The odds makers have logged on and the ones at Caesers Sportsbook have set the over/under win totals for Major League Baseball in 2020. When it comes to the best team in baseball, they’ve pegged that team to be the Los Angeles Dodgers with 37 wins (that’s a 100-win pace for a 162 game season).

For the National League Central Division, the Cincinnati Reds are on top at 31.5 wins. That’s only an 85-win pace for a full season. The number may be low because the Reds aren’t alone at the top. Both the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals also sit there at 31.5 wins according to Caesers. The Milwaukee Brewers are only one game behind those three, sitting at 30.5. The lowly Pittsburgh Pirates are at the bottom, sitting there with their over/under number of 25 wins on the season.

MGM Sportsbook has a similar, but slightly different outlook. The Reds are still at the top, tied with the Cardinals and the Cubs. All three teams have their over/under set at 32.5 wins. The Brewers are sitting there next with an over/under at 30.5. The Pirates are still down at the bottom of the division with 25.5 wins.

It’s not too surprising that things are tight at the top. We’ve all kind of felt that way since about December when the Reds started making some big moves in free agency. Their additions of Nick Castellanos, Mike Moustakas, Shogo Akiyama, Wade Miley, and Pedro Strop really shored up some potential holes on the roster. It was an offseason unlike Reds fans have seen from their team in a very long time – if ever. And the moves took Cincinnati from a solid, but unspectacular team in 2020 to one that’s in line to contend for a playoff spot and be named as the divisional favorite by multiple publications.

With just 60 games to work with, in such a tight race, every single game is going to matter that much more. Every game against teams within your division is going to be more valuable than in past seasons. There’s less time to make up a loss to a divisional opponent. A team that gets out to a start like the Reds did last year has almost no chance of making up that deficit in a short season short of going on one of the best runs of all time.

This article was updated with odds from MGM as well.

7 Responses

  1. Don

    The all being tied by the betters makes sense.

    The Reds starting pitching is top 5 or 6 in the league by all metrics and the additions on offense should result in a top 10 or better offense.

    They should have been expected to win 85 games in a 162 game season, I would see that as the the top end of the floor for this team. I was thinking 82 or 83 wins would be the worst they should do and 90 to 92 wins would be a very good season.

    In this short season teams cannot afford a 3 or 4 game loosing streak and the pitching staff should not allow this to occur unless the offense is really awdul

    I am interested in how the schedule is structured as to limit travel. My guess would be that the inter-league games (5 opponents, 4 games vs each) will be one series one time in one stadium, not 2 games home and away. Could they also back the 5 game series so that each team plays each division opponent one series each home and away for the 10 games and have an off-day after each 5 game series.

    To me that would be the smart way to schedule to minimize travel and health risks.

    • William Blankemeyer

      Go big Red machine, have been a big fan since I was a kid growing up in OHIO

  2. Hotto4Votto

    Is a team the favorite to win the division if they are predicted to win the exact same amount of games as two other teams? Maybe the headline should read, among the favorites.

  3. Tom Mitsoff

    If the season evolves as these two “expert” analysis organizations predict, it’s going to be amazing and exciting. Our sim MLB season that is happening now has the top four teams in the NL Central division only three games apart through 83 games. Much could change depending on which players might be unavailable for long periods due to possible virus spread, but with everything being equal, it could be an amazing 60-game race.

  4. George Stricker

    For there to be a real chance of this happening, Reds must use 3 weeks if ST wisely and have the best plan for utilizing the roster smartly.

  5. Stock

    I feel the Reds are pre-schedule favorites with this format. Just like 1990 the bullpen and pitching staff becomes huge.

    The Cubs have 4 SP followed up by Chatwood and Mills. Their bullpen is weak and lacks depth. (4 RP with an ERA < 4 last year and 2 more with an ERA in the 4's)

    Milwaukee has weak SP and little proven in the pen after Hader. (2 RP with an ERA < 4 and one more in the 4's. The Brewers also have a wild card Knebel which is huge for them considering their lack of depth).

    St. Louis SP is every bit as good as the Reds and possibly even deeper with 7 pitchers I could see starting. (5 RP with an ERA < 4 and 1 more with an ERA in the 4's). They have interesting options at SP (Ponce De Leon, Carlos Martinez and Alex Reyes). This probably gives them 8 RP which is good.

    Cincinnati is right with the Cardinals in SP and probably more depth at RP. (5 RP with an ERA of <4 and 5 more in the 4's is much better depth than the Cards) The Reds also have three interesting options for to add to the bullpen depth. Mahle has a career ERA of 3.37 vs. the first 9 batters and figures to be better knowing he can go all out and not pace himself like a SP. Nate Jones has a career ERA of 3.12 and if healthy is a great addition and Brooks Raley I find as an Interesting add.

  6. Stock

    Old-school nailed it. With Lorenzen, Mahle, Stephenson, Sims and Reed the Reds have 5 former top 100 prospects who can and should be asked to pitch multiple innings early in the season. Then the Reds have so much RP depth these 5 can hand it off to the short men (Iglesias, Garrett, Bowman, Nate Jones and Strop). This depth is incredible and give the Reds a huge advantage in the first two weeks of the season.

    Taxi squad includes Raley, Kuhnel, Herget and several others.