The 2017 MLB regular season is wrapping up in a week, with what should be plenty of excitement once the postseason rolls around. In this article, we’ll take a look at the four most surprising teams in terms of overachieving based on the over/under win totals set oddsmakers prior to the start of the regular season. If you bet these the over on these team futures, obviously you did quite well.
In the MLB, more so than any other professional sports league, the regular season performance of teams from one year to the next may be extreme in its fluctuations. The beauty of baseball lies in part on the fact that it’s often much less predictable than other professional sports leagues, and we’ll dive into the four teams that have shocked us this season in terms of performing well above expectations.
Current Record: 82-74
Currently sitting at 82 wins, the Milwaukee Brewers were given an over/under win total of only 69.5 games, which basically implied that they shouldn’t have a chance of making the postseason. However, the Brewers were leading the National League Central division for a good portion of the first half of the regular season, giving the Chicago Cubs a run for the division title. While the Brewers are currently 5.5 games back of the Cubs for the division lead, they’re only two games back of the final Wild Card spot. This season, the Brewers’ success has been largely due to their pitching staff – tops in the NL. Additionally, the Brewers’ Pythagorean record indicates that they’ve only performed one win better than what should have been the case, which makes their success this year all the more surprising. If the Brewers are able to secure a postseason appearance and make some noise, this will be an even more memorable year for them.
Current Record: 82-74
Similar to the Brewers, the Minnesota Twins are also sitting at 82 games, while given an over/under win total of 74.5 games. Even more surprising, the Twins are comfortably in the driver’s seat for the final Wild Card spot in the American League, with a 5.0 game lead over the Los Angeles Angels. This season, the Twins have been one of the top teams in the AL in terms of batting and fielding, with pitching being their only shortfall. However, the Twins have pretty much locked up a postseason berth (unless something extremely dramatic and unlucky happens) and should provide us with an even bigger surprise if they can somehow advance deep into the postseason.
Current Record: 90-66
Perhaps the biggest surprise this season, the Arizona Diamondbacks were only given an over/under win total of 77.5 games but are currently at 90 wins and have already clinched a postseason spot, albeit the top Wild Card position. If the Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t have as good of a year as they’re having right now, the Diamondbacks could arguably be sitting atop the NL West. With the sixth best record in all of baseball, the Diamondbacks have ranked tops in the league in batting and pitching statistics, with their downfall being their fielding. This team could potentially make a lot of noise once the postseason rolls around, especially if a few lucky bounces fall their way.
Current Record: 84-72
With the unexpected success of both the Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies, the NL West has indisputably been the most stacked division in the league this season. With an over/under win total set at 80.5 to start the season, the Rockies have already racked up 84 wins to-date. Currently, both the second- and third-place teams in the NL West are holding on to the two Wild Card spots – the Rockies will need to finish off the season strong in order to fend off threats from the Brewers and Cardinals. The Rockies success so far this season has been largely due to their offensive and fielding abilities, with their pitching staff ranked as average. If the Rockies can hold on to the final Wild Card spot, it’ll be an interesting Wild Card matchup between them and the Diamondbacks.
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