MLB Betting Guides

4 Tips For Winning MLB Season Win Total Futures

Major League Baseball regular season win totals are one of the most popular futures bets to make because they’re actually winnable. While it’s tough to predict who’ll win the World Series or which player will win the MVP award, it’s much easier to beat the sportsbooks on which team will outperform their wins over-under. If you’re looking to improve your strategy with these season-long bets, we have four tips to help you win more with MLB Regular Season Win Totals.

Step 1: Bet Unders Early, Overs Later
Step 2: Move Quickly On The Offseason News
Step 3: Know Which Stats Matter
Step 4: Look At Analytical Projections

Betting Strategy MLB Regular Season Win Totals
Betting Strategy MLB Season Win Totals


Step 1: Bet Unders Early, Overs Later With MLB Regular Season Win Totals

One of the biggest mistakes bettors make with regular season win totals is betting either too early or too late based on which way they’re going. It’s hard to stay away from a good bet when you see it because you don’t know when or how the lines will change, but you have to keep the timing in mind.

The main reason for this is injuries. If you bet over on wins for the Los Angeles Dodgers in early January and one of their players gets suspended for any reason or someone else gets hurt in spring training, that’s going to put a big dent in your over bet. That’s why with overs, you’d rather wait until the eve of the regular season – if possible – to place this bet because then you’ll know the full roster is intact for Opening Day.

On the flip side, if you’re betting unders, there is extra value betting it early. That’s because if you bet on a team at the opening number and then they do, in fact, lose a key player or pitcher to a season-long injury, that only benefits you. The number will drop and you’ll be sitting with better odds than the rest of the market.

Of course, it’s never good etiquette to cheer for an injury but you do want to protect your bet just in case that happens. That’s why you have to keep this timing in mind.

Step 2: Move Quickly On The Offseason News

It might sound obvious but you have to track what’s happening in the offseason to have a good read on what bets to make. Many recreational players will pay attention through the World Series but their interest will fade until spring training rolls around. By that point, a lot of the value is already sucked out of the market.

Not only should you keep track off winter meetings, trades and free agency, the sharpest bettors tend to have a good feel for anticipation. Typically, you can get a good read on which teams will be buyers in the offseason and which teams are set to lose a lot of talent. If you study the farm systems, you can also get a good gauge on which teams can handle the talent loss. 

When news breaks or is on the cusp of being announced, be prepared to place your bets. Some sportsbooks are fast to adjust and some are not. Even after a big signing, you might be able to get in some action before a book adjusts. This can only happen if you have your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the offseason.

Step 3: Know Which Stats Matter

There was a very interesting deep-dive done by Sarah Sult, a baseball analytics guru, who examined what common stats impact a team’s winning percentage the most. You can clickthrough to read the expose but we’ll give you the Coles notes here: ERA, LOB, OBP, SLG, and WHIP. 

When you’re backing a team that you think will either overachieve or underachieve in comparison to their regular season win total, examine these specific categories. It’s not a huge surprise as these are the major performance metrics of a team’s offense and defense. Teams that do well in these categories should do well overall. However, sometimes bettors get a bit distracted with all sorts of numbers but these are the ones that give the most insight into a team’s winning percentage. That’s exactly what you need for betting the regular season win totals.

Step 4: Look At Analytical Projections

You can crunch the numbers yourself or you can rely on a number of other outlets that can crunch the numbers for you. With baseball, there are a ton of options in terms of finding analytical projections of both players and teams, and they do the math for you. 

For example, FanGraphs is one of a beloved site for baseball die-hards and each year, they do a projection for the final standings. That shows you their projected win totals for each and every team. Baseball Prospectus is a competitor to FanGraphs in many ways and their version of these projections are called PECOTA standings (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm). 

It’s probably not the best idea to follow their projections blindly for all 30 MLB teams. However, if you like an over-under based on your research and they are on the same side, that can help reinforce your decision.

Outlier Team
April 5, 2023
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