National League West Win Total Betting Guide
We’re just a few days away from Opening Day, and we’re down to our last division to preview on win totals from FanDuel Sportsbook.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are once again the favorites to win the NL West, which would give them eight straight division titles. San Diego has an exciting team with newly signed Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr., the second-best prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com.
Our models project the Dodgers to follow through and win the division once again, but second place will be up for grabs as the Rockies, Diamondbacks, and Padres are all projected to win between 77 and 81 games. That makes this an interesting division to bet on, so without further ado, here’s one over bet and one under bet that align with our projections.
|Team||FanDuel Total||numberFire Projected Wins|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||93.5||91|
|San Diego Padres||77.5||79|
|San Francisco Giants||73.5||73|
Arizona Diamondbacks -- Over 75.5
The Diamondbacks finished with a modest 82 wins last season, but they lost slugger Paul Goldschmidt to the Cardinals. Therefore, their total of 75.5 might seem spot-on without much further analysis, but the Diamondbacks have a few things working in their favor. For instance, they finished with 86 Pythagorean wins a year ago, suggesting that they underachieved relative to their actual record.
While the losses of Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock would appear to derail the Diamondbacks’ lineup, Arizona has made moves to replace their production. Last year, they traded for Eduardo Escobar to play third base, and he is an upgrade defensively from Jake Lamb. Lamb moves to first base, and he should be a defensive upgrade from Goldschmidt. Arizona also traded for Steven Souza to shore up right field. However, Souza missed much of 2018 with an injury, and right field was a major weakness for the Diamondbacks as a result.
If Souza can stay healthy this year, Arizona won’t have much of a drop-off from a hitting and fielding perspective. They also moved Ketel Marte from second base to center field and signed Wilmer Flores to play second. The D-Backs had to finagle their defensive lineup, but for the most part, they’ve done a good job replacing the production of their lost stars.
The loss that will hurt Arizona the most will likely be the departure of Patrick Corbin, who signed with the Nationals over the offseason. But the Diamondbacks still have a solid pitching staff. They replaced Corbin with Luke Weaver via the Goldschmidt trade, and they landed Matt Andriese from a trade with the Rays.
So although Arizona lost a few of their best players, they adjusted their lineup to situate themselves to finish around .500 again this season. Our models project the Diamondbacks to win 77 games, which is enough to recommend a small play on over 75.5 wins.
Colorado Rockies -- Under 84.5
The Rockies were one of the best offenses last season, especially at Coors Field, and won 91 games and beat the Chicago Cubs in the Wild Card game. They competed with the Dodgers all the way down to the wire and finished just one game back of winning the division. However, there was a major discrepancy in each team’s true level of play; the Dodgers had 102 Pythagorean wins last year while the Rockies had just 85.
If we operate under the assumption that Colorado was actually an 85-win team last year, that puts them close to this year’s total. In addition, both Kyle Freeland and German Marquez led Colorado’s starting pitchers with the best seasons of their careers, but both can be expected to regress at least a bit this season. Freeland finished last season with 173 strikeouts and a 2.85 ERA, but our models project him to finish this year with 150 strikeouts and a 4.05 ERA. Similarly, while Marquez had a whopping total of 230 strikeouts with a 3.77 ERA in 2018, our projections have him at 186 strikeouts and a 3.93 ERA in 2019.
The most significant loss for the Rockies is Adam Ottavino, who had 1.9 wins above replacement (WAR), per FanGraphs, from the bullpen last season. Ottavino signed with the Yankees (like they need any more ace relievers), and Colorado will be without a bullpen stud in 2019.
Colorado signed veteran Daniel Murphy, who will play first base, moving last season’s first baseman, Ian Desmond, to center field in one of the offseason’s more puzzling transactions. This will almost certainly leave Colorado worse defensively since Desmond wasn’t even a good fielder at first base.
In total, all of these moves lead to 81 projected wins, per our models, and so under 84.5 wins is a good bet. Colorado still has a dynamic offense with Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story in the middle of the order, but it’s unlikely their defense and bullpen will put them in a position to challenge for a division crown like they did a year ago.