Earlier this week the Four Bases team sat down to record the second Call to the Bullpen episode of the season (You can hear it here). Over the course of a couple of beers we sat down to record our best bets for the upcoming season with the idea of coming back to them in September to see how we fared! Well without further ado, here is what we fancied!
BR- Ben Rowland (@FourBasesBen)
JB- Joel Bailey (@FourBasesJoel)
BR - Minnesota Twins @ 60-1. I love the moves they have made. They've added to genuine upper tier starting pitchers (Lance Lynn & Jake Odorizzi) and also power in Logan Morrison. The roster looks incredibly complete with veterans such as Joe Mauer, youth in Byron Buxton and then consistency from Brian Dozier. My one question mark is the back end of the bullpen in Fernando Rodney, but hopefully he is either lights out or doesn't last very long! At 60-1 each way, I'm willing to roll the dice!
JB- There isn't a whole lot I like here. I can't have the Yankee's, there isn't much value in the Nationals and/or the Dodgers. A wise bet would probably be the Houston Astro's. I cant see anyone in their division touching them. Absolutely no chance they will be playing in a wildcard game, more than likely have home field advantage throughout playoffs. Come September will be alot shorter but not one for me now.
BR- For the same reasons as Joel mentioned above for backing the Astro's outright, I can't not have the Astros to win the AL West. They're just the best team as simple as that. No one knows what LA will be like, my gut says not as good as the Ohtani hype. The Rangers and Mariners are both stagnating and will probably regress this year and that only leaves the A's. Which even as a die-hard A, I can't have them winning more games than the Astro's!
Il top this up with the Dodgers for the NL West. Very unoriginal, very short, very predictable and very good. Which of these teams in this division can rival the Dodgers some what given 95+ wins? I would probably argue none. The Diamondbacks needed JD Martinez to just get into the Wildcard and he's gone. The Padres are up and coming but one for probably another year. Madbum is injured for half a season and I'm not buying the hype regarding the Rockies and their bullpen. The Dodgers for me.
JB- One divisional winner for me. Boston to win the AL East. Yes the Yankees are good, but good to the point they are now overrated. In my eyes Boston are the most complete team in the division, part of the reason they won the division last year. New York has only topped up on power, something they arguably didn't need to do. Boston got exactly the man that would improve their team the most. JD Martinez. Personally I think the rotation is deeper and better, the line up is more well rounded and the D is better. Alright Betances, Chapman and co are very good, but the Sox have a guy called Kimbrel. He's pretty good too.
Number of Team Wins:
BR- Not one for me.
JB- I actually have made a very very basic model for this, which I plan to write a piece on either later tonight (Wednesday) or tomorrow. Essentially it takes into account the WaR (Wins above replacement) of the players added in free agency and also the the value of players lost to free agency, summing to a net war. This is worked into the 2017 win total, giving an estimated win total for 2018 should every player perform to the same level as they did in 2017. 3 picks I like off of the back of this are
Milwaukee Brewers OVER 84.5 wins (10/11)
Texas Rangers UNDER 77 wins (10/11)
San Francisco Giants UNDER 83.5 wins (10/11)
BR- Gary Sanchez (80-1) to hit the most home runs. Something doesn't quite add up here, why is Stanton 4-1, Judge 7-1 and the guy who hits behind them with arguably the best eye and swing out of the three of them 80-1? Yankee Stadium is a graveyard for pitchers. That will do me nicely. Gary is good. Very good infact.
JB- Citizen Bank Ballpark ranks in the top 5 for homer runs to both left handed and right handed hitters. Give me Rhys Hoskins (33-1) and Carlos Santana (200-1), yes two-hundred to one. How Judge is 7-1 when Rhys Hoskins pretty much matched him for half a season I will never know. Hoskins will hit more home runs than Judge this year, book it. Il have some of Yonder Alonso from the Indians at 35s. He is the leading example of the new age, cut the ball up with backspin era. Playing in Progressive Field will only see his home run total rise.
Mookie Betts for AL MVP (33-1), If you haven't guessed already I like the Sox. I think they are going to very good, and when you think someone is going to be very good, back their best player to be MVP. He hits for power, he hits for contact, he steals bag, the fans love him, he plays lights out D and if anyone can get close to being in Mike Trout's stratosphere for being the best player in the American League, its probably Mookie Betts.
Four Base 2018 Picks
0.25ew Minnesota Twins Outright @ 60-1
0.5 Minnesota Twins to win the American League Central @ 6-1
2 LA Dodgers (NLW)/ Houston Astro's (ALW) @ 8-5
1 Red Sox to win the American League East @ 2-1
1 Milwaukee Brewers over 84.5 wins @ 10/11
1 Texas Rangers under 77 wins @ 10/11
1 San Francisco Giants under 83.5 wins @ 10/11
1 Chris Sale (Most Strikeouts) @ 9-2
0.25 Yonder Alonso (Most Home Runs) @ 35-1
0.25ew Gary Sanchez (Most Home Runs) @ 801
0.25 Carlos Santana (Most Home Runs) @ 200-1
0.25 Rhys Hoskins (Most Home Runs) @ 33-1
0.25 Mookie Betts (AL MVP) @ 33-1
0.25 Jacob De Grom (NL Cy Young) @ 20-1