One of my favorite quirky things about the dawn of a new baseball season is the release of the over/under wins numbers by “Las Vegas.” Not that I’m any kind of gambler – I probably would enjoy it more if I were better at it. This is the fearless prediction by consensus of the various sports books in Sin City. After no doubt tireless research, the predictions are sprung on the general public, just in time to discourage any excitement about Opening Day among the faithful of, say, Kansas City, Seattle, Pittsburgh and Flushing.
The problem is, there’s no one to argue with if I think it’s wrong. I’ve railed before about the MSM’s favorite sport – Metbashing – I have no idea who to be PO’d at regarding the over/under numbers. I think our boys in orange-and-blue are getting a short shrift from the sharpies out west. The “smart money” has the number for the Mets at 77.5. That means they think the Mets will probably be negligibly worse than they were last year, when they could muster a mere 79.
Here’s a link to the complete list.
I can’t see it. Jason Bay and Jose Reyes are due to bounce back. David Wright and Angel Pagan should stay consistent with their career numbers. Ike Davis and Josh Thole will probably improve. This year, the bullpen looks strong. If they can get a break with Carlos Beltran and Johan Santana coming off major injuries, that’s another bonus. Now, “everyone” – experts like Steve Phillips, Chris Russo and God help us Mike Francesa — says “The offense will be there, but I worry about the starting pitching.” If the starting pitching can hold its own until Santana comes back – around the All-Star break is the scuttlebutt – and all of the above happens offensively, this team will blow way past 78 wins and land where I think they will: 84 wins and contending for a Wild Card spot deep into September.
Hey, Vegas! Get over THAT!
Editor’s Note – If you liked this story, please also see Why the Mets are a 2011 sleeper team, which also deals with the Over/Under line.