MLB Season Win Totals
MLB season win totals are one of the most exciting markets for baseball bettors. They’re a bit of a hybrid between proposition and futures market, but no matter how we classify these bets, they’re a lot of fun and can lead to some highly profitable baseball bets.
MLB season win totals are one of the most popular markets for baseball. They typically released around the end of February, shortly before the start of spring training. Their popularity still pales in comparison with the NFL season win totals.
Best MLB Betting Sites 2018
MLB Season Win Totals – Explained
Pittsburgh Pirates Over 88.5 Wins (-110)
Pittsburgh Pirates Under 88.5 Wins (-110)
Season win totals are pretty basic. They’re available for every team in the league and are pulled once the regular season starts. Bettors can wager on the over or under on the number provided by the oddsmakers.
How To Read Baseball Over / Under
In the above example, the Pittsburgh Pirates have a win total of 88.5 wins. If we bet under 88.5 wins, the Pirates must win 88 games or less for our bet to be graded as a winner. For us to win a bet on the over, the Pirates need to win 89 games or more.
Market Specifics In MLB Baseball Betting
MLB season win totals is a market that is geared towards recreational gamblers. For that reason, the attached juice may be -115 instead of -110, which is the case for many players and team props at some sites. Betting limits, at least at most US-facing sportsbooks will usually top out at $1,000, and even that’s on the high end.
Most sportsbooks will have limits at around $500, but some sites will go as low as $250. Bettors may have more luck if they are wagering at international bookmakers. They certainly offer these markets, and it’s rare that these giants have anything lower than $1,000 (or currency equivalent) as a maximum bet on any market.
MLB Line Shopping When Placing A Bet
MLB propositions and futures are prime examples why line shopping is so vital to success at sports betting. These markets will have a lot of differences in their numbers compared to major markets, like NFL sides and totals.
Bettors can not only shop odds for the best prices on their wagers, but they can look at sharper sportsbooks pricing and bet inefficiencies elsewhere. Never consider betting an MLB season win total (or any future for that matter) without comparing your options at several sportsbooks.
Focus On the Rosters – MLB Baseball Betting Strategy
Too many times, players get caught up with big names and high-profile free agent signings. That stuff is important, but ultimately, baseball is a game of moving parts where two players platooning at first base may beat an All-Star’s production at a fraction of the cost.
The A’s success under Billy Beane, using the “Moneyball” strategy wasn’t a fluke. It’s now the model for just about every small and medium-sized baseball market. Heck, the Yankees and the Red Sox of the world have learned some things as well.
Big name signings aren’t nearly as important as the full roster potential, both on offense and defense. How good a team defensively is something very few bettors think about before placing a wager. Run prevention is just as important as scoring runs these days, thanks to advancement in analytics.
Baseball Players vs Baseball Managers
In baseball, it’s about the players on the field more than anything else. A new NFL head coach could turn a losing team into a winning one, but it’s exceedingly rare to see a turnaround like that in baseball over just one season. Managers, especially in the AL, simply don’t do enough to impact a team to produce that kind of turn around. The best managers in the game aren’t worth more than a few wins a season, at most.
There are some bad managers out there, and they do impact their teams negatively, but ultimately it’s the roster and upper management that decide a franchise’s fate. Managers today are often tasked with listening to his stats guys for the lineup and on-field decisions, but having the job of managing egos and personalities in the clubhouse.
Utilize Advanced MLB Statistics To Place Bets
We go over some of the baseball’s best-advanced metrics in our article on advanced baseball statistics. These are not only valuable when it comes to wagering on sides and totals, but when evaluating a team’s roster from season to season. FIP and SIERA, specifically, are excellent when it comes to evaluating pitchers who may be due for a rebound or regression. Many advanced stats for defense and hitting show the true value of a player.
Remember, mainstream statistics, such as batting average and earned run average (ERA) are not only flawed statistics but ones that the average gambler uses to evaluate matchups and odds. When we look outside the box of these traditional statistics, our knowledge of the game increases and we’re utilizing stats that most of the betting public aren’t considering.
The Youth Movement – MLB Betting Factor
Often, the biggest improvement we see from year to year is from teams with younger rosters. Spotting teams that several years into their rebuilding process and ready to make the leap into contenders again is an excellent way to profit offseason win totals and other futures.
Houston Astros Roster
Take the Houston Astros for instance. As of the 2016 season, they’re expected to compete for a playoff spot and perhaps a World Series title. However, in the 2014 season, the Astros had a record of 70-92.
It was the 2015 season that Houston crushed the oddsmaker’s expectations and improved their record from 70-92 to go 86-76, make the playoffs and lose in the Divisional Series. Their roster didn’t change much at all from 2014 to 2015, their young players and prospects simply got better and produced more.
Chicago Cubs Roster
The Chicago Cubs are another team that began rebuilding in 2010-11 and saw their record jump mostly due to their young core of positional players taking a big step forward. Their starting pitching helped a bit as well, but their improvement from a 69-win team in 2014 to a 97-win team mostly had to do with their youth movement.
Teams that are rebuilding and have a strong core of young players, along with prospects in the minors who are major league ready or close to being ready for the majors are ones to look at closely when it comes to MLB season win totals.