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Thread: 2018 MLB Preseason Stuff

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    Default 2018 MLB Preseason Stuff

    MLB regular season win totals


    American League East

    New York Yankees 93.5
    Boston Red Sox 91.5
    Toronto Blue Jays 81.5
    Baltimore Orioles 77.5
    Tampa Bay Rays 76.5


    American League Central

    Cleveland Indians 93.5
    Minnesota Twins 82.5
    Kansas City Royals 76.5
    Chicago White Sox 68.5
    Detroit Tigers 68.5


    American League West

    Houston Astros 96.5
    Los Angeles Angels 84.5
    Seattle Mariners 81.5
    Texas Rangers 78.5
    Oakland Athletics 74.5


    National League East

    Washington Nationals 91.5
    New York Mets 80.5
    Philadelphia Phillies 74.5
    Atlanta Braves 73.5
    Miami Marlins 64.5


    National League Central

    Chicago Cubs 93.5
    St. Louis Cardinals 84.5
    Milwaukee Brewers 81.5
    Pittsburgh Pirates 76.5
    Cincinnati Reds 71.


    National League West

    Los Angeles Dodgers 95.5
    Arizona Diamondbacks 86.5
    Colorado Rockies 82.5
    San Francisco Giants 81.5
    San Diego Padres 69.5
    Last edited by Udog; 02-08-2018 at 06:31 PM.

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    Best bets for 2018 MLB regular season win totals
    Rob Hansen

    In a sure sign that spring is right around the corner, MLB regular season win totals have been released in Nevada. For hardcore baseball fans, this is an opportunity to gauge your team against division rivals or the entire league, and for baseball bettors this is when the fun really begins.

    CG Technology in Las Vegas was the first to get its Over/Under numbers out to the masses, so let's dig in and grab a couple of money-making opportunities for the 2018 season.

    Detroit Tigers

    Over/Under: 68.5
    Pick: Under


    When looking at the list posted by CG Technology it was very interesting to see the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers with the same number of 68.5. These are two teams headed in exact opposite directions for the 2018 season. The White Sox dumped all of their assets for prospects over the last three seasons and look to be on the up-swing with a loaded minor league system and a young, talented big league club. The Tigers are at the beginning stages of their overhaul and the immediate future looks bleak.

    The White Sox finished with 67 wins last season and could certainly push over 70 in a very weak American League Central division in 2018. However, youth is unpredictable so the safer play when looking at these two teams is the Under 68.5 wins for the Tigers. This is a team with one good arm in their rotation and by the All-Star break Michael Fulmer will, most certainly, be pitching for a new team. They would also love to unload Miguel Cabrera and his hefty contract for some prospects.

    The Tigers only won 64 games a season ago, and they won't sniff that number in 2018.

    Pittsburgh Pirates

    Over/Under: 76.5
    Pick: Under


    As soon as the Pittsburgh Pirates traded their best starting pitcher, Gerrit Cole, and the face of their franchise, former National League MVP Andrew McCutchen, the entire baseball world knew what was happening in the Steel City. Shedding salary for prospects is, of course, one of the oldest general management tricks in the books.

    The Pirates appear poised to attempt a "soft rebuild" where they keep some good talent on the Major League roster and try to flip the switch in one or two seasons, as opposed to a total system overhaul that would take three to five seasons.

    Soft rebuilds generally do not work to their desired outcome, however, Pirates brass sees this division as unattainable until the current run of the Chicago Cubs runs dry. The Pirates went young for 2018 and it could be a long summer.

    Milwaukee Brewers

    Over/Under: 81.5
    Pick: Over


    We're seeing two different approaches in how to deal with the dominance of the Cubs in the National League Central; the Pirates decided to dump salary and look slightly into the future and the Milwaukee Brewers are in buying mode and want a piece of the division (or at least the Wild Card) right now.

    The Brewers added Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich to their outfield this off-season and appear to be in the mix on several free agent starting pitchers. Who knows what is going to happen with this current batch of frozen out free agents, but if the Brewers are able to land one of Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, or Alex Cobb they will certainly be in the mix for a post season spot of some kind.

    Washington Nationals

    Over/Under: 91.5
    Pick: Over


    It's not too often you see a regular season win total number of 91.5 on the board and recommend playing the Over, but that is exactly what is happening here.

    The Washington Nationals come into the 2018 season with essentially the same roster that won 97 games a year ago, and they will have a healthy Adam Eaton to help with run production. Their starting rotation is, once again, one of the top three starting staffs in baseball and they will run away with the NL East by the All-Star break.

    Just like last summer, their bullpen comes into the season as a bit of a question mark. We can only assume they will address this weakness at some point. If it wasn't for their faulty bullpen last season the Nats would've easily been a 100-win team, look for them to be that 100-win team in 2018 in a weak NL East.

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    Cubs make big splash signing Darvish, but odds see little movement
    Andrew Caley

    The Cubs signed Yu Darvish to a 6-year $126 million deal on Saturday and promptly went from 8/1 to 7/1 to win the World Series at the Westgate LV Superbook.

    There was finally a splash in MLB free agency, as the Chicago Cubs landed the best starting pitcher on the market in Yu Darvish and saw their World Series futures get a small boost in a matter of minutes on Saturday.

    According to reports, Darvish and the Cubs have agreed to terms on a six-year $126 million contract, joining a starting rotation that already features Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood. So, it should come as no surprise, the Cubs were given at least a little bump to win the 2018 World Series according to the Westgate LV Superbook.

    The Cubs were moved from 8/1 to 7/1 to win their second Fall Classic in three years, just shortly after the news broke that Darvish would be joining the team.

    Chicago getting Darvish also affected the World Series odds for a couple other National League teams. The Cubs’ most hated rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, dropped slightly from 18/1 to 20/1 and the Colorado Rockies also took a hit, going from 30/1 to 40/1.

    The defending World Series champion Houston Astros and the team they defeated for their first title, the Los Angeles Dodgers, are still the co-favorites to win it all in 2018 at 5/1 at the Superbook.

    Meanwhile over at CG Technology, Darvish to the Cubs did little to move World Series or National league futures, but they did get a very slight boost in their season win total, which was just opened earlier this week at 93.5, going up a half-win to the current number of 94. The Cubs once again only trail the Astros (96.5) and the Dodgers (95.5) when it comes to season win totals.

    Darvish has a 56-42 record since coming over to the majors in 2012, to go along with a career 3.42 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP, but is coming off a very disappointing postseason performance with the Dodgers, where he allowed eight earned runs in just 3.1combined innings pitched over two World Series starts.

    The Cubs are coming off a season in which they won a disappointing (if you can call it that) 92 games in 2017 before falling the to the Dodgers in five games in the NLCS. In 2015, they won 103 games on the way to their first World Series title since 1908.

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    Mattingly says he's excited about Marlins
    Associated Press

    MIAMI (AP) After all the deals and departures, Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly says he's enthused about the upcoming season.

    Really, he is.

    ''You probably think I'm crazy but I'm really excited about what's going on,'' Mattingly said Saturday during the team's Fan Fest event at Marlins Park. ''I can say it - look you right in the camera, look you right in the eye - I can tell you how excited I am to be here, and what we're doing.''

    This will be his third season guiding the club, and he'll see a radically revamped roster without many stars when spring training begins within a week. Soon after taking over last fall, the new Marlins' ownership, overseen by majority partner Bruce Sherman and CEO Derek Jeter, traded half the club's starting lineup in an attempt to dramatically cut payroll and build an organizational foundation.

    Gone in exchange for prospects were reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs, and fellow outfielders Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich. They combined for a major league-best .913 OPS among outfield trios last season.

    Also traded for additional minor leaguers was second baseman Dee Gordon, who hit .308, stole an NL-leading 60 bases in 2017 and won the league batting title in 2015.

    There is also the possibility the Marlins are not done dealing and additionally slashing payroll. Catcher J.T. Realmuto and second baseman Starlin Castro, the only acquisition with extended major league experience and who joined Miami in the Stanton deal, reportedly have asked to be traded.

    ''I know what you guys know, obviously,'' Realmuto said Saturday. ''For me it is getting ready to start the season, whether it's in Miami or somewhere else. No matter what happens my job is to play baseball.''

    The trades have resulted in widespread displeasure with Marlins fans. But Mattingly backs the new ownership's approach.

    ''We knew that we had a good lineup but also knew we were 10 games out of the wild card with those guys,'' Mattingly said. ''We didn't match up pitching and offense. There had to be something done. No matter how much offense you have you're not going to win without pitching.

    ''I know some of the things have been unpopular. When you look at it, for me, they're things that had to be done,'' he said.

    Mattingly said he reached out to the traded players he managed the past two seasons.

    ''Hopefully, we've impacted their careers,'' Mattingly said. ''As a coach you feel like you're a teacher and you want to help these guys develop.''

    As with every other team entering team approaching spring training, optimism outweighs negative expectations. Mattingly is no different even with projections of his team losing between 90 and 100 games.

    ''I don't think about losing, I think about winning,'' Mattingly said. ''It won't be any different with our guys. We're going to prepare to win. We're going to prepare to win a championship.

    ''I told my players every year that I've managed I've never been in a game that I expected to lose. I don't care if it's (Clayton) Kershaw against whoever, it doesn't look good on paper. You go into every game feeling you're going to win today and expect to win today,'' he said.

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    LHP Holland joins Giants on minor deal
    Associated Press

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Veteran left-hander Derek Holland has signed a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants.

    Holland could compete for a job out of spring training with a rotation that has three set starters in Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija. There are two spots up for grabs, and manager Bruce Bochy said Friday that Ty Blach and Chris Stratton are the leading candidates to fill out those positions.

    Blach went 8-12 in his first full major league season and emerged as a strong fill-in for Bumgarner when the 2014 World Series MVP missed nearly three months after an April 20 dirt bike accident in Colorado.

    The 31-year-old Holland pitched his first eight seasons for Texas, then went 7-14 with a 6.20 ERA in 29 outings and 26 starts last year for the White Sox.

    San Francisco's pitchers and catchers report to Scottsdale, Arizona, on Tuesday, with their first workout Wednesday.

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    Former big leaguer Geltz, 3 more banned
    Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) Former Tampa Bay pitcher Steve Geltz and three other minor leaguers have been suspended for drug violations.

    The penalties were announced Saturday by the commissioner's office.

    Geltz was banned 100 games after a third positive test for a drug of abuse. The 30-year-old righty was on Philadelphia's Triple-A roster.

    In 2015, Geltz set a Rays record by retiring 32 straight batters. He last played in the majors in 2016. In four seasons with the Angels and Tampa Bay, he was a combined 2-9 with two saves and a 4.23 ERA in 110 games, all but two in relief.

    Tampa Bay catcher Nick Ciuffo, on the Triple-A roster, drew a 50-game penalty for a second positive test for a drug of abuse.

    San Diego Padres pitcher Alex Cunningham was suspended 50 games after testing positive for Amphetamine, a stimulant. He was at Single-A.

    Pittsburgh second baseman Mitchell Tolman, on the Double-A roster, drew a 50-game suspension after a second positive test for a drug of abuse.

    There have been 16 players suspended this year under the minor league program and three under the major league program: Houston pitcher Dean Deetz, Washington catcher Raudy Read and Pittsburgh pitcher Nik Turley.

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    Spring training opens with turmoil
    Associated Press

    The Boston Red Sox plan to print 5,000 copies of their media guide during the last week of February. Their opening-day roster could include several players who won't make the deadline.

    Perhaps 100 free agents still seek contracts as the start of spring training workouts on Feb. 14 draws near, a group that includes J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish.

    In a historically slow market, players and management are feuding publicly about riches and rules, and teams seemingly are seeking bargains like shoppers awaiting a closeout.

    "Some guys feel like they're worth a little more than maybe what they're being offered," All-Star outfielder Andrew McCutchen said ahead of his first spring training since Pittsburgh traded him to San Francisco. "It's just all about being fair."

    As soon as the Houston Astros won their first World Series title last November , attention turned toward 2018 and the start of stretching in Scottsdale, catching in Clearwater and bunting in Bradenton. But there will be two camps in Bradenton - in addition to the Pirates, based there for the 50th consecutive year, the Major League Baseball Players Association is setting up a free-agent workout facility at the nearby IMG Academy while players wait for the market to thaw.

    Job-seekers include pitchers Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn; reliever Greg Holland; infielder Eduardo Nunez; outfielders Carlos Gomez and Carlos Gonzalez; and catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

    ''There are always going to be some big names available at the beginning of spring training, but there's an exorbitant number this year,'' New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said.

    With Cincinnati, Detroit, Miami, Oakland, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay in the early stage of rebuild mode, and Atlanta, the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia starting to emerge, it appears about one-third of the 30 teams have little chance for this year's 10 playoff berths. For their fans, hope and faith are longer-term emotions going into opening day on March 29.

    Union head Tony Clark labels this offseason a ''race to the bottom.'' Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto thinks more clubs may be competing for the top 2019 draft pick than for this year's title.

    ''There is an element or a percentage of the league that's not particularly into signing players that might help them win, but prefer the go the other route,'' he said. ''You have a number of teams that have through the course of the last few years built up to what we have now referenced as super- team status. They may not need to fill those holes, which leaves a team in the middle, let's call it eight to 12 teams, of which we are one, who are surfing through the markets.''

    And many of the perennial big spenders are cutting back, too. The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees want to get under the $197 million luxury tax threshold, putting them in better position for a free-agent class next fall that could include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson and Clayton Kershaw.

    The Yankees did make the splashiest move of the offseason, acquiring big league home run champion Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins when former New York captain Derek Jeter took over as Miami's chief executive and started a payroll purge.

    After losing to the Astros in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series, New York fired manager Joe Girardi and replaced him with Aaron Boone, who has never managed or coached at any level. Other new managers include the Mets' Mickey Callaway , Boston's Alex Cora , Detroit's Ron Gardenhire , Philadelphia's Gabe Kapler and Washington's Dave Martinez .

    They may or may not have to maneuver pitch clocks and new limits on mound visits - negotiations with the players' union continue. But a new generation drenched in analytics clearly is comfortable schmoozing about spin rates and launch angles, perfect for Ivy League-GMs and their ever-expanding staffs of programmers. A half-century after the Yankees were led by the M&M boys, the hot area of baseball is R&D.

    ''I've spent quite a bit of time looking at video and finally spending time on some numbers, which I really enjoy,'' Kapler said a week after he was hired. ''I've always liked digging into what makes a player good at his job.''

    Mike Scioscia, starting his 19th season with the Angels, is the only manager left hired by his team in the 20th century. But he may have to learn some new moves. Pitcher-outfielder Shohei Ohtani signed with Los Angeles , and Scioscia is considering a six-man rotation to accommodate the special skills of the Japanese star.

    ''Some guys have proven that they're not as functional with too much rest,'' Scioscia said, ''and some guys thrive on the extra day.''

    Seeking to follow the Astros' example and win the World Series for the first time, Milwaukee realized its rebuild was ahead of schedule. The Brewers obtained Christian Yelich from the Marlins and signed Lorenzo Cain to an $80 million, five-year contract , thus far the largest free-agent deal of the offseason.

    Milwaukee is an outlier this winter.

    ''Some teams would prefer to let young players get the reps and the opportunities,'' Dipoto said. ''Free agents by and large are players in their 30s, and if the expectation is for a long contract in your 30s, many clubs that are in that middle zone can't afford to strike out on the multi-year deals in the 30s.''

    If a free agent does sign with the Red Sox late, there's always time for the next publication: The deadline for the press run of 10,000 yearbooks is in mid-March.

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    Five steps to safely bet MLB Spring Training odds
    Jason Logan

    There is almost zero consistency in Spring Training, so when you start to see a pattern – winning or losing – jump on it.

    Betting MLB Spring Training is right up there with eating that week-old slice of pizza at the back of your fridge and lending your car to that sweet girl with the tramp stamp you met at the bar last night (she said she had to pick up her aunt from the hospital) – not the best idea.

    But for those of you dealing with massive intestinal discomfort or the ones describing your 1997 Isuzu Trooper to the local police, you know that sometimes you just can’t help yourself.

    If you are going to bet on Cactus and Grapefruit League action this spring, at least follow these guidelines.

    Do your homework

    Like betting any preseason sport, you have to know what the gameplan is before even thinking of putting your hard-earned coin on the line. Read, read and read some more.

    “One advantage that bettors have in these exhibition games is information,” Covers Expert Matt Fargo says. “Similar to NFL preseason games where coaches give out their player rotations and game plans, managers in baseball are very up front on how long starters will be pitching for and what sort of lineups they are going with.”

    Listen to what the manager is hoping to accomplish this spring: Is he working in prospects or trying to sure up the rotation? And study up on key players and how they approach spring ball: Do they pace themselves in March or come out swinging? We hate to sound like a public service announcement, but “The more you know…”

    Start cautiously

    The first few games of spring training might as well be a high school science fair. Managers are experimenting with lineups and rotations, mixing this guy with that guy and swapping bodies like he’s rolling out hockey lines. A new managers are working with players for the first time, still getting an idea of how to best use their talents.

    Players are also a tough read in the opening slate of exhibition games. Some guys are easing into the action, others are battling for positions, and others are just trying to stay healthy. Keep an ear to the base paths or sit back and watch how a manager is treating the first weeks of spring ball.

    Find the right pitching matchups

    As Spring Training marches on, starting pitchers take on more and more work. Guys will go at least five innings, giving you a pretty good idea of what to expect from the staff. The best situation is when you have an ace matched up against a No. 4 or No. 5 starter, or a young prospect trying to break into the bigs. Managers aren’t quick to change up pitchers in the spring, even if a guy is getting hammered.

    Betting the “better” team

    Roster depth and a surplus of talent can go a long way in Spring Training. Since veterans tend to limit themselves in the exhibition slate, knowing who’s behind them is imperative to betting spring baseball.

    A talent-loaded lineup can make up for the absence of one or two big bats, while a shallow roster struggles without those elite hitters at the plate. It’s the reason baseball bettors see many of the same clubs excelling spring after spring.

    Ride hot teams, fade cold ones

    There is almost zero consistency in Spring Training, so when you start to see a pattern – winning or losing – jump on it. Managers couldn’t care less about the results, so don’t expect them to rush to right the ship if their club struggles in the spring. And if a team is winning, the skip must be doing something right and will only tweak minor details.

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