With cold weather continuing to close its icy grip on Chicago, fans of the Cubs and White Sox are undoubtedly gazing upon members of the two teams with envy as they prepare to head out to Mesa and Glendale, respectively, for spring training this week.
With the two teams reporting to their camps in Arizona, Vegas oddsmakers have started releasing their projections for the upcoming seasons, and they’re somewhat bullish on what they expect to happen on the Chicago baseball scene in 2015.
Bovada set their over/under win totals on Monday for all 30 MLB clubs, and the Cubs and White Sox are both near the middle of the pack. According to the oddsmaker, the Cubs are projected to finish with 82.5 wins in the upcoming year, with the White Sox trailing them by just one win at 81.5.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals are at the top of the heap in baseball, with both teams projected at a win total of 92.5. The Los Angeles Angels are in third place at 89.5, and the St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, and Seattle Mariners round out the top five on the list.
Both the Cubs and the White Sox had busy offseasons, with each squad adding some key elements to their rosters. The Cubs made a huge free agent splash when they signed Jon Lester to a seven-year contract, and they also were active on the trade market as they added catcher Miguel Montero and outfielder Dexter Fowler. All of these moves were preceded by the shockwaves they sent through the baseball world when they brought Joe Maddon in to be the team’s new manager.
As for the White Sox, they got into the free agent fray by adding reliever David Robertson and outfielder Melky Cabrera, and they traded for a big-name starting pitcher as well when they added Jeff Samardzija to a rotation that already includes young stalwart Chris Sale.
The Bovada win total projections have both the Cubs and White Sox finishing in third place in their respective divisions. The Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates are slotted ahead of the Cubs in the NL Central, while the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians are ahead of the White Sox in the AL Central.