(OddsShark.com) — Following a breakthrough 97-win season in 2015, matching their highest win total since their last appearance in the World Series in 1945, the Chicago Cubs kick off the Cactus League schedule leading the league with an OVER/UNDER of 92.5 wins for the upcoming season at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Cubs’ 97-65 record ranked third overall in the majors, but the club was forced to settle for the NL’s second Wild Card after finishing third in the NL Central behind the two top teams in baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
A pair of National League contenders closely follow the Cubs on the MLB win total props for 2016. The Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants both missed the postseason in 2015, but each return to action sporting win totals of 89.5 for the 2016 regular season.
The Nationals opened the 2015 campaign as favorites on the odds to win the World Series, closely followed by the Giants, who won their third World Series crown in five years in 2014. But after strong starts, both Washington and San Francisco faded in the second half, finishing the campaign with 83 and 84 wins, respectively.
The defending World Series champion Kansas City Royals are a -115 bet to win OVER 85.5 games in 2016, after closing out last season with a 95-67 record, while the NL champion New York Mets, winners of 90 games and the NL East pennant last season, join the Giants and Nationals at an OVER/UNDER of 89.5 wins for this year.
The Cardinals led the majors with a 100-62 record last season, including an MLB-best 55 home victories, but are expected to fall off that pace with a 2016 regular season win total of 87.5, while the Pirates are pegged at 86.5 wins.
The Toronto Blue Jays posted a 43-18 record down the stretch after making a splash at last July’s trade deadline, finishing with 93 victories and their first AL East crown since 1993.
The Blue Jays have opened their Grapefruit League schedule leading the AL East teams on the baseball props, pegged at 87.5 regular season wins with -115 odds on the OVER and UNDER, closely followed by the Boston Red Sox at 86.5, and the New York Yankees at 85.5
Following nine straight losing seasons, the Houston Astros returned to respectability with an 86-win 2015 campaign, and join Toronto at 87.5, while the odds are against the AL West champion Texas Rangers, a -130 bet to win UNDER 84.5 games this season.