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Odds: Over/under win totals for National League teams

Feb 25, 2011, 12:43 PM EDT

pete rose time cover

Bookmaker.com has posted its initial over/under odds for regular season team wins. Here are the National League totals (for entertainment purposes only, of course):

Phillies          97
Giants            88
Braves            88
Rockies           87
Reds              86.5
Brewers           85.5
Cardinals         83.5
Dodgers           83
Cubs              82
Marlins           81.5
Mets              77
Padres            76
Diamondbacks      72.5
Astros            72.5
Nationals         72
Pirates           67

Just about everyone would agree that the Phillies are clearly the class of the National League and probably enter the season as World Series favorites, but 97 wins is an exceptionally high baseline for even a great on-paper team. For example, the last NL team to win more than 97 games was the Cardinals in 2005 and a total of just six NL teams have topped 97 wins since 2000. Philadelphia is definitely capable of joining that group, but I’m not sure it makes sense to bet on it.

Colorado also stands out as a strong “under” bet at 87 wins considering they won 83 games last season and didn’t really make any significant offseason additions. Plus, it’s not as if Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki can be much better than they were in 2010. I’m also not sure I see why the Cubs have an over/under as high as 82 wins after going 75-87 last season. They should be better after adding Carlos Pena and Matt Garza, but it’s tough imagine them being much above .500.

Adrian Gonzalez is really good and San Diego came out of nowhere last season, but setting their over/under at 76 wins seems pretty low coming off a 90-win campaign. I’d be surprised if they aren’t at least around .500. Arizona also seems like a solid “over” bet at 72.5 wins, as their historically awful bullpen–much like Seattle’s historically inept lineup in the AL–almost can’t help but be much better, particularly if J.J. Putz stays healthy.

With the caveat that I haven’t exactly spent a lot of time breaking down projections and crunching numbers to come up with these opinions, I like the Padres, Diamondbacks, and Mets the most for “over” and the Phillies, Rockies, and Cubs the most for “under.”

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Feb 25, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    The Phillies won 97 games without Cliff Lee and with only 2 months of Roy Oswalt. If you think they can’t win one more game, then you are nuts. Of course, there always injuries, and THAT would be the ONLY reason not to bet over on the Phillies. If they stay healthy, they will easily win 100 games. Whether that translates to a World Series win, that remains to be seen. But 100 wins? Barring injury, that will be no problem…especially with 72 games against the NL Least.

    • chrisny3 - Feb 25, 2011 at 1:04 PM

      Another reason the Phillies may not win as much as you think is simple age-related decline. Their core players and rotation are among the oldest in the division, if not the NL.

      I don’t think that means the Phillies don’t have the best chance to win a division title this year … just that they may not be as successful as some think. I’d go for the “under” on the Phillies as well.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 25, 2011 at 1:09 PM

        Maybe you are right, but if they play as well as they are supposed to play, they will easily top 100 wins. A bet for under is really a bet for some major injuries. Again, they won 97 games without Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt for 4 months.

      • Ari Collins - Feb 25, 2011 at 1:15 PM

        But last year they had Jayson Werth, who was worth 5 wins last year. And everyone was one year younger.

        Lee and an extra half an Oswalt probably outweighs that, so they’re likely a bit better on paper, but they were also unusually healthy last year. With perfect health they’ll win 100 games, but with average health, I’ll take a slight under on 97.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 25, 2011 at 1:17 PM

        Unusually healthy? Seriously? Maybe you are confusing last year with 2 years ago, when they had 6 guys play 155 or more games. Last year, they only had 2…Ibanez and Werth. Every other starting player spent time on the DL, and they STILL won 97 games. I would venture that with average health they win 100+ games.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Feb 25, 2011 at 1:20 PM

        Holy cow, me and Chris agree on something! I think age and health will be a big factor in the outcome of their season, and while it’s easy to say they won 97 without Lee and with minimal Oswalt they did have Jayson Werth as Ari Collins pointed out. Could the Phils win 100? Absolutely, but as I’ve said before, it’s a lot easier to get to 90-95 wins than it is to go from 90-05 wins to 100+ wins. Almost every team in the NL has improved themselves this year and those extra wins are going to be hard to find.

      • chrisny3 - Feb 25, 2011 at 1:21 PM

        No, it doesn’t necessarily have to be major injuries. For example, since 2008, Rollins has been in decline and it could get worse this year. And Oswalt and Lee could be less effective due to age and minor injuries. Also, injuries are part of aging so it’s difficult to attribute some injuries to bad luck (as opposed to inherent risk in an older roster).

        If all the players on all the other teams in the NL play “as they are supposed to play” then I think that further diminishes the Phillies chance at a 97+ win season. Usually that doesn’t happen for any team — especially an older one.

        So assuming an average level of play given current ages for all teams in the division, and a moderate level of injuries for all teams, then I still take the “under” on the Phillies.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Feb 25, 2011 at 1:22 PM

        That should say that it’s easier to get to 90-95 wins than to go from 90-95 wins to 100+.

      • Ari Collins - Feb 25, 2011 at 1:41 PM

        Sure, there were some minor DL times here and there, but the only star-level player who missed time was Utley. Meanwhile, on the pitching side, EVERYONE was healthy. There were only 6 (!) starts all year by pitchers outside of the main guys (Halladay/Hamels/Blanton/Moyer/Kendrick/Oswalt). Those 6 pitchers started 96% of the games. Your average team has to rely on replacement level starters an awful lot more than that.

        That’s pretty healthy, especially pitching-wise.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:07 PM

        Let me be clear that I probably wouldn’t bet on the Phillies winning over 97 games, only because that’s alot of wins, and I see them having the division wrapped up on Labor Day so they will be resting alot of guys and they will probably fade down the stretch. Also, I think their bullpen is a major weakness, and when Uncle Charlie starts pulling the big 4 in the 6th inning, there are going to be some games lost. That being said, I would never bet on the under, only because there’s always a chance they do something special this year.

      • chrisny3 - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:12 PM

        @seeingwhatsticks: Pigs are flying.

      • cur68 - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:17 PM

        Well, chrisny3, at the risk of being CRUSHED by you overwhelming sureness, deeper grasp of statistical methods, the law, and all things Wilpononian, I’m taking the other tack. The team average age has been skewed by Ibanez (39 or so), so they ARE older, but not THAT old. They offset their slipping run production by adding better run prevention (starting pitching again). All else remains about the same. So, add in the Lee wins coming in offsetting the Werth wins leaving? I’m taking the over.

        *let the crushing commence*

        ps; As dig @ all you St. Louis supporters; The Philthies play the Cards 9 times (I counted; sorry if I missed one). Gotta expect them to win a lot more than they lose there; Wh-HAY better pitching.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:26 PM

        Last year, the Phillies total over/under was 92 wins. I guarantee there were the same people saying “They are getting older…they only have Doc and Cole…the NL Least is getting better…” And what did they do? They were injured all year long, they had KYLE FREAKING KENDRICK start 33 games for them, and Jamie Moyer start another 19, and they won 97 games!!!! As I said…take away 33 for kendrick and 19 for Moyer and add 33 for Lee and 19 more for Oswalt and you have 50+ more starts by two aces. Yeah, I’m starting to think over 97 might be a lock.

      • chrisny3 - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:39 PM

        cur68, am I sure that the Phillies will all suffer age-related declines? No. But I wouldn’t bet against that happening for most of them, as a group.

        Here are the ages of the Phillies’ projected opening day lineup: 32, 31, 32, 32, 35, 39, 30, 23. That’s pretty damn old. And statistically speaking, for all except Brown, that’s well beyond the age of peak performance. Including the rotation, few of them are projected to have years as good as last year or as good as their peak years.

      • chrisny3 - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:44 PM

        Chris F, how were the Phillies injured “all year long” last season? They had no where close to the injuries suffered by the Red Sox last year or the Mets in 2009. I even think the Mets of 2010 might have had more key players out for a longer time than the Phillies.

        And the over/under on the Phillies last year was before they got Oswalt. So one would expect them to have exceeded it by year’s end.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:46 PM

        So it’s basically like I have been saying…a bet on the under is a bet that the guys will breakdown or have injuries. Assuming everyone stays healthy, there is no way this team has a worse record than last year’s team. No way. Now, if you want to say they are getting older and may breakdown, then OK. To me, that’s not enough to bet on the under because if they don’t have any injuries in the rotation, getting 130 starts from the 4 aces is enough for them to win 97 games. They won 97 last year with 50 less starts.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:51 PM

        Good point on Oswalt. I didn’t think of that. They had their opening day roster together for 20 whole games all year. To me, that says “injured”. They had two guys play over 150 games…Ibanez and Werth. Howard, Utley, Rollins, Polanco, Ruiz, Victorino, all spent time on the DL. Rollins missed 75 games, and he is the oil that keep this machine going. I know…I know…they are all old men. They can bring their walkers out on the field with them and play behind the four aces and everything will be just fine.

        You want to bet the under…go ahead. Come September, when they are 85-45, you’ll be begging for Uncle Charlie to take out Doc, Oswalt, Cliff, or Cole. And maybe he will. That’s why I wouldn’t bet the over. You don’t know how they will react when they have the division locked up.

      • chrisny3 - Feb 25, 2011 at 3:09 PM

        Chris F, players can decline due to age without injuries. Their reflexes slow or their strength declines, so their production declines due to that (see Rolins). So I expect the Phillies core players + rotation to decline in the aggregate with or without injuries. And, injuries are an inherent risk with an older roster. So if the Phillies suffered a lot of injuries, especially to their older players, then you can’t attribute it to all bad luck. IOW, it’s the risk Amaro took by assembling an older roster.

        As for having the opening day roster together for a certain amount of games, how is that relevant to anything? The Mets last year didn’t even have Beltran or Reyes to open the season. Both of them were on the DL, as was Bay for half the season, their ace Santana for a good chunk of the second half, and their closer for the last 6 weeks. So I don’t see anything out of the ordinary in terms of injuries for the Phillies of 2010, and it wasn’t even close to the Red Sox last year or the Mets in 2009.

        Come September, the Phillies are the likeliest team to be leading their division, but I don’t think they’ll have anything wrapped up then.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 25, 2011 at 3:12 PM

        When did the Mutts become a part of this conversation? Did they win 97 games or did I miss something?

      • chrisny3 - Feb 25, 2011 at 3:28 PM

        Chris F, the “Mutts” became a part of the conversation when you tried to bring up the phony excuse that the Phillies suffered a lot of injuries last year. Relatively speaking, they didn’t. Not compared to the “Mutts” of 2009 or 2010 or the Red Sox of 2010.

        Facts are facts.

  2. Panda Claus - Feb 25, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Is the 83.5 for the Cards with or without Wainwright?

    Also I wonder if or how much these numbers change by the end of Spring Training where more injuries and some on-the-field performances would be out there as evidence.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 25, 2011 at 1:15 PM

      St. Louis was 87.5 last week, so I would assume the 83.5 is adjusted without him.

      • BC - Feb 26, 2011 at 4:17 PM

        Buy when you get to 81.

  3. uyf1950 - Feb 25, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    I’m going to against the prevailing thought on the Phillies. I think their offense and the loss of Werth is going to hurt them more then people think. I’m going to go with 95 wins for the Phillies. Go with the under for the Pirates. As for the Cardinals. I can’t help but believe the loss of Wainwright has to cost the Cardinals more then 2+ wins from last year. Go with the under on all three teams (Phillies, Cardinals and Pirates).

  4. anybodyinhere - Feb 25, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    What do y’all think about the 85.5 on the Brewers? They’ve done a serious upgrade pitching-wise. Of course, a mid-season trade of Prince could spoil it all…

  5. heyblueyoustink - Feb 25, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    I like how the Phils core players being in the 31-33 range puts them in decline……Doc is in that range, i don’t see any decline there…….Werth being gone is a good point, but how many more wins is Cliff Lee worth rather than having say Kyle Kendrick pitching versus the amount of wins lost by losing Werth and whatever ground can be made up by a consensus top 5 prospect in baseball in a platoon…..

    I say 100 is more than possible……they were injury ridden last year…..as long as they stay healthy….

    Oh, and in case anyone is into dead rats being dressed up for hobby’s sake: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/alas_mickey_dUZgbjeWD6tl7HmJ8p3BeM

    • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:15 PM

      Thanks for agreeing that the Phillies were injury ridden last year…Ari had me thinking that maybe I was in some type of time-warp. When Valdez plays in 110 games, you more than your fair share of injuries. Plus, their opening day lineup only played together for something like 15 games all season. Let’s see how this lineup does healthy, behind that rotation. Like I said before, I would not put my hard-earned cash on Over 97 wins. But I certainly wouldn’t bet the under….not when they won 97 games last year and they will have 50+ additional starts from Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt instead of Kyle Kendrick and Jamie Moyer. That alone has to be worth 10 more wins.

      • heyblueyoustink - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:30 PM

        Maybe he is in a time warp…….you never knows, blogs might be accessible from several different dimensions…all one needs is a name, number, and email adress……sounds like a Dr. Who episode….but not with the new guys…..

        And yeah, even Steve Jeltz knows anyone who paid any attention to the Phils last year understands that every one of their core players had time on the DL, Utley and Rollins never recovered fully from their ailments, and Howard came back for the playoff run but was far from having his timing back..

        No problem Paisano, nothing wrong with agreeing with fact

  6. sdelmonte - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    I called the Mets at 78, so it’s hard to argue with that assessment. I would bet over, though, being an optimist.

    And would bet under for the Phils. The bar is just set too high.

  7. ja4ed - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    I think Florida is an easy over. Full seasons from Stanton, Morrison and Coghlan (hopefully not in CF) would add at least 2 wins onto last years total.

    • spudchukar - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:35 PM

      I am all over this too. They are my sleepers, they only need to improve by 2 games over 2010 to cover. With their starting pitching, defense and contributions from Dominguez, Buck and Cousins they should at least be fighting for a wild-card.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 25, 2011 at 3:02 PM

      I’ll be in Vegas in 2 weeks, and this is the bet I am targeting…provided it stays at 81.5. I think the Gnats and the Mutts are going to suck again, the Cowards are going to fall back, and who better to beat up on them, besides the Phillies, than the Guppies. Braves UNDER 88 and the Marlins OVER 81.5 are nice values.

  8. spudchukar - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    The reason the Phils will struggle to get to 97, has nothing to do with the Phils. The National League is much better than 2010. A year older Braves, with Uggla and Freeman, a Mets team that if healthy is still talented, my sleeper the Florida Marlins especially their starting pitching and defense, and an improving Nats should all pose better competition. Their interleague schedule is, at least, as difficult with series against Texas, Oakland and Boston. Plus the NL Central is improved, save maybe the Cards, with Milwaukee and Chicago better.

    Remember this is a team that was 12 games under .500 on the road last year. Their additions certainly make them the favorites, but the cakewalk that I read daily may end up a pie in the face.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:33 PM

      I agree, my friend.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:41 PM

      But spudchukar, the fact remains that they won 97 games last year, without having their opening day roster healthy for more than 20 games and with Kendrick/Moyer making 50 starts that, assuming they stay reasonably healthy, Lee/Oswalt will make. I don’t think there is any way you can say they are going to have a worse record than last year, provided they have even similar health. I know Werth is a big loss, but I think Lee/Oswalt’s 50 starts will more than make up for the loss of Werth. A bet on the under is a bet that one or two of the four aces will miss a considerable # of starts. I guarantee that if those guys each make their 30-33 starts, the Phillies will blow past 97 wins.

      • chrisny3 - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:48 PM

        Most of the Phillies roster was healthy for most of the year in 2010. They didn’t suffer close to the number of injuries suffered by the Red Sox in 2010 or the Mets in 2009. The Mets of 2010 may have even suffered more in terms of injuries to key players than the Phillies last year.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 25, 2011 at 2:59 PM

        You obviously don’t watch many Phillies games, which is fine considering you are probably not in Philly. Again, Utley, Rollins, Ruiz and Polanco missed more than 30 games. Howard and Victorino spent 15 days each on the DL. Besides that, they had 50 starts from Kendrick and Moyer that will now be started by Lee and Oswalt. Sure, Werth is a loss. But assuming even the same health, the Werth to Brown difference will not nearly as big as the Kendrick/Moyer to Lee/Oswalt gain. That’s really all I need to see to stay away from betting the under 97 wins here. I wouldn’t touch that with a 10 foot pole. Why take that chance when you can go for some sure things…

        Braves UNDER 88 wins
        Marlins OVER 81.5

      • chrisny3 - Feb 25, 2011 at 3:12 PM

        My point Chris F, is that the Phillies’ injuries in 2010 were similar to what the Mets suffered last year, and in no way comparable to what the Red Sox of 2010 or the Mets of 2009 suffered. In other words, it’s a piss-poor excuse.

        Most teams will suffer injuries to multiple players throughout the year. It’s a part of the game.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 25, 2011 at 3:14 PM

        And MY point is that, even while having injuries, they still won 97 freaking games!!! Geeze. Why would I be making excuses for a 97 win team? Who cares about the Mutts? They suck with or without injuries.

        Like I said…you dummies want to give your money to the casino. then go bet under on the Phillies. However, why not make money and bet over on the Marlins or Under on a shitty team, like the Braves, who won’t be capturing lightening in a bottle this year for their retired hero skipper.

      • spudchukar - Feb 25, 2011 at 3:33 PM

        The injury thing is a wash. Most likely, they will be equally injured this year as last, the stats you quote seem about normal for a big league season. Let’s say the loss of Werth will be offset by a full year of Oswalt, generous if anything. So the remaining improvement/loss is Lee. How many games difference will he make? I will be generous again and say 7. I know this is above WAR, but that stat sucks anyway. Last year Washington won only 69 games, they should be nearing 75. (-1) Phils. The Braves may be better but you went 10-8 against them so no gain or loss. The Mets, the mess that they are, are still talented and could hardly be more injured so they should be markedly better. But you only went 9-9 against them, so again a wash. The Feesh, who you pummeled 13-5 a year ago are much improved and they underperformed in 2010. (-2) Phils. Slightly tough interleague. (-1) Phils. The Central with Reds (5-2 in 2010) a year older + Chapman all year, and the Brewers (5-1 in 2010) + Greinke & Marcum. (-2) Phils. (6-1) vs Colorado, tough to repeat. (-1) Phils.

        Of course this is all hypothetical, and it only brings the Phils down to 97 wins again, but my original point was how much improved the competition was. I believe it is fair to say the Phils’ improvement is matched by the leagues’.

      • chrisny3 - Feb 25, 2011 at 3:35 PM

        Well Chris F, my point is that you shouldn’t even be trying to use injuries as a factor for the Phillies in 2010 because what they suffered was a drop in the bucket compared to the Red Sox of 2010 and the “Mutts” of 2009. And the “Mutts” of 2010 may have had it even worse in terms of injuries.

        Since the Phillies’ injuries in 2010 were “normal” if they have an above normal year in this respect in 2011 then they are in trouble. Regardless of their rotation. And given their age, this is entirely possible. In fact I would say it is at least 50-50 that the Phillies injuries in 2011 are significantly worse than they were in 2010 which was actually normal for a ML team.

  9. mncubsfan - Feb 25, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    Under for the Phillies

    • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 25, 2011 at 3:16 PM

      Sucker bet. Why not take the Marlins over? That’s a much safer bet than under on the Phillies.

  10. powder29 - Feb 25, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    The Phils were definitely not healthy last year. Rollins (multiple times), Polanco, Utley, Howard, Victorino, Ruiz, Blanton, Happ, Moyer, Madson, Romero, and Lidge all spent time on the DL. That’s 6 of 8 position players, their top 3 relievers, and 3 of their original starting rotation.

  11. powder29 - Feb 25, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    Top 5 teams (or bottom, depending on how you look at it) in DL trips last year:
    1. Boston (23)
    2. Oakland (22)
    3. LA Dodgers (21)
    4. Texas (21)
    5. Phillies (20)

    Yes, the Red Sox suffered more injuries than the Phillies, but 3 less DL drops hardly constitues “a drop in the bucket” compared to the Red Sox. Additionally, the majority of the Phillies’ DL trips were to core players. There is simply no basis in reality to say that the Phillies did not suffer significant injury problems in 2010.

    • spudchukar - Feb 25, 2011 at 3:53 PM

      But trip to the DL do not tell the entire story. As has been argued, few of those stints were of the multi-month variety, which are the most “crippling”.

    • chrisny3 - Feb 25, 2011 at 3:56 PM

      You can’t count DL trips. Someone may go on the DL once but it could last 6 months vs. someone going on the DL once for just 15 days. Don’t tell me those two DL scenarios are equal. C’mon, use common sense.

      You have to use days lost to the DL, especially in regards to key players. An injury to a bench player is inconsequential vs. an injury to a team’s #3 or #4 hitter.

      In terms of days lost to the DL for key players, the Phillies’ injuries last season were at worst average and a “drop in the bucket” compared to the Red Sox of 2010 and the Mets of 2009.

  12. jamool26 - Feb 25, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    Hey Phillies fans, this is your chance to dub the Phillies rotation as Fat Joe and the Terror Squad! Go to the following web page and submit it to csnphilly.com so hopefully it will stick. It has to be the best name I’ve heard so far.

    http://www.csnphilly.com/pages/name_phillies_startingfive/

    • JB (the original) - Feb 25, 2011 at 4:08 PM

      Actually, I went with my own: Spork and the Fine Silver Four.

      • cur68 - Feb 25, 2011 at 4:51 PM

        4 tits 1 boobie? Honestly, they’re birds, not what you think.

  13. bcopus - Feb 25, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    You guys are currently in the longest running circular conversation I’ve ever seen. Someone at least add a new element every now and then…it’s worse than a 15 minute long house rave song right now. At least they add a new note from time to time.

  14. Ari Collins - Feb 25, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    This is what I was talking about re: the Phillies’ excellent health last year. Where PHI got luckiest health-wise was their rotation. Here are the contenders last year and how many starts they got from starters not in their starting 5/6 (sometimes Bref put 6 starters in the top column, like in PHI’s case, where Moyer/Oswalt each got half a season, so this is a rough estimate, but more than good enough and quite telling).

    TEX 20
    ATL 25
    CIN 20
    STL 23
    SFG 1
    SDP 14
    TBR 8
    NYY 19
    MIN 16
    BOS 22
    PHI 6

    This is a slightly rough count, since, like, did Wakefield count as a main starter last year? You could definitely quibble with who Bref counted in the main rotation, but it’s more than fair to Philly, since you can’t count Moyer as an emergency starter.

    Philly (and SF) will not have get 95%+ starts out of their main guys again. Just does not happen.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 25, 2011 at 4:52 PM

      Ari, technically speaking, the Phillies lost 50 games from the 2011 rotation last year…33 from Cliff Lee and 19 from Roy Oswalt. And they won…yes…97 freaking games. Jesus, how hard is it to get. You are comparing apples and oranges when you compare the Phillies 2010 rotation and their 2011 rotation. That’s the fact. If you want to say a full year of Oswalt evens out Werth and Moyer, then you can’t possibly believe that Cliff Lee is any worse that 4 wins over Kyle Kendrick. That means, all health being equal, the Phillies win 100 games this year. Of course, “all health being equal” is not always the case. If you bet the under on the Phillies, you are saying they will be affected by injuries and guys playing worse. How much worse can Jimmy Rollins play? Utley had the worst year of his career as did the Big Piece. The only guy who played his best last year was Carlos Ruiz. Werth was no better than the year before. Polanco fizzled out after he hurt his elbow. Shane once again was swinging for the fences. Ibanez made a nice comeback, but overall, he was disappointing.

      All of this means betting the under for the Phillies is a tough bet. Why bother? Go over on the Marlins…they are going to be the Phillies toughest competition this season. and take the UNDER of the Braves. They will struggle to be a .500 ballclub this year without having a relic like Cox to play for.

      • Ari Collins - Feb 25, 2011 at 9:34 PM

        The comparison from this year’s rotation to last year’s is that the Phillies did so well last year in large part due to having an incredibly healthy rotation. That will not repeat this year. They will have to turn to a lot more starts from the Vance Worleys of the world this year.

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 26, 2011 at 10:13 AM

        “That will not repeat this year.” Crystal ball tell you that again? This is the same old story with you ARI. We had this discussion about the offense. So here we go. The rotation and the offense will just totally fall apart this season per Ari. Too funny.I can’t believe anyone would expend this much effort “explaining”=guessing” how the Phills will just fall apart at the seams. And your verdict is always the same “everywhere” Most of the Phillies have something to prove this season, and they’ll be fine. Just fine….

      • Ari Collins - Feb 26, 2011 at 3:27 PM

        Haha, I’ve never ever said the team would totally fall apart. Ever. I’d take the under on 97, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think they’re, on paper, the best team in the NL! I just think the people thinking they’re a 100-win team aren’t taking into account the fact that the rotation was extraordinarily healthy last year. If you want to believe that your favorite team will buck the trend and be the rare team with an unusually healthy rotation two years in a row, bet the over.

        Good luck!

    • seeingwhatsticks - Feb 25, 2011 at 9:45 PM

      That’s not an accurate total because the Giants had Wellemeyer to start the season and Bumgarner to end it. Wellemeyer is more of an injury replacement because Bumgarner was penciled in as the 5 start to start the year but was sent down to the minors because he came to camp with velocity issues. So if you count Wellemeyer’s 11 starts as injury replacement starts the Giants were no more lucky than anyone else in baseball.

      There’s also the issues that the Giants pitchers are all young and in their primes with the exception of Zito, who despite his myriad problems continues to be an innings eating horse that takes the ball every 5 days. No one in the Giants rotation has ever had any sort of serious injury, and I believe Sanchez is the only one of the 5 that has ever been officially placed on the DL.

      • Ari Collins - Feb 25, 2011 at 10:52 PM

        I wouldn’t call that an injury replacement, more making sure Bumgarner has an innings cap. But I can see counting it as an injury replacement, and if you do, and give the Giants 11 more injury replacement starts, then they still only go from the luckiest to the third luckiest (out of the 11 contenders I looked up).

        Chances are that they’ll be less healthy next year. That’s what very often sinks teams seeking to repeat, because in order to win a championship in the first place you usually have to have well above average health, and that rarely continues. Hopefully the Giants can buck that trend, especially with their pitchers being, as you say, much younger than average (and much much younger than the Phillies).

        P.S. I can’t believe Cain’s only 26! He’ll hit FA at 28, which is crazy, and he should fetch a high price (along with a lot of other SP graduates of the ’12/’13 FA class).

      • seeingwhatsticks - Feb 26, 2011 at 2:01 AM

        The great thing about Cain reaching FA in 2 years is that a ton of money is off the books by then so he’s not going anywhere. I’d be really surprised if Cain, Lincecum, and Posey haven’t all signed extensions between now and the start of next season.

        And I disagree about an innings cap on Bumgarner since he was pitching in AAA during the time he wasn’t in the majors. He came to camp out of shape and was having some slight issues with his mechanics. Once his conditioning and mechanics were right, he was called up. So I guess technically Wellemeyer wasn’t an injury replacement per se, but the plan certainly was not for him to be making 11 starts for the big club in 2010.

        I think in general you are right about contenders having trouble repeating because pitchers get hurt, but rarely have winners/contenders been fueled by 4 starters with no injury histories that are all 28 or younger. The A’s with Zito/Hudson/Mulder come to mind but that’s the only recent team I can think of off the top of my head (and Mulder obviously would go on to get hurt later). I guess my point is, if you’re looking at the Giants and Phillies as the best rotations and best teams in the NL, the Philies would have to be considered more likely to see injuries to their rotation just based on age and mileage. Could they stay healthy and the Giants get hurt? Sure. Could both staffs get hurt? Also possible. But you can’t ignore that the Giants have youth on their side, as well as a much deeper and much better bullpen to help cope with any short term injuries to the starting rotation.

  15. BC - Feb 25, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    I’d go at least 5 over on the Phillies, and under on both the Rockies and Brewers. And I actually think they nailed my Mets pretty close, but I’d probably go under.

    • Ari Collins - Feb 25, 2011 at 10:55 PM

      So you’d put money on the Phillies if the over/under was 101?

      • BC - Feb 26, 2011 at 4:14 PM

        Yeah, I would. If you have Halliday win 20, Hamels win 15, Oswalt win 15, and Lee win 17, you’re at (cmon, BC do the math) 67 wins right there. Say Blanton goes like 10-15, and you’re at 77. They need 24 late-inning wins in the bullpen. Their offense is good enough to cover more than a few starter flub-ups. I joke about 130, but 103-105 is not out of the question at all. Only thing that stops them is one or two of their top four starters getting hurt (with Oswalt being the biggest risk).
        Meanwhile in Queens, the Wilpons are holding bake sales before every game and the team is floudering to a 78-84 record. Great. I finally get SNY on my cable system and I have to watch this drek each night.

  16. andyreidisfat - Feb 25, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    Umm to those who say the phillies are old ?! umm Their players are in thier prime not old. The yankees are old. The phillies have 3 more years of prime time from their two top hitters and 3 more for thier two best pitchers. The only starter who is old is Ibanez who i still say will be replaced if he is not hitting well by the trade deadline with high end right handed hitter. The phillies are not old at all. They are prime for mini dynasty here. I know if your teams not the phillies its hard to imagine the pitching staff we have and you may want to do whatever you can to make yourself believe anyother teams has a chance but cmon man realitiy is barring injury witch phillies pitchers are generally healthy because the coach knows how to use them the phillies win 100-105 this year very easily. And thats coming from the most pessimistic fan in philly, i never believe are teams can poop. But this may be the year of philly sports i think the flyers will win, i think the phillies will win, i think there is a chance the sixers upset a top team in the playoffs and the eagles well maybe not the eagles with fat andy at the helm, but our soccer team should be better

    • uyf1950 - Feb 25, 2011 at 5:22 PM

      I have no intention of getting into the fray about the over and under that seems to be taking place here concerning the Phillies. I only want to address your comment about the Yankees being old and the impression you are leaving as it relates to the Phillies. Especially their hitters. The problem with your comment is the “old” Yankee hitters are considerably better then their younger counter parts on the Phillies. The Phillies offense is a poor second to the Yankees offense.

      • cur68 - Feb 25, 2011 at 5:46 PM

        uyf1950; Yeah, but they’re chubby. Flab ages you. The Philthy’s are lean and mean, including Ibanez. In fact Raul could do men’s health commercials he’s in such good shape. Who’s trim on the Yankers that swings a bat? Jeter, Cano, Martin (best shape of his life X 4 years), Granderson. Can’t count ARod; he’s been worse every year away from roids he gets no matter what he weighs. Tex? He’ll pull a hammy if he even looks at legging it to first. As for pitching; Sabbathia, as much as I love the guy, is needs to lose another 15 or so and don’t get me started on Joba. Naw, Philthies, dang their oily hides, are really NOT as old as the Yankers are old.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 25, 2011 at 5:56 PM

        Whatever you say my friend. Considering that very same bunch of “old” “fat” guys beat your lean, mean Phillies in the 2009 World Series 4 games to 2.
        I also think it’s ironic here you are talking about the Phillies being lean and mean and several of your fellow Philly fans have spent the better part of the afternoon spewing how so many of them were on the DL in 2010. Seems to be a contradiction. I guess lean and mean doesn’t necessarily mean healthy.

      • cur68 - Feb 25, 2011 at 6:09 PM

        I’m a Jays fan and a realist. 2009 is SO 2009. This here’s 2011 and those guys are not who they were. Adding Joba’s gains to CC and ARod’s losses might fool you into thinking they are but it is simply not so. More importantly, for the first time in AGES the class of the pitching match ups do NOT favor the Yankers. Any sensible person has to go with the Philthies, dang their oily hides. Only by confronting our fears can we over come them. Put that on a post card and send it to Cashman (if he can read).

      • uyf1950 - Feb 25, 2011 at 6:29 PM

        cur68 – I’m sorry to hear that. That you are a Jays fan. Your reference to Joba is ridiculous. Joba is a roll player or should I say a roll relief pitcher and is no more significant to the Yankees success then the 25th player on the team. I guess to put it in terms you would understand Joba is the Yankees equivalent of footballs 255 pick in the NFL draft. He’s Mr. Irrelevant.
        Like I said the Yankees offense isn’t bad for a bunch of “old” “fat” guys who in 2010 lead the ML’s in Runs, RBI’s, OBP, 3rd in HR’s and 3rd in SLG% and first in overall offense.

      • cur68 - Feb 25, 2011 at 6:41 PM

        Thanks for getting the Joba as ridiculous ref. Was meant that way. Those stats are from guys one year younger who didn’t get it done with a better team last year than they have this year. The point of all this is a gentle nudge that the Phillies are REALLY better but the Yankees are REALLY worse, and that includes age. It’s hard to accept change, I know. Been there. Face the fear, man. It’s the only way.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 25, 2011 at 6:58 PM

        cur68 – I guess we will just have to wait and see if the Phillies live up to all the hype or if they disappoint. As for the Yankees I’ve said it many times fans of other teams would be wise not to underestimate the Yankees. More often than not the road to the World Series for an AL team goes through the NY Yankees. Being the best on paper means absolutely nothing.

      • cur68 - Feb 25, 2011 at 7:16 PM

        uyf1950 – Kay. True dat re. best on paper etc. But, here’s the thing; being the heaviest and oldest with a serious pitching problem on paper DOES mean you’re NOT better than the Philthies (DAMN THEIR OILY HIDES!). And the Yankers offense WAS better than the Philthies. In 2010. But in 2011 they now gotta get those runs of 4 real fierce guys and 1 guy who’d like to be fierce, and will, when he finishes his donut definitely consider saying “Yeah! We bad!”. They gotta do that while being heavier, older, more years away from roids without Petit and with Hank & Cashman dissing them. I see even the Orioles challenging them now. Oooo…too far?

      • uyf1950 - Feb 25, 2011 at 8:13 PM

        cur68 – enjoy the season and good luck to the Jays there going to need it. I’m done with this topic.

  17. monsieurbear - Feb 25, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    Rollins said that the Phils will win 100. I’ll take over.

    • Jonny 5 - Feb 26, 2011 at 12:33 AM

      LOL!!

  18. marinersnate - Feb 26, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    I’ll take the overs on:

    San Francisco at 88.
    Milwaukee at 85.5
    Florida at 81.5
    NYM at 77.

    I would also bet the unders on:

    Phillies at 97.
    Atlanta at 88.
    Cards at 83.5.
    Cubs at 82.
    Gnats at 72.
    Pittsburgh at 67.

    The rest seem too close to bet on.

    • BC - Feb 26, 2011 at 4:20 PM

      Over on Milwaukee?? I’ll put this as politely as possible, but you are N-V-T-S nuts! I disagree with your under on Philly, but everything else you seem to have pegged. 77-78 is right about where I figure the Mets will be with no Santana until June and who knows what the heck he does after that. Unless Jon Niese turns into Roy Halliday, the Mets aren’t topping 80 this year.

    • chrisny3 - Feb 27, 2011 at 8:53 AM

      +1

      Agree on most everything. Though I might take the “under” on the Rockies.

  19. philriverslovespenis - Feb 26, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    “Colorado also stands out as a strong “under” bet at 87 wins considering they won 83 games last season and didn’t really make any significant offseason additions. Plus, it’s not as if Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki can be much better than they were in 2010″

    Really? Tulo can’t be much better in 2011? He missed 25% of the 2010 season & still put up out of this world numbers. If the Rockies could figure out how to mix offense & defense together from start to finish, they could easily win 90+ games. They usually just start out flat in the first part of the year.

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