We wrap up our Cactus League coverage for this spring with a look at the last three teams we have covered. Plus, a bonus look at one club from Grapefruit League that is loved and hated.
Listed below are projections and MLB odds for each team for divisions, the league they play in, World Series considerations if applicable and season win totals from 5Dimes. Time to forge ahead.
L.A. Dodgers (1st in NL West, 1st-best NL odds and 3rd for World Series) O/U 95
The Dodgers are the defending National League champions and could not overcome a hot Houston lineup in the World Series. Manager Dave Roberts squad is deserving of all the accolades coming into the season, yet questions remain. Clayton Kershaw is 30 and is coming off two back problems in consecutive years and the rest of the starting staff is hardly imposing. Losing Justin Turner for two months does not help to start the season, but at least it’s early. Los Angeles still has all the components to win the division and possibly the NL again, but I’ll say they come up just short of projected win total for MLB picks.
Texas Rangers (5th in AL West, 13th-best AL odds) O/U 76
The days of Texas as an AL West contender are over. And if a couple of veteran players show further slippage, the Rangers could lose 90 games this season. Cole Hamels is 34 and not the pitcher he used to be and here is what the rest of starting rotation looks like; Martin Perez, Matt Moore, Doug Fister and Mike Minor. The outfield is below average in all aspects. Joey Gallo (41 HR’s, 196 K’s) either strikes-out or goes yard, with not much in between. No young player fell further than Roughed Odor, but at least the second baseman is only 24 and could return to 2016 levels. With Hamels all but sure to be traded, the UNDER for win totals is the correct choice.