Vegas Likes Machado … But Loves Harper

Win total expectations for big ticket free agents are very different

Manny Machado makes the Padres a better ball club. The question is, how much better?

Las Vegas sports books keep tabs on how many games they think each Major League team will win every year. So what did the Machado signing do for the Padres 2019 win total in Sin City?

“Right now it’s around 78.5 at most books,” said Dylan Elder, Founder and C.E.O of Monster Roster, an online betting site that uses an algorithm to determine sports outcomes. “You can get it at 78 at a book or two but that’s only a two win jump from where it was pre-signing.”

The previous number of 76 might have been made with an inkling that San Diego would become Mannyworld and that anticipation contributed to the smaller increase. Still, since Vegas usually moves numbers based on where it thinks the money will go (Read: fans going crazy) so staying at 78.5 wins is a shade surprising.

“A two win jump is somewhat surprising to me given that Machado’s been a four-to-six WAR (Wins Above Replacement) player his career,” said Elder.

The Padres, traditionally not on the national radar, have seen a substantial amount of money move on them since signing Machado.

“Absolutely. The Padres are now an interesting team,” said Elder. “Baseball has been such a regionalized sport the last 10-15 years I think the Machado signing has put the padres on the map and made casual baseball fans more likely to bet the over on the Padres because of this signing.”

For comparison the Phillies signing Bryce Harper increased their expected win total by four. That’s because Philadelphia is closer to contending right now than the Padres are and because right now Phillies fans are losing their collective minds.

As it stands now 78 wins is probably a good goal for a Padres team that only won 66 a year ago. In 2020, though? It’ll be a pennant race or bust for the Friars.

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