number overall. The NL East-winning Washington Nationals are third in the league at 90.5.
The Boston Red Sox ranked second in MLB run differential last year at +184 but fell to the Indians in last year’s AL Division Series. Boston and Cleveland look to be the two strongest teams in their league based on the offseason acquisitions of pitcher Chris Sale and slugger Edwin Encarnacion, respectively.
The addition of Sale gives the Red Sox arguably the best starting rotation in baseball along with 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and David Price. Encarnacion’s move from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Indians obviously weakens the former and strengthens the latter. The Win Totals for both Boston and Cleveland are 92.5 with no other team in the league at 90 or more.
However, the Houston Astros are an AL team to watch at 89.5 off a disappointing campaign that saw 2015 Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel regress immensely by going 9-12 with a 4.55 ERA. The Astros still finished above .500 at 84-78, but they are the clear-cut favorites to win the AL West this year after finishing third last season.
The Seattle Mariners (85.5) and defending division champion Texas Rangers (84.5) could also make some noise if they can stay healthy and get improved starting pitching.