Las Vegas sports gambling is buzzing year round, but for MLB fans who enjoy wagering, this is a wonderful time of the year. With spring training upon us, the LVH SuperBook in Las Vegas released their win totals for the entire league, in addition to other team odds and more specific propositions involving individual players.
Las Vegas, at least this particular sportsbook, has placed the Los Angeles Dodgers on top with a total of 93.5 wins. Ed Salmons, manager at the LVH SuperBook, explained the reasoning behind this number to the Sporting News:
“The Dodgers pitching is stout, and we saw after they figured things out at the halfway point last season that they were one of the toughest teams in baseball,” said Salmons. “Between their improved bullpen, the best rotation in baseball and Matt Kemp expected to give more contributions this season, the Dodgers should be better than last season.”
Last season, the Dodgers were struggling badly before going on an extended run of winning baseball, finishing up with a record of 92-70 and taking the National League West Division title. They were ultimately eliminated by St. Louis in the NLCS, but expectations are understandably high going forward. Ownership is not shy about spending money to win, as evidenced by the Dodgers MLB leading $216 million dollar payroll. However, with great expectations comes the requisite pressure, and any result short of a World Series appearance will likely be considered a disappointment.
The only other team projecting over 90 wins according to the LVH SuperBook numbers is St. Louis with a total of 91.5. The Cardinals won the National League pennant last season before losing in six games to Boston in the World Series. St. Louis has been a model of consistency for some time and is loaded with young talent, so they are expected to be in the mix yet again.
The New York Yankees are always a polarizing team, and are coming off an 85-77 finish in which they missed the postseason. They are getting older and experienced a fairly significant turnover during the offseason, including the acquisition of Japanese superstar Masahiro Tanaka. LVH set the Yankees total at 85.5 wins, and Salmons weighed in on their outlook:
“They lost Robinson Cano, Mariano Rivera, and A-Rod as well, even though he doesn’t matter much, and then they brought in Carlos Beltran and (Jacoby) Ellsbury, as well as (Brian) McCann, so they have improved a little over last season. It’s up in the air with Tanaka. Is he going be an instant impact like Yu Darvish in Texas? I don’t think so, but we’ll have to wait and see. Everything I’ve heard is that he’s not close to being in Darvish’s class.”
Some teams are projected to go up, while others are predicted to fall. There are always myriad questions asked in Las Vegas this time of year regarding odds and propositions, along with boundless optimism from fans of each team, but everything will be sorted out soon enough when the MLB regular season gets underway.