2014 MLB Preview

HUGE SCHEDULE AWAITS MLB FANS ON FIRST BIG DAY OF 2014 SEASON

We know that “Opening Day” was technically several days ago down in Australia when the Los Angeles Dodgers played the Arizona Diamondbacks. And, that the first Sunday Night game of the new season set the stage for this first big Monday. But, FOR MOST MLB TEAMS, it’s OPENING DAY! That means it’s time to quickly review how the season is projected to play out according to regular season win totals posted in the legal betting markets.

We’ll go division-by-division, starting with the NL East. The numbers you see below reflect a general composite of betting lines from Las Vegas and offshore.

NL EAST
Washington 90.5
Atlanta 86.5
Philadelphia 76
NY Mets 73.5
Miami 69

Washington was supposed to be a juggernaut last year, but fell off the pace just a bit. Many metrics-based approaches are expecting a bounce back in 2014…which makes the Nationals once again a favorite to compete for the league pennant. Their number of 90.5 is only third best in the markets (behind LAD and St. Louis). But, they have a much easier schedule than those two in the division-heavy rotation. Plus, Atlanta has taken some big hits to their rotation, and may have trouble getting near 86.5 wins.

NL CENTRAL
St. Louis 91.5
Cincinnati 84.5
Pittsburgh 83.5
Milwaukee 80
Chicago Cubs 69.5

Pittsburgh was a huge surprise last season. Time will tell if that was due to innovation and talent, or just one of those fluky things that happens in baseball all the time. The market is skeptical about playing contention, but is admittedly giving the Pirates much more respect than they used to get. Could be a great race if St. Louis stubs its toe. But, they have the best 5-man starting rotation in the league. Keep an eye on the Cubs, who have had a chance now to fix much of what had been wrong with the prior management regime.

NL WEST
LA Dodgers 94
San Francisco 85.5
San Diego 79
Arizona 79
Colorado 76.5

The Dodgers are still dynamite. But, Yasiel Puig is a powderkeg that could blow up the season if he’s not contained. Is San Francisco ready for a bounce back season? The Giants sure are hoping Tim Lincecum is. All sorts of potential drama in this group…and any of the also-rans could make a run at respectability. No true doormats in this set, which isn’t true in the other NL divisions.

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AL EAST
Tampa Bay 88.5
Boston 87
NY Yankees 86
Baltimore 80.5
Toronto 80

Moving now to the AL, this division is so competitive that nobody is currently projected to reach 90 wins…or to FAIL to reach 80 wins. Bad injury luck will probably hit one of the five teams. And, there are some thoughts that the Yankees are right on the precipice of collapse with all of their old veterans. Fascinating division…and one that will be much better than those records would indicate when they play outside their own division.

AL CENTRAL
Detroit 90
Kansas City 82
Cleveland 81.5
Chicago White Sox 75
Minnesota 69.5

Detroit made big news spending big money last week. That should help keep everyone’s eye on the ball in the pennant chase. Some see this division as equal to the NL East…with Detroit being the equivalent of Washington positioned to coast past a lot of mediocrity and worse. Skeptics about regarding the potential this year for CWS and Minnesota.

 

AL WEST
LA Angels 87
Oakland 87
Texas 86.5
Seattle 81
Houston 63.5

Basically what you’d get if you took the AL East and traded Houston for Toronto. A lot of great talent here, but not enough playoff spots to go around. Seattle’s hoping to make a move after spending huge on Robinson Cano. Looks like a race where losing a step costs you immediately because three good teams re ready to run by you.

We can’t talk specifics about JIM HURLEY’S personal opinions on the races. We need to protect opening month strategies…and his “full season” opinions are very much shaped by his expectations for what’s going to happen right out of the gate. We can tell you that several BIG PLAYS are planned for this first full week of action. The rotations have been set for days…so it’s easy to map out an extended plan of attack.

You can purchase DAILY BEST BETS in BASEBALL right here at the website with your credit card. Be sure to take care of business early when there’s a lot of daytime action (like on MONDAY!). If you have any questions about monthly or season service, call Monday morning before first pitch at 1-800-323-4453.

We’ll be back Tuesday to look at the Final Four in the NIT. Our previews of the Final Four games for the Big Dance will run next Friday and Saturday. Build your bankroll now for the final triumphs of MARCH MADNESS with daily baseball from THE MASTER OF ALL TRADES…JIM HURLEY!

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