Westgate MLB Odds: Ten over/unders that are sure things this year

Vegas’s Westgate Superbook has just released its over/under win totals for the 2017 season, which is right around the corner. Plenty of the odds seem dead on, but here are the 10 you should put your money on if you feel inclined to do so.

 

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Baltimore Orioles (79.5) – Over

The Orioles were a playoff team last season and despite losing catcher Matt Wieters, could be a playoff team once again.

Baltimore boasts a powerful lineup with sluggers like Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo and potential MVP candidate Manny Machado. The starting rotation is once again a weak spot, but a dominant bullpen helps quell the pain.

At the very least, the Orioles should certainly finish at or above the .500 mark, which is all they need to do in order for you to win an over bet.

 

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Detroit Tigers (83.5) – Over

The Tigers won 86 games last year and made next to no changes to this year’s roster. Although they didn’t improve on paper, they should have full seasons out of J.D. Martinez and Nick Castellanos, who both missed significant time on the disabled list last year, as well as improvements from pitchers Daniel Norris and Jordan Zimmermann.

A playoff berth may be tough to come by, but 84 wins should be expected out of this talented squad.

 

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Los Angeles Dodgers (94.5) – Under

The Dodgers are still a World Series contender this season, but expecting them to win 95 games could be a little far-fetched.

Yes, having Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill for a full season helps, but the rest of the rotation’s depth is questionable.

Most importantly, Los Angeles will have more competition in the National League West this year. The Giants, as always, will contend, but Colorado and Arizona look like they could surprise some people and sneak into the race.

Expect at 90-93 win season, but not 95.

 

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Miami Marlins (76.5) – Over

The Jose Fernandez tragedy is something the Marlins will have weighing heavily on their shoulders all year. But sometimes in the wake of tragedy in the city or even the organization itself, sports teams put on their best shows (see 2013 Boston Red Sox, 1998 Detroit Red Wings, Brett Favre’s performance after his father’s death, etc.)

But that’s not the only reason to expect the Marlins could hit the .500 mark this year.

Justin Bour, Dee Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton – one big third of Miami’s lineup – missed a combined 198 games last season.

The Marlin offense will be better, and even without Fernandez, the pitching rotation is pretty deep.

 

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Milwaukee Brewers (69.5) – Under

Milwaukee probably has the inside track to the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft as the Brewers can be expected to finish with a pretty dismal record this season.

To lose this bet, the Brewers would have to be a 70-win team. Yet, their ace is Junior Guerra (although he’s not terrible) and their first baseman, Eric Thames, has not played a MLB game since 2012.

 

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Minnesota Twins (75.5) – Under

I get that the Twins are a young team with some potential coming up through the pipeline, but in order to win this bet, they would need to make at least a 17-game improvement on last year’s 59-103 mark.

It’s fine to expect breakout seasons from youngsters like Byron Buxton, Max Kepler and Miguel Sano, but pitching is a dark spot and there are still plenty of questions surrounding the offense regardless of how these three youngsters perform.

 

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Pittsburgh Pirates (82.5) – Over

There will be some growing pains, but youth could help carry this Pirates team into the playoff race.

Jameson Taillon and Tyler Glasnow could made significant impacts on the pitching staff, especially if ace Gerrit Cole regains his old form.

At the plate, Josh Bell will add some pop and Gregory Polanco has a full year under his belt.

Don’t expect this team to hover as closely to the .500 mark as the oddsmakers think it will.

 

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San Diego Padres (67.5) – Under

The worst team in baseball normally gets around 63 wins – 65 at best. In order to lose this bet, the Padres (who will likely be this year’s last place finisher) would have to win 68 games.

If you believe San Diego, who plays in an incredibly tough division and boasts pretty much nothing except an above average first baseman in Wil Myers, will finish with baseball’s worst record, take the under here.

 

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Seattle Mariners (85.5) – Over

All Seattle needs to do in order to win this bet is to finish at or above their 86-win record from last season.

It seems likely, as this is a team poised to improve and play October baseball for the first time in 16 years thanks to a plethora of new additions.

Of those additions, Jarrod Dyson and Jean Segura will be able to scratch out some runs due to their speed and starting pitcher Drew Smyly adds more depth to the Seattle rotation. Things are looking up in the Pacific Northwest.

 

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Texas Rangers (84.5) – Under

Not saying Texas finishes under .500, but winning 85 games may be tough. The Rangers squeezed out some incredibly lucky wins last season, not paying for many of their mistakes and instead snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

This year, expect a regression to the mean. Especially since Texas did nothing to improve the bullpen and the back end of the rotation is still thin. Also, some of the big bats in the lineup are getting a bit stale (i.e. Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Gomez, Mike Napoli). Is Adrian Beltre next?

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2017 NHL Mock Draft: Version Two

This is the second edition of my monthly NHL mock draft series that will lead up to the real draft in June.

I will post a mock draft each month leading up to the draft to track changes. Also, the lottery order will be randomized using the lottery simulator from tankathon.com (http://www.tankathon.com/nhl)

 

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KELOWNA, CANADA – OCTOBER 25: Nolan Patrick #19 of Brandon Wheat Kings shoots on net during warm up against the Kelowna Rockets on October 25, 2014 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

1. Colorado Avalanche – Nolan Patrick, C, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

There is some debate at the top of the draft, but Patrick certainly seems like the best player available. He has done nothing but impress in his first 21 games back from injury, tallying 33 points.

 

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2. Vegas Golden Knights – Nico Hischier, C, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

Hischier may very well get picked first, filling the scoresheet consistently this season to the tune of 77 points in 46 games, including a pretty equal distribution of goals and assists. He is a multi-talented offensive asset that would be a great fit as Vegas’s first franchise center.

 

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3. Philadelphia Flyers – Owen Tippett, RW, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)

This month’s simulation has the Flyers jumping up a whopping 10 spots in the draft, which would be perfect for them since they need a top-tier forward prospect. With a couple of great choices on the board, the Flyers lean toward Tippett due to their extreme lack of depth on the wing in their prospect pool.

 

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4. Arizona Coyotes – Callan Foote, D, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

Foote is a little unlikely to go in the top 10, but he fits perfectly here. Arizona would like another top-tier defenseman in the system to go along with all of the young forwards, and Foote is a low-risk, extremely well-rounded blueliner with elite hockey sense.

 

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5. Dallas Stars – Timothy Liljegren, D, Rogle BK (Sweden)

Some of Dallas’s defensive draft picks lately have not quite panned out, so the Stars give it another shot and pick the offensive-minded Liljegren. There are some concerns with his game in his own zone, but Liljegren’s offensive awareness adds another threat from the blue line to go along with John Klingberg.

 

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6. Vancouver Canucks – Gabriel Vilardi, C, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

He may not fit Vancouver’s needs, but if the ultra-talented Vilardi slips this low, the Canucks have no choice but to scoop him up. Vilardi is a top-three talent that could even go No. 1.

 

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7. Detroit Red Wings – Casey Mittlestadt, C, Eden Prairie HS (Minnesota)

The Red Wings would be ecstatic if Mittlestadt is available here. He is an elite offensive centerman who possesses game-changing skill and sense.

 

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8. Winnipeg Jets – Martin Necas, C, Brno (Czech Republic)

Expect the Jets to be licking their chops at the thought of putting the strong-skating Necas, a pass-first center, on a line with the shoot-first Patrik Laine some day. A perfect fit.

 

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EVERETT, WASHINGTON – SEPTEMBER 18: (Photo by Christopher Mast/Everett Silvertips)

9. New Jersey Devils – Cody Glass, C, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

New Jersey can go in a variety of directions here with some good forwards on the board, but it would be wise for the Devils to go with the most offense they can get. If they choose that approach, Cody Glass will be the pick.

 

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10. Carolina Hurricanes – Eeli Tolvanen, LW, Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)

With a fantastic group of young defensemen, the Hurricanes are in need of a winger. Tolvanen has a wicked shot and can certainly spearhead the next wave of Carolina forwards.

 

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11. Buffalo Sabres – Michael Rasmussen, C, Tri-City Americans (WHL)

Buffalo goes with the best available player here, which is Rasmussen. Rasmussen stands at 6’5, possesses quite a bit of offensive skill and moves quite well for a big body. He would fit in nicely with any team.

 

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12. Tampa Bay Lightning – Cale Makar, D, Brooks Bandits (AJHL)

The Bolts need more offensive-minded defense prospects, so they reach here with Makar. He has put up ridiculous numbers in the AJHL this year and has shown great skill as a puck-mover, but the level of competition he has faced does not match up to most others in this draft. The definition of a high-risk, high-reward prospect.

 

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13. Los Angeles Kings – Elias Pettersson, C, Timra IK (Sweden)

Pettersson still fits for the Kings in this month’s edition. A strong skater with a good set of hands and some defensive awareness as well, Pettersson is the right choice for a team who could use some young center depth.

 

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14. New York Islanders – Klim Kostin, LW, Dynamo Moscow (Russia)

The Islanders have a lot of skill in their prospect pool, but not a lot of size. Kostin, a 6-foot-3 power forward with offensive upside would change that.

 

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15. Boston Bruins – Ryan Poehling, C, St. Cloud State (NCAA)

More depth up the middle would help the Bruins, and the intelligent Poehling is the best center left on the board – maybe even the best player left. This pick makes sense for everyone involved.

 

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16. Calgary Flames – Kailer Yamamoto, RW, Spokane Chiefs (WHL)

Yamamoto’s size may cause him to fall in this draft, but there is no denying his talent. Plus, with players like Johnny Gaudreau, Tyler Johnson and Mitch Marner, shouldn’t NHL teams start realizing that a lack of size doesn’t always mean a whole lot?

The Flames could use a wing, and the success story of Gaudreau could cause them to lean toward Yamamoto here.

 

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17. Nashville Predators – Lias Andersson, C, HV 71 (Sweden)

The Predators need a high-scoring center, and Andersson seems like a good fit. He is playing with pros in Sweden right now and has put up very respectable numbers.

 

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18. St. Louis Blues – Juuso Valimaki, D, Tri-City Americans (WHL)

It would be stunning if Valimaki drops this low, but that’s the way this mock draft shakes out. Luckily for the Blues, they get a value pick with the offensive defenseman they need still on the board.

 

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19. Toronto Maple Leafs – Maxime Comtois, LW, Victoriaville Tigers (QMJHL)

Although Comtois has shown a bit of plateauing, the Leafs can’t turn down a high-upside winger at No. 19. If Comtois progresses, he could turn into a steal, which would be a great addition for a team that seems to be on the cusp of greatness.

 

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20. Florida Panthers – Nicolas Hague, D, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)

Easy pick here for Florida. Hague is much better than the No. 20 player on the board, and the Panthers are a team that should be taking the best player possible. Hague is a defensive-minded defenseman who can shut down the opponent’s top lines, but he has also shown a bit of a spark on offense this season. Could be a promising sign.

 

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21. Anaheim Ducks – Nick Suzuki, C, Owen Sound Attack (OHL)

Suzuki is a points-producing machine, totaling 71 in just 53 games thus far. He seems to have a knack to know where the puck is and where it should go to produce offense. Anaheim would benefit from more depth at center in the organization, so Suzuki would be a smart choice for the Ducks.

 

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22. Montreal Canadiens – Shane Bowers, C, Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)

Another team in need of a center, Montreal takes Bowers. He is a low-risk prospect who shows some leadership characteristics on and off the ice.

 

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23. Ottawa Senators – Kole Lind, RW, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

Ottawa has a pretty well-rounded pool of prospects, so Kole Lind is a good fit. He is a high-reward player who has exploded offensively this season.

 

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24. Edmonton Oilers – Miro Heiskanen, D, HIFK (Finland)

Edmonton should go with a defenseman, and Heiskanen is the best one left on the board without much question. He is small, but Heiskanen can move the puck out of his zone well and is not prone to making many mistakes.

 

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25. San Jose Sharks – Nikita A. Popugaev, RW, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)

San Jose should probably take the best available player, but the Sharks also need a winger. Luckily, it’s a win-win. Popugaev, who plays both wings, is the best player possible. He is a skilled forward who can find the back of the net and isn’t afraid to do the dirty work.

 

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26. Chicago Blackhawks – Jake Oettinger, G, Boston University (NCAA)

The Blackhawks are severely lacking in the goaltending department of their prospect pool, and Oettinger would not be a reach at this point in the first round. As the best keeper in this draft, he seems like a good fit.

 

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27. New York Rangers – Henri Jokiharju, D, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

He’s small for a defenseman, but Jokiharju has the puck-moving potential the Rangers would like in a blue line prospect. He also has a high floor, so this pick should pan out for New York.

 

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28. Columbus Blue Jackets – Matthew Strome, LW, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)

Strome is a goal-scoring winger with a little bit of size and snarl to go along with him. He fits the profile of what Columbus will be looking for in this year’s draft.

 

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29. Pittsburgh Penguins – Kristian Vesalainen, RW, Frolunda (Sweden)

Vesalainen is playing in a pro league in Sweden and Pittsburgh would like a player who will be NHL-ready sooner rather than later. This makes Vesalainen a nice fit with the Penguins – if he drops this far.

 

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30. Minnesota Wild – Jaret Anderson-Dolan, C, Spokane Chiefs (WHL)

Anderson-Dolan is a pure goal-scorer, so he would be a nice fit with the Wild, who do not have many high-end scoring prospects.

 

31. Washington Capitals – Urho Vaakanainen, D, JYK (Finland)

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Vaakanainen is a well-rounded defenseman who is good on both ends of the ice. He may not drop quite this far, but the Capitals would be wise to take him if he does.

 

That does it for February’s edition! Check back near the end of March for another mock draft.