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Baseball Season Win Totals: Two to jump on sooner than later

Spring training is in full swing these days as baseball fans prepare for an exciting season that is a little over a month away. That means bettors are diving into baseball stats, roster moves and the like to dissect the season win total numbers that have been posted for some time now. Here are two that bettors should consider sooner rather than later:

Houston Astros: Under 59.5 (-140)

The Houston Astros make the move to the American League this year and they will no doubt be the sacrificial lambs of the AL West.

Last year’s edition of the Astros went 55-107 and that was in a NL Central division that was simply mediocre once you got past the top two teams (Cincinnati and St Louis). Houston did little to upgrade its lineup this winter and although they do gain a bit more pop in their lineup by adding another hitter with the DH spot, that won’t make a significant difference in the end.

On top of that they head to the AL West division that is loaded with some of the most talented teams in all of baseball. The L.A. Angels are straight up loaded with bats and their pitching staff is still one of the best in the league. They shouldn’t lose more than four of their 18 games with Houston this year and the number is only that high because the Angels will likely take a few days off mentally against Houston.

Texas is still a force to be reckoned with in the division and should dominate the Astros as well. That leaves another 36 games for Houston against last year’s AL West champion Oakland, and the fast-improving Seattle Mariners. When you add on the fact that the rest of the American League made significant changes and the traditional bottom feeders like Cleveland and Kansas City added big names 2013 will be another year to forget for Houston.

Cleveland Indians: Over 76.5 (-130)

The Cleveland Indians made a big splash with roster moves this winter and it all started with the hiring of former Boston manager Terry Francona. Francona brings championship experience and a proven winning formula to a squad that has had brilliant flashes the past couple of seasons but fail to close. Last year the Indians finished with a 68-94 record but were 24-53 after the All-Star break.

That run of futility included no winning streak longer than three games and had two extended losing streaks of 11 and 9 games respectively. Francona’s presence should fix that as he won’t stand for a team that isn’t mentally there on a daily basis and will not let his team slide in the second-half the way the 2012 Indians did.

Cleveland also brought some big name players in as Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher and young phenom pitcher Trevor Bauer were added to the squad. We know the kind of talent Swisher and Bourn will bring to this lineup and if Bauer plays up to his potential, he will be in the top half of the Indians rotation.

In a division that lacks a true contender behind the Detroit Tigers, there is no reason the think the Indians can’t be one of the most improved teams this year and at least get to .500 (81-81).

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