How many games will Braves win? Casino over/under set at only 71.5

I had the opportunity to attend a cool function at SunTrust Park Thursday during which the Braves announced a series of dedications at the new stadium to Bill Lucas, the team's late vice president of player personnel, who at the time of his sudden death in 1979 was the highest ranking African-American in major league baseball. (For more on that even, read Tim Tucker's story linked here. )

While there, I spoke to Braves general manager John Coppolella to get his thoughts on the team this season before it heads to spring training. (The column will be posted later today.) I asked one obvious question and he gave the expected answer. The question: What should expectations should be? The answer: He won't get into specific numbers or goals, preferring to focus on improvement and the ever-present "process."

UPDATE: Here's a link to the full column on

Fair enough. Actually, that's probably wise. But that won't stop me or anybody else from guessing. I figure in the best-best-best-case scenario -- that's with starting pitching holding up and the 20-10 finish last season not being an aberration -- this is at best a .500 team. And, honestly, that's me being generous. (It happens.)

The wise guys aren't being so optimistic. The first set of sportsbook over/unders came out Friday and the Braves' projected win total has been pegged at 71.5. That is not much of a bump up from 68-93. A record of 71-91 or 72-90 places last among National League East teams, next-to-last in the National League and fourth from the bottom in the majors, ahead of only Minnesota (70.5), Oakland (66.5) and San Diego (64.5).

(UPDATE: Last year sportsbooks had a Braves' over/under of 66.5 wins, so they were pretty close to 68.)

Here are over/unders for all 30 teams from the Atlantis Casino in Reno. Other sportsbooks will have similar totals. I bold-faced the National League East teams. I arranged the entire list into divisions.

  • National League East
  • Washington 90.5
  • New York Mets 89.5
  • Miami 77.5
  • Philadelphia 72.5
  • Braves 71.5
  • National League Central
  • Chicago Cubs: 95.5
  • St. Louis 87.5
  • Pittsburgh 85.5
  • Milwaukee 72.5
  • Cincinnati 73.5
  • National League West
  • Los Angeles Dodgers: 91.5
  • San Francisco 87.5
  • Colorado 79.5
  • Arizona 78.5
  • San Diego 64.5
  • American League East
  • Boston 90.5
  • Baltimore 84.5
  • Toronto 86.5
  • New York Yankees 83.5
  • Tampa Bay 75.5
  • American League Central
  • Cleveland: 92.5
  • Detroit 85.5
  • Kansas City 80.5
  • Chicago White Sox 73.5
  • Minnesota 70.5
  • American League West
  • Houston 87.5
  • Texas 86.5
  • Seattle 85.5
  • Los Angeles Angels 76.5
  • Oakland 66.5

So what are your thoughts? Does 71.5 sound high, low or about right? Feel free to vote in the poll above and comment below.

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