MLB Predictions For 2024

For quite a while, the MLB season began with the Cincinnati Reds hosting a game on one day and then everyone else starting their seasons on the following day.  Not so anymore …  The Dodgers and Padres have already opened their season a week ago in Seoul, South Korea; the teams returned to the US to play some Spring Training games before returning to their regular seasons; the Dodgers will play the Cards and the Padres will play the Giants for real later today.  Opening Day used to be a big deal; it seems to have gone the way of the dodo bird.

And it is not just a one-time deal.  The Dodgers will open the 2025 season in Asia against the Cubs.  This scheduling ploy appears to be getting a foothold in the rhythm of MLB and as long as the Dodgers have Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto on their roster, it would make sense for the Dodgers to be one of the teams playing in the “Asian Openers”.

Since the 2024 MLB season is technically underway, I guess I should take a moment today to make some predictions about the upcoming season.

  • As of this morning the win total line for the Dodgers is set at 105 wins.  I think the Dodgers’ roster is the best one in MLB, but 105 wins is awfully high given a starting rotation with a couple of question marks.  I like the Dodgers to win the NL West in a walk, but I would bet the UNDER on 105 wins.
  • The win total line for the Cubs today is only 84.5 wins.  I think the Cubs are going to win the NL Central; so obviously, I would take them to go OVER 84.5 wins.
  • The win total for the Braves this morning is a lofty 102 wins.  I fully expect the Braves to win the NL East, but I would have to play them as an UNDER bet at that number.
  • The win total today for the Houston Astros is 92 wins.  I like the Astros to win the AL West and I think they will go OVER 92 wins.
  • The AL Central race could be interesting; I think the Detroit Tigers could win the division and should be “in the race” until the last week or so.  This morning the Tigers’ win total line is only 80.5 and I have to think the Tigers will go OVER that number.
  • The AL East belongs to the Orioles; the win total line is set at 91 wins and that looks about right to me so flip a coin if you are going to play the win total for the O’s.  I know the O’s won 101 games last year, but I think they will be hard pressed to have everyone on the team match last year’s performances.

Looking down the projected standings to other teams, there are a couple of win total lines that stand out to me:

  • The line for the Washington Nationals is 66.5 wins.  Last year, the Nats won 70 games and looked like a team that was improving month by month.  The Nats will not jump the division as the Orioles did last year, but I think the Nats can win75 games in 2024.  Take the OVER
  • The line for the Tampa Bay Rays is 85 wins.  Last year, the Rays won 99 games and while I would be surprised to see them repeat that performance in 2024, I have trouble believing they will be 15 games worse this year as compared to last year.  Take the OVER
  • The line for the Pittsburgh Pirates is 75 wins; in 2023, the Pirates won 76 games.  I think the Pirates are another one of those “young teams on an improvement curve”.  Just a hunch but I would take the OVER here too …
  • The line for the NY Yankees is 93.5 wins.  Given the uncertainty surrounding Gerrit Cole’s elbow, I clearly want to take this to go UNDER

Let the games begin…

Yesterday, I wondered how increments of $500K were paid to an alleged illegal bookie without Shohei Ohtani or any of his “people” noticing it.  About two hours after the rant was posted a friend suggested check out the circumstances surrounding a “mid-level finance manager” for the Jax Jags who managed to embezzle $22M before anyone noticed.  The person involved here is Amit Patel and he has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in a federal hoosegow for the theft.  ESPN reported that he used the money to support a “lavish lifestyle” and a gambling addiction.  According to

“Patel transferred $20 million of the funds to FanDuel, where he had a VIP host, and $1 million to DraftKings … Patel was a high-volume, high-stakes daily fantasy sports player known for racking up big losses.”

Obviously, the auditing and accounting people and practices in place with the Jags were “less than fully effective”.  According to court records, he began his thievery in September 2019 and kept it up until he was fired in February 2023.  Indeed, he created false accounts with seemingly legitimate charges contained in those false accounts to cover the stolen funds, but $22M is not a mere bag of shells.  It took over three years for the imbalances to be noticed?

Beyond the Jags’ failure to catch on to this activity:

  • What about the folks at FanDuel who had this “great client” who bet lots of money and lost much of it putting FanDuel in the black?
  • Did anyone at FanDuel wonder where this “mid-level finance manager” was getting that sort of gambling stake?
  • Wouldn’t someone at FanDuel want to make sure that FanDuel was not being used in some way to launder money?

The fact that Amit Patel embezzled about 5 times more than the amount involved in the Ohtani matter does not minimize the Ohtani matter.  Both are wrong and both point to the degree to which funds can be moved around “surreptitiously”.  Andy Dufresne working out of Shawshank Prison knew all about that sort of thing too.

Finally, I will close today with an Al Pacino line from the movies:

“Our ability to manufacture fraud now exceeds out ability to detect it.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “MLB Predictions For 2024”

  1. Betting the over on a 80.5-win prediction is akin to saying H.L. Mencken did not like Calvin Coolidge.

    Thank you for using the word “hoosegow.”

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