Coming off their best year in franchise history, it is no surprise to see the defending World Series champion Houston Astros as the American League team with the highest Over/Under Win Total heading into 2018 at the sportsbooks.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
The Astros went 101-61 last season, posting their second-most wins ever after going 102-60 exactly two decades ago. But last year they capped off another remarkable campaign with their first-ever World Series title, prompting oddsmakers to set their O/U Win Total at an MLB-best 96.5.
Only the National League’s Los Angeles Dodgers have a Win Total as high at 96.5, and it is no coincidence that they played Houston in last year’s World Series. However, two other AL teams have Win Totals nearly as high as the Astros at 94.5 – the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees. Both Cleveland and New York are expected to challenge Houston for the pennant if they can live up to the preseason hype.
The Yankees are the most intriguing team in the AL after making a deal for reigning NL home run champion Giancarlo Stanton in the offseason. New York finished 91-71 a year ago, two games behind the AL East champion Boston Red Sox (93-69). The Yankees and Red Sox each have new managers in Aaron Boone and Alex Cora, respectively, two former players for those teams who hope to take their old squads to the next level.
Boston’s Win Total is listed lower at 91.5, with many projecting New York to take the division title in 2018, although that number is still very respectable. Last season, the Red Sox did not get much from their pitching staff other than newcomer Chris Sale, which means former Cy Young Award winners David Price (2012) and Rick Porcello (2016) could bounce back to give them one of the best staffs in the league this year.
One sleeper team to watch in the AL is the Los Angeles Angels, who went 80-82 in 2017. The Angels still have arguably the best player in the league in Mike Trout, and they added prized 23-year-old Japanese import Shohei Ohtani in the offseason. The other Los Angeles area team based in Anaheim has a Win Total of 84.5.