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From: The Sports Point
Seattle Mariners OVER 84
- Seattle acquired a top 5 American League pitcher this off-season in Erik Bedard and are coming off an 88 win season last year without him.
- JJ Putz will be healthy at the beginning of the year which will propel the M's to a good start to the season.
- King Felix is a year more mature and he is expected to sign a contract extension soon which should put the 21 year olds mind at ease, which will only help his performance.
- This team has a nice blend of productive veterans and young emerging stars that feel they blew a golden opportunity last year to make the playoffs. Expect them to come out with a sense of urgency right from the start of the season based upon last years disappointing stretch run.
Cleveland Indians UNDER 90
- The lingering C.C Sabathia contract talks will have an effect on his performance.
- This prediction is more based on the fact that this division will be much better, most notably the Tigers who will be greatly improved with the addition of Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis.
- This is a relatively young team that blew a 3-1 series lead in the ALCS last season and could still be feeling the effects of that.
- Simply put Eric Wedge is not a big time manager and we find it hard to pick two teams in the same division to win 90 plus games. So you know those 5 games your manager wins or loses for you a year? Yeah, we like Jim Leyland to win more of those games then Wedge.
Kansas City Royals OVER 74
- All of the young players that were thrown into the fire last year, like Alex Gordon are a year older and will be improved.
- Their starting staff is better then people might think. Gil Meche pitched to a bad record last year but posted a very respectable 3.67 ERA. Brian Bannister pitched to a sub 4.00 ERA as well and will be in the rotation from the beginning of the year, after posting a 12-9 mark last season.
- Dayton Moore has gotten ownership in K.C. to open up the wallet a little bit with the Meche signing last season and Jose Guillen acquisition this year. We like the direction this franchise is headed and expect them to take a huge step forward this year.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays UNDER 75.5
- It is to much to ask for a young team to improve by 10 wins from last year in the toughest division in baseball.
- Scott Kazmir and Shields are top 20 in the A.L as far as starting pitchers go, but the rest of their pitching staff does not have one guy we like.
- We do think the Rays will be improved, but that they will win more like 70 games.
- Hats off to their organization for realizing the bigger picture and taking the initiative to get rid of problem children, Delmon Young and Elijah Dukes. These moves will pay off in the long run.
Texas Rangers OVER 75
- The starting pitching is still not very good as always in Arlington, but good enough to navigate the team to 75 wins.
- They were right at 75 wins last season and the additions of Josh Hamilton and Milton Bradley makes their outfield more formidable then last season and adds depth to an already good lineup.
- Breakout Season Alert: Jarrod Saltalamacchia will emerge as a top 5 hitting catcher this season and diminish the loss of Mark Teixeira.
- Players like playing for manager Ron Washington and play hard for him every night which at the end of the season often sways these type of wagers. Not to mention the calming effect he should have on hothead Milton Bradley, who when locked in is a good player.
[o/u numbers from betcris.com ]