With clean slates, 30 MLB teams (and their fan bases) have that new-year optimism. Not all of them should, however.
Based on team win prop bets from Sportsbook.com, John Trifone came up with five that he likes (or doesn't like, depending on your perspective). Here they are:
Baltimore Orioles - under 78.5 winsThoughts on John's picks? Other teams?
They were a great story last year and I hate to bet against Buck Showalter, but the AL East is just too tough, and Baltimore way over achieved in close games last year.
Chicago White Sox - over 80.5
The White Sox have a strong offense in a division that is fairly mediocre outside of Detroit. Chris Sale emerged as a star that can anchor the rotation. I like this team to be better than .500.
Houston Astros - under 59.5
There's not a lot of good news for the Astros so I'll start with the bad. A team that won 55 games last year in the NL is moving to the AL West with the Rangers, Angels, A's, and Mariners. I can't see them winning five more games in a tougher league and one of the most competitive divisions in baseball.
Los Angeles Dodgers - over 91.5
The Dodgers did not finish strong after all of their big acquisitions last year. However, starting fresh, I believe they're going to be a force to be reckoned with. They are one of the most balanced teams in baseball and are a legitimate threat to win it all.
Philadelphia Phillies - over 83.5
A few years ago the Phillies were dubbed to be perennial favorites behind an incredible pitching staff. After an injury-plagued season last year, look for Philly to bounce back. They have three aces on the staff, and with lower expectations and a lot less pressure this year, I think they'll thrive.
[Editor's note: This post is by John Trifone (@JohnnyT0122), who also contributes at our NFL site: Eat, Drink and Sleep Football (see John's archives). Throughout the MLB season, John will be handicapping some games and you'll be able to follow his picks throughout the season this year.]