by OddsShark (@OddsShark | https://twitter.com/oddsshark)
With a month left in the regular season, it appears bettors who put money behind being realistic about the Toronto Blue Jays’ rebuild will be rewarded.
In March, oddsmakers at portsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com set a 2019 win total of 74.5 for the Blue Jays, offering -135 for the UNDER and +105 for the OVER. Selling off veteran assets while making space for rookies such as Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. might have helped with selling hope, but it has also led to a 54-81 record. And with 18 of their final 27 games against teams which are serious playoff contenders it looks as though the Blue Jays are very close to securing the UNDER as they will be hard-pressed to break the 70-win mark.
The Houston Astros and New York Yankees had the highest expected 2019 win totals at 96.5 at sports betting sites. Both the Astros (-120 OVER) and Yankees (-135 OVER) have run away with their respective divisions, playing close to .650 baseball, and are in good position to exceed expectations. The Los Angeles Dodgers (-120 OVER on 93.5 wins), also seem likely to hit the OVER.
The line on the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins was 84.5 wins, but they should exceed that by the end of the first week of September. Similarly, the Atlanta Braves, who lead the NL East, had an 86.5-wins projection, with the OVER priced at even money. They are only six wins away from hitting the OVER, thanks in large part to the leadership of outfielder Ronald Acuna and a bounce-back season from third baseman and cleanup hitter Josh Donaldson.
An offseason exodus of frontline talent led to a 75.5-win total for the Arizona Diamondbacks. But they have managed to play .500 baseball and should beat the lowered expectations.
Two big-market teams that are likely to finish UNDER their 2019 win total are the Boston Red Sox (94.5 total) and Philadelphia Phillies (89.5). Some regression toward the mean for the Red Sox was to be expected after a 108-win 2018 season, but their pitching has struggled more than expected. The Phillies’ acquisition of Bryce Harper led to a late adjustment in their win total, but an offense which has underachieved for much of the season means they would need a scorching finish to get to 90 wins.
The Baltimore Orioles (59.5), Miami Marlins (63.5), Detroit Tigers (68.5) and Kansas City Royals (69.5) had the lowest expected win totals in March. All four teams have winning percentages well below .400, and will likely finish UNDER.