MLB Season Win Totals Betting
The start of the 2017 MLB Season is just around the corner. Spring training is winding down and Opening Day is on Monday, April 3rd. One of my favorite pre-season markets is MLB Season Win Totals.
In this article, I’ll go over some of my favorite win total bets for the upcoming season. We’re going to use BetOnline (Full Review) and Bovada (Full Review) for these markets, letting you know which top sportsbook has the best odds. However, there is still value in line shopping at other sportsbooks.
August 2019 Safest Betting Sites
Pittsburgh Pirates – Total Wins 82.5
Full disclosure before I begin this write-up. I’m a life-long Pirates fan and a Pittsburgh native. I love baseball and my Pirates, but I’m also capable of being impartial. One of the biggest mistakes amateur gamblers make is betting disproportionally on their hometown or favorite teams.
Pittsburgh won 78 games last season, their lowest total in the past four seasons. Much of that had to do with the starting rotation, which included some terrible acquisitions, including Jonathan Niese and Francisco Liriano in one of his “bad” years.
Pittsburgh has upgraded their rotation coming into this season. They signed Ivan Nova this offseason and still have an excellent core in Gerrit Cole and Jamison Taillon. Chad Kuhl was also excellent last year. Tyler Glasnow, a highly-touted prospect, is also looking to make the club as the team’s fifth starter.
With a strong bullpen and an upgraded rotation, the Pirates pitching is far better than it was to start last season. Their lineup may be missing Jung Ho Kang for a while, but it’s still a strong unit. Defensively, they stand to get better with Marte now moving to centerfield and McCutchen going to left.
Pittsburgh looks like an 85-win team to me, with upside for 90.
Both BetOnline and Bovada have the same 82.5 number. However, BetOnline is juiced -130 on the over while the Bovada is offering even money on the over.
Pick: 82.5 Over (+100) at Bovada
Tampa Bay Rays – Total Wins 78.5
The Rays are coming off one of their worst seasons in franchise history, but there are plenty of reasons for optimism this coming season. Yes, they finished with just 68 wins last year and are now projected for around 78 wins this season. Ten game improvements year-to-year in baseball are hard to come by, but not impossible.
They didn’t do much this offseason, but they have a strong core in place in Tampa that focuses on fundamentals and lineup with deceptively more power than most people think. The Rays were fourth in home runs last season in the AL and have plus defenders all over the field.
Their rotation is also underrated, with Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi leading the way on a top-five that is oozing with upside. There is a risk with all their pitchers but come with high minor league pedigrees. This is a rotation with several potential aces.
All in all, I see them being extremely underrated based on their current roster. They profile as a strong team both offensively and on defense, and their rotation may have a few question marks, but it’s one that is loaded with upside.
Pick: Over 77.5 (-135) at Bovada
Chicago Cubs – Total Wins 96.5
The reigning World Series Champions, (I still can’t believe I’m typing this) the Chicago Cubs look to defend their title with a lofty win total of 96.5. The now, curse-broken, Cubbies are coming off a 103-win season last year. This year, they come into the season with the league’s highest projected wins per the oddsmakers.
There’s reason to think the Cubs overperformed last season. Their pitchers, though elite, are now getting a bit older and most were significantly better than their advanced metrics numbers last season, statistics like SIERA and xFIP.
They also did lose center fielder and leadoff hitter, Dexter Fowler. Fowler bolted to the divisional rival, Cardinals. He’s just one player, but he was an important one for Chicago. Fowler improved defensively last season and posted an excellent on-base percentage at .393.
Part of this is also the betting public. Their total has risen since opening, and that’s not because sharp bettors are hammering the line. Chicago is a massive city and Cubs fans are everywhere across the country. They’re a hot bet, and their total wins are likely inflated due to the public betting the over. That may be enough for a bet on its own.
You can grab the Cubs under wins at 96.5 (-105). This beats Bovada by a decent margin, which is priced at 95.5 with -115 on the under.
Pick: Under 96.5 (-105) at BetOnline