In spring training, hope sprang eternal for all teams as well as season prop bettors. At the beginning of the 2012 season, we gave you a bet for every team with our world famous ball four-cast. With roughly 100 games left in the season, it’s time to check in on how those heavy hitting predictions are doing. In this segment, we look back on the NL Central preseason predictions.
Cincinnati Reds Joey Votto over 30.5 home runs
The Reds have stormed into first place in the Central, sitting at 34-27 with a 2 game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates of all teams. Unfortunately, Cincinnati has enjoyed this success despite lower power numbers from Joey Votto, who has belted 37 and 29 bombs in consecutive years. This year’s total of 11 home runs through 63 games has Votto in the ballpark for a pace of 28 home runs but it’s nothing a couple games against the Cubs can’t cure.
St. Louis Cardinals to win NL Central 3.5:1
The Redbirds were leading the division most of the early parts of the year but a few Series sweeps sees them sitting in 3rd place but still only 3 games out of first. The Cardinals are now only 1.5:1 odds to win the division as Vegas waited to see how the team would play under a new manager and it seems our early season bet has better value now…as long as they can actually win the division.
Milwaukee Brewers Zack Greinke over 14.5 wins
While the Brew Crew is having a down year in their first season without Prince Fielder, Zack Greinke is enjoying a nice contract season. He’s halfway to the desired season win total with a 7-2 record in 13 starts. If Greinke can pull another 8 wins in his next 20 starts, we’ll be looking to down a Miller Lite in his honor.
Pittsburgh Pirates over 73.5 wins
I have a friend who is a Pirates Preacher, consistently proclaiming how great they’re going to be before every season starts up. This year, his prophecy might actually be correct as the Bucs are only 2 games out of first in the Central. Pittsburgh’s early season record of 32-29 has them on pace for 85 wins, which just might be enough of a cushion to withstand their annual late season collapse.
Chicago Cubs under 73.5 wins
Walk in the park. The most horrendous team in the majors at 21-41 will only get worse as the trade deadline approaches, with Alfonso Soriano, Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, and even maybe Starlin Castro being shipped out.