Spring training brings the betting euphoria of MLB futures.
Mountain State online bettors, DraftKings Sportsbook West Virginia has released its over-under win totals for all major league teams and betting odds for the numerous player props.
The season begins April 1.
MLB win totals at WV sportsbooks
At DraftKings, the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers have the highest over-under total, 102.5.
Here are other top teams:
- New York Yankees 95.5
- San Diego Padres 94.5
- Atlanta Braves 91.5
- Chicago White Sox 91.5
- New York Mets 90.5
Teams of regional interest:
- Cleveland Indians 81.5
- Cincinnati Reds 82.5 (81.5 at William Hill)
- Washington Nationals 84.5
- Baltimore Orioles 64.5
The Orioles are 63.5 at William Hill WV, a nice value if you want to play the over.
The benefits of betting win totals
Betting on a team’s projected win total gives gamblers rooting interest every night, even though the bet won’t be decided for several months.
One of the hidden benefits of season-long wagers is their ability to frame a team’s day-to-day performance, measured against expectations.
A team that is playing way above or below its season-long projections is bound to have stretches where it corrects. A team playing over its head will hit some type of slump. An underperforming team will get hot.
If you catch the pattern, you can wager into it.
Popular MLB teams with WV bettors
Cleveland Indians: 81.5 victories
That initially seems low because Cleveland was 35-25 last season, projecting out to nearly 95 wins over a full campaign.
But the off-season created two major holes.
Shortstop Francisco Lindor and ace starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco went to the New York Mets.
One major bright spot remains.
Shane Bieber comes off a Cy Young award season in which he sizzled. Bieber compiled an 8-1 mark with a sterling 0.87 earned run average, 1.63 WHIP and 122 strikeouts.
All of this was in a 60-game season. That would have worked out to more than 300 strikeouts.
It followed his banner 2019 season of 15-8, with 259 strikeouts.
The Indians also have Jose Ramirez, who delivered 17 homers and 46 RBI last season.
Cincinnati Reds: 82.5 victories
Attention, shoppers. The Reds have an 82.5 over-under at DraftKings, 81.5 at William Hill. There’s a one-game swing for whatever side you like.
The Reds had a strong season of 31-29 last year and made the postseason. Their projected win total is a challenging one because of one major departure.
They were led by Trevor Bauer, who has gone to the Dodgers.
Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo will try to step up.
The Reds had no hitters above .300 last year and only one above .250.
This team needs help at the top of the lineup and in the speed department.
Washington Nationals: Time to reset
The Nationals, beset by injuries and a possible World Series hangover from 2019, are expected to enjoy a bounce-back year. Washington, which won only 26 games in the shortened 60-game campaign of 2020, has an over-under of 84.5 wins.
Baltimore Orioles: Return of the over achievers
The Birds romped home on the over last season, securing a mark of 25-35. That would translate to 68 victories over a full campaign.
Bettors of the Pittsburgh Pirates see the lowest total on the board, 58.5 wins, and the early action tilted to the under.
Betting a high total
The Dodgers have a daunting task of 102.5 wins. The defending World Series champions added to their loaded roster by acquiring Bauer, one of the league’s top pitchers.
Considering how to bet this? Timing is important.
Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told PlayWV that many big bettors like to take the under on teams with high win demands.
If someone wants to wager on the under, now is an advisable time, because the big money could move the number lower.
Potential bettors of the over would wait, hope the number comes down a win or two and then bet it.
Minimum games played consideration
William Hill has listed 150 games as the minimum a team must reach to consider the bet active.
This ensures the book and bettors of the wager being counted in case a few COVID-19 cancellations pop up. This number is about 10 games lower than the norm, indicating that the book has put some flexibility into this requirement.
Avello said DraftKings has placed its number at 160, and it has pragmatic considerations.
If a lower number of games won’t affect the outcome of a bet, it stands.
Cleveland’s number is 81.5 wins and only 155 games are played.
So if Cleveland already had 82 wins, the over bet is rewarded.
If Cleveland had 70 wins, then even a sweep of the remaining seven games would not push the total over 81.5, so the under wins.
If Cleveland had 75 wins, a sweep of the remaining games would give it 82 victories. This bet can still be mathematically decided either way and is thus refunded.
Bieber prominent in player props
Bieber is a major player in two significant props.
Gerrit Cole of the Yankees is +325 to win the American League Cy Young. Bieber is right behind him at +400.
The strikeouts race also has good value. It brings both leagues into play. Here are the favorites:
- Cole +450
- Jacob deGrom +500
- Bieber +600