Opening day sits just two days away, and every team has hopes of being the best. We continue our MLB odds series with a special best regular season record prediction and pick.
Last year it was the 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers that took the crown for the best regular season, but they fell short in the playoffs. A lot of key pieces return, but they play in the same division as the Padres though, who spent a lot of money in the off-season to get better. The Dodgers have been first or second in MLB in wins for four straight years, but have never repeated as the leader in the MLB’s best regular season record.
Here are the Bets Regular Season Record in MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Best Regular Season Record in MLB
Los Angeles Dodgers: +500
Atlanta Braves: +500
Houston Astros: +550
San Diego Padres: +850
New York Yankees: +850
New York Mets: +850
Why The Dodges Will Have The Best Record in MLB
Looking at the odds, this seems like a three-team race. Even with a more balanced schedule, the Yankees, Padres, and Mets have a harder path to the top. The Yankees play in potentially the best division in baseball, and the Padres and Mets have two teams in front of them that are great. One of those is the Dodgers. Trea Turner is gone though, as is Justin Turner. Cody Bellinger has found his way out of town, and so have two of their starting pitchers. Buehler is hurt, as is Gavin Lux. That is a lot of losses to come back from.
Freeman is coming off what could have been the best season of his career. He has the best WAR number of his career with 7.1 and was an MVP candidate. It is a lot to ask for him to repeat that, but he is a future hall-of-famer and more than capable of doing the same. Miguel Vargas is a top-level prospect that is coming up. He has all the tools to be a quality player for the Dodgers, including some good power that should drive in some runs.
Pitching is always good for the Dodgers, and this year should be no different. Kershaw does not seem to age, and he just finished another all-star campaign. Urias is the best pitcher on the staff and has been sub-three in ERA the past two years. Tony Gonsolin will come off the IL and be just fine. He has an amazing splitter that is tough to hit. If the stars can be at their peak, and injuries do not derail the season, the Dodgers will be in the mix for the best regular season pick again.
Why The Braves Will Have The Best Record in MLB
Acuna Jr., Olson, Riley, Murphy, Albies, and Ozuna, that is the bats that opposing pitchers have to go through on a nightly basis when facing the Braves. Acuna Jr. had a down year by his standards but seems poised to bounce back and contribute in a big way. Austin Riley is starting to develop into an MVP candidate and can put up huge numbers from third base. Then the Braves added a stud catcher in Sean Murphy. Not only is he a plus offensive catcher, but he will also improve their defense. Murphy is one of the best behind the plate and now he is in Atlanta.
The Braves also still have Travis d’Arnaud which will allow Murphy to DH on some nights, especially if there are struggles from players such as Marcell Ozuna. Speaking of Ozuna, if he and Rosario can bounce back from bad years, this team that was already stacked will be even better.
While the bats are great, the pitching is stellar as well. Max Fried is one of the best pitchers in the game. He has a 3.06 ERA over the past four years. Spencer Strider comes in off a great first season and will look to continue. He was a strikeout machine, hitting over 13 strikeouts per nine innings. The bullpen is also fantastic. They have one of the best closers in the league with Raisel Iglesias. If the Braves have the lead in the ninth, that is as close to a sure win as there comes. They are a solid pick for the best regular season in MLB.
Why The Astros Will Have The Best Record in MLB
The Astros are coming off another World Series title, and this one is a little less tainted. Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley, and Alex Bregman all return this year and were keys to the season the Astros had. The Astros also added some power to their lineup, bringing in Jose Abreu from the White Sox. Abreu is getting up there in age, but still can provide power, and is a good replacement for Gurriel.
There are injury concerns early though. Brantley has shoulder surgery and is not back yet. Jose Altuve broke his hand in the World Baseball Classic and may miss some time as well. Alex Bregman has been dealing with injuries over the last few seasons, but when he was healthy last year he put up great numbers.
In the pitching category, there is some excitement too. That can start with Hunter Brown, who was a late-season call-up last year. He was solid in those appearances and dominated in the Minor Leagues. Framber Valdez is back, and he dominated last season. Not only was he great in the regular season, but he also won both of his starts in the World Series.
Why The Yankees Will Have The Best Record in MLB
If longer odds are desired, the Yankees are a solid pick for the best record in MLB. The rotation is solid with Cole, Rodon, Severino, and Cortes. They also have a good bullpen, and while they do not have a dominant closer, they have multiple guys who could fill that role.
The Yankees also still have a great lineup, led by Aaron Judge. While he may not hit 62 home runs again, his bat is to be feared and will still make an impact. Anthony Rizzo also returns, and combined with Stanton, there is plenty of power in the middle of the lineup for the Yankees. There is also a splash of youth, with Anthony Volpe getting invited to the opening-day roster.
Final Best Regular Season Record in MLB Prediction & Pick
The Astros may start slow with all the injury concerns they have. The Dodgers have not repeated as the top team in their current run and lost a lot of guys. The Yankees are a long shot, but if they can get solid starting pitching, they could be the right pick. The best pick is the Braves though. They were amazing last year and added to the roster with Murphy. They have a great bullpen and starting pitching to go with a dangerous offense.
Final Best Regular Season Record in MLB Prediction & Pick: Atlanta Braves go 110-52
Final Best Regular Season Record in MLB Prediction & Pick: Atlanta Braves (+500)
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