Nationals top projected win totals

The Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers have the highest projected season win totals, and the Philadelphia Phillies have the lowest, according to numbers posted Friday at the Atlantis sports book in Reno, Nevada.

The Nationals, who are 5-1 favorites to win the World Series at the Atlantis, top the sports book's season win total list at 93. The Dodgers, at 91, are the only other team projected to win more than 90 games.

The Los Angeles Angels' season win total opened at 87.5, the most of any American League team.

While hopes are high in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, things look bleak in Philadelphia, according to Atlantis sports book director Steve Mikkelson.

"The Phillies are in sell mode; everyone knows it," Mikkelson said. "For them, it was a matter of 'How low can you go?'"

He settled at 67 wins for the Phillies. The Minnesota Twins, at 68.5, are the only other team with a win total of less than 70 at the Atlantis.

The defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants opened at 85 wins. They won 88 games last season. Other notables: New York Yankees -- 80; Boston Red Sox -- 86; Chicago Cubs -- 81.5.

Mikkelson is intrigued by the Cubs' perceived improvement and said the addition of manager Joe Maddon was worth around four wins.

"I like what they've done," Mikkelson said of the Cubs. "The addition of (starter Jon) Lester was obviously big, but I'm not ready to say they're a no-doubt playoff team."

This is the seventh straight year the Atlantis has been the first Nevada sports book to post MLB win totals. Mikkelson said this was by far one of the more difficult seasons to handicap.

"I'm exhausted," Mikkelson said Friday, shortly after finalizing his numbers. "It took so much more research this year, because there are just so many teams with question marks. Normally, there's six teams that you figure pretty much should make the playoffs, and six teams that aren't going to make the playoffs. This year, outside of the Nationals, every team has questions. And not that I don't have questions about the Nationals, but it's a very weak division (NL East) and they go six starters deep."

Limits are $500 on the Atlantis season win totals.

The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas will be posting its Major League Baseball win totals Sunday.