Three MLB Teams Whose Season Win Totals Will Come Down To The Wire

To say this MLB season has been wild would be a massive understatement.

Who could’ve predicted that the stacked New York Mets, who had -500 odds (BetMGM) to make the playoffs and short +900 odds to win the World Series back in March, would be 10 games under .500 and out of playoff contention with a couple of weeks left in the regular season?

Or, how about the pecking order of the American League East? For the first time since 2014, both the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are positioned to miss the playoffs in the same year. The Yankees had -500 odds to make the playoffs in March, while expectations were much lower for the Red Sox, who were +350 to qualify for the postseason. And who sits atop the AL East standings as of Tuesday morning? The Baltimore Orioles, who had +2500 odds to win the division back in March!

The surprises don’t end there. Four National League teams — Cincinnati Reds, Miami Marlins, Chicago Cubs, and Arizona Diamondbacks — were all projected to have sub-500 seasons by oddsmakers, but with roughly a dozen games each left to play, all four of those teams find themselves in playoff contention. Perhaps the most impressive squad of that bunch, the Reds, had a posted season win total of 65.5 at FanDuel. They have 79 wins and counting thanks to several of their young players breaking out.

But for all of the surprises and disappointments this season there are three teams, in particular, that will be leaving their season win totals bettors sweating it out until the final weekend of the regular season.

Toronto Blue Jays

FanDuel’s season win total on March 29: 91.5

Current win total: 83

FanGraphs’ current projection: 90 wins

The Blue Jays will open a three-game series against the Yankees in The Bronx on Tuesday night. With 12 games to play, Toronto would need nine wins down the stretch to appease it’s over bettors. That might seem unlikely, though, given the quality of competition down the stretch.

The Yankees are still technically alive in the playoff race, but find themselves six games back of the final AL wild-card spot entering play on Thursday. Until they’re officially eliminated from playoff contention, motivation will still be high for the Bronx Bombers, especially when Cy Young candidate Gerrit Cole takes the mound for his scheduled start on Thursday. Toronto will host the Yankees again for a three-game set next week at Rogers Centre.

The Jays’ other six games will come against the Tampa Bay Rays, who are in a dogfight with the Orioles for the division lead. They’ll finish the regular season with a three-game home set against Tampa, and the stakes could be high for both teams at that point, as the Rays eye the division crown and the Jays jockey for a likely wild-card berth or playoff positioning.

Expectations were much higher for the Blue Jays, who opened with +900 odds (BetMGM) to win the World Series this season. Offensively, the team has struggled mightily, averaging 4.5 runs per game (16th in the majors) while swatting just 172 home runs (18th) to this point. This lack of offensive output is surprising given the quality of bats on the team. Mashing the baseball was supposed to be a major strength of the Jays this season, but their pitching has salvaged the campaign and kept them in the hunt for the playoffs. Toronto is allowing just 4.1 runs per game (2nd), while its pitchers are among the league leaders in several other statistical categories, including ERA (2nd), K/9 (4th), and opponents’ batting average (6th).

Toronto Blue Jays to win the World Series


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Minnesota Twins

FanDuel’s season win total on March 29: 84.5

Current win total: 79

FanGraphs’ current projection: 85 wins

With 11 games left, the Twins hold a seven-game lead over the Cleveland Guardians for the AL Central Division lead. That means it’s only a matter of time before they clinch the division title, and then their focus will shift to keeping healthy and lining up their rotation for their likely Wild Card Series against the No. 6 seed in the AL.

Although motivation may be low after clinching the division title, the Twins have a forgiving schedule down the stretch. After two more games this week against the Reds, they’ll host the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics before finishing the season in Colorado. All three of those teams are in a free fall in the standings and have nothing to play for down the stretch. Over bettors on this season’s win total should feel good about their chances of cashing their tickets, but sometimes basement-dwelling teams are some of the toughest to play against down the stretch.

San Francisco Giants

FanDuel’s season win total on March 29: 81.5

Current win total: 76

FanGraphs’ current projection: 82 wins

With 12 games remaining, the Giants find themselves just two games back of a wild-card spot in the National League. However, FanGraphs is giving them just a 13.6% chance of making the playoffs as the aforementioned four surprise NL teams (Arizona, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Miami) are all currently ahead of them in the standings.

As for the team’s remaining schedule, it might not be as daunting as it initially seems. The Giants will play the powerhouse Dodgers seven times down the stretch, but Los Angeles has already clinched the NL West Division title and is looking forward to the postseason. As the current No. 2 seed in the NL behind the Atlanta Braves, the Dodgers are also in a comfortable position to earn a bye into the second round of the playoffs. As a result, the Giants won’t likely see the Dodgers at full strength in the majority of these contests. San Francisco also has two more dates against the D-Backs and three against the San Diego Padres on its schedule.