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Picking the best MLB over/under bet for 2015

You have an imaginary $100 bill in your pocket. Come make imaginary money with us.

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Do you want to be rich?


Do you like fancy things?


Well, come to my seminar, and I can make you rich through the world of baseball gambling. Hello, and welcome back to an annual tradition here at SB Nation, in which we pick the best bet out of a series of over/under figures provided by a casino that wants to take your money. Don't let them take your money. You take their money.

I am the Tom Vu of a new generation. Here's how it's worked in the past: I've presented a list of over/under figures and asked you to pick one of them, just one, as your hypothetical bet. Here's what happened in 2013:

2013 Winnings: $29,490
2013 Losings: $29,200

With 638 votes cast, that was a profit of $290, or 45¢ per person. Wheeee. Last year, though, there were more nerds, more votes and more winnings:

2014 Winnings: $188,935
2014 Losings: $132,400

That's about a 16.5 percent return on the investment. Would you like a 16.5 percent return on your investment? Do you want to be rich? Do you like fancy things? All that needs to happen is that we all pool $1,000,000 each -- hear me out -- and make something like a mutual fund of baseball gambling. All 3,427 of us would have netted $165,000 last year with a simple million-dollar investment.

The first step is to find the best over/under bet of the 2015 season. These figures are provided by Bovada, and your job is to pick if the team is going to go over or under the stated number of wins. A $100 bet will win $190 (your original bet + $90). You can pick just one, remember. Don't forget to vote in the poll and record your vote, too.

MLB Win Totals (Alphabetically)
Arizona Diamondbacks 71½
Atlanta Braves 73½
Baltimore Orioles 82½
Boston Red Sox 86½
Chicago Cubs 82½
Chicago White Sox 81½
Cincinnati Reds 77½
Cleveland Indians 83½
Colorado Rockies 71½
Detroit Tigers 84½
Houston Astros 74½
Kansas City Royals 79½
Los Angeles Angels 89½
Los Angeles Dodgers 92½
Miami Marlins 81½
Milwaukee Brewers 78½
Minnesota Twins 70½
New York Mets 81½
New York Yankees 81½
Oakland Athletics 80½
Philadelphia Phillies 68½
Pittsburgh Pirates 83½
San Diego Padres 85½
San Francisco Giants 84½
Seattle Mariners 86½
St. Louis Cardinals 88½
Tampa Bay Rays 78½
Texas Rangers 77½
Toronto Blue Jays 82½
Washington Nationals 92½

There will be no ties this year, unless we're joking about a Jose Altuve hit giving the Astros a half-win. Our job is to crowdsource the safest bet. As usual, it's not exactly easy. It's supposed to be a mess, and all of these are supposed to make you feel indecisive and have immediate regret as soon as you choose. Don't worry about you, though. Worry about the wisdom of crowds, and you'll get your $165,000.

First thought: Always be suspicious of the extremes. Do you know how hard it is for a team -- any team -- to win 92 games? A roster full of talent helps, sure, but things still have to go right, which means it might make sense to be suspicious of the Nationals and Dodgers. Still, 93 wins isn't outrageous. It's not even scratching the floor of outrageous.

It's hard for any team to lose 100 games, so over/unders close to 62 are always suspicious. Except none of these teams have over/unders close to 62. The worst team is the Phillies, and their over/under is 68½. That seems optimistic, especially considering that Cole Hamels could be traded midseason, if not before, and that Cliff Lee's arm sounds like goats jumping up and down on a squeaky mattress whenever he puts on sunglasses. So the Phillies might be the pick.

The other should-be lousy teams -- the Twins and Diamondbacks, for two -- aren't given ghastly over/unders. That probably has to do with the overall parity of the league. Even the bad teams aren't that bad. We don't have a 2013 Astros in here.

The A's seem extraordinarily low. Both Baseball Prospectus and FanGraphs have them over .500, but not dramatically so. BP has them at 83 wins and FanGraphs has them at 84, and there really isn't that much of a difference between an 80-win team and an 84-win team. You would have to believe that Vegas and the nerd stats were off, which is possible, but perhaps not if you're looking for the safest bet out of 60 possible options.

Direct your attention to the AL Central for a moment. The Tigers have the highest over/under in the division at 84½, but that's still surprisingly low. The Tigers haven't finished below 85 wins since 2010, and they probably won't have a combined 37 starts from Jeremy Bonderman and Dontrelle Willis this year. Probably. They could be a safe pick.

The Royals exchanged James Shields for Edinson Volquez, Billy Butler for Kendrys Morales and Norichika Aoki for Alex Rios. Is that really going to boot them back under .500 after winning the pennant? Maybe, but I'm skeptical. They're on the shortlist, especially considering the relative parity of the AL Central.

The Yankees always do better than expected because they are a zombie team and you have to run, dammit, run. I'll believe them finishing under .500 when I see it. You know who's never seen it? Bryce Harper. He was born 10 days after the last time Yankees finished under .500. So if you're pegging the over/under close to .500 for the Yankees, take the over. They will never die.

The year 2015 is an even year, so at least half of the Giants' roster will be skeletonized by piranhas during an off-day excursion. Be wary of their ability to stay over .500, much less win the second wild card spot.

Aren't either the Rays or Rangers likely to bounce back? Seems like one of them should. Seeing the Astros within a few games of them -- deservedly so -- is almost chilling.

All of these are supposed to make you squint and second-guess yourself, but you have to pick just one.

Ben Revere - CF
Carlos Ruiz - C
Chase Utley - 2B
Ryan Howard - 1B
Domonic Brown - LF
Grady Sizemore - RF
Cody Asche - 3B
Freddy Galvis - SS

Cole Hamels - LHP
Cliff Lee - LHP
Aaron Harang - RHP
David Buchanan - RHP
Jerome Williams - RHP

Bullpen - probably really good

What would have to happen for that group to finish with a 67-95 record? A healthy Cliff Lee, certainly. A full season from Utley, and either a breakout season from Brown or a bounce-back season from Howard. Hamels probably would need to pitch in August and September. The only thing preventing me from rubber-stamping it is they play in the NL East, and the Braves should be awful, with the Mets and Marlins fighting for the all-pitching/limited-hitting scraps.

No, I'll take the A's. They finished in a unfathomable death spiral last year, and they've turned over a significant chunk of the roster. They should still be over .500, though. That's my $100 bet, even if I already hate it.

Phillies, though. Look at the damned Phillies.

Wait, are the Tigers and Astros really just 10 games apart? How did that ...

A's are my final answer. Tear yourself up, rack your brain, and contribute to the poll. We're gonna be rich.