The San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs are a notch above the rest of the National League, while the American League is wide-open, according to season win-total expectations released Thursday by the sportsbook at the Atlantis Casino in Reno, Nevada.
The Giants are the only team to open with a win total of 90. They are followed closely by the Cubs at 89 and the New York Mets at 88.
"To me, the Giants, top-to-bottom, have the least amount of question marks," Atlantis sportsbook director Steve Mikkelson said. "The Cubs are a very good, but they have these youngsters. What if Kris Bryant goes into a slump? They have a lot swing-and-miss guess."
The St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Nationals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers also have win totals of 87 or greater.
In the American League, the Kansas City Royals are tops. The defending World Series champs opened at 87 wins (-115 under).
"In the American League, to me, every team, except for the [Oakland] A's, think they can win it," Mikkelson said. "Unlike the National League, where there are eight teams really fighting for the five spots, in the American League, there are 14 teams fighting for the five slots."
The rebuilding Atlanta Braves have the lowest win-total expectations at 65. The Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies are the only others with win totals in the 60s.
The Atlantis Casino posted the totals Thursday afternoon. Limits are $500. It's the 10th straight year Mikkelson has been first in posting season win totals on the market. He said the hardest team to set this year was his favorite team, the Boston Red Sox. He went with 85.5.
"I always have those high Red Sox expectations," Mikkelson said. "I got burnt last year, thinking they were going to do it. They obviously finished last."
Giants only team to open with win total of 90 at Atlantis Casino