2020 MLB Odds and Betting Preview: Line Shopping for the Best 2020 MLB Win Totals and Futures
Richard Rodriguez, Getty Images. Pictured: Shin-Soo Choo
Now that I established some updated projections for 2020, we can look to the betting market to find the books with the best win total and divisional lines to place our bets.
But first, you should note that all of these books over-inflate their win total markets; which means that the total number of wins amongst the 30 teams adds up to more wins than are available during an MLB season (2,430).
How do these books compare in terms of inflation?
As a result, you’re more likely to find value betting unders at DraftKings than you might be at other books.
Win Total Markets
When win totals are initially released, some books have substantially different lines than others, creating huge opportunities to middle.
By this point in the offseason, however, the listed total for each of these teams has generally moved towards a consensus number – but, some discrepancies remain.
Interestingly, BetMGM has the Pittsburgh Pirates listed at 73.5 wins – as few as two and as much as 3.5 wins higher than the rest of the market – and that’s a book where I’ll look to take the Pirates under:
The St. Louis Cardinals are an intriguing club as they look to defend their NL Central crown. They have had a poor offseason but remain in the hunt to acquire Nolan Arenado – and their win total ranges from 85.5 to 88.5 – which means you could target a middle by betting the over and under at separate books.
The Padres also stand out for purposes of playing a middle, with a win total ranging from 81.5 to as high as 84.5.
All remaining NL teams have a win total range within two, but there are more discrepancies in the American League.
The Cleveland Indians are in a similar position as the Cardinals, as a contending team that hasn’t done much to improve itself this offseason, and they have a win total range from 85.5 to 88.5 – but both clubs always seems to find ways to stay competitive.
The White Sox remain as low as 82.5 at BetMGM, and I would play the over small at that number – which is one win below the rest of the market.
The Astros total has mostly come down from 98 to 94 after firing their GM and manager, but PointsBet has held firm at 96.5 wins.
An improved rotation has pushed the Texas Rangers to 80.5 wins at William Hill – but I would look to bet that under again, even though I’m already sitting on a share at 79.5. And I could also play their over 76.5 at DraftKings in search of a middle.
As for the divisional market, I tried to highlight the best odds available at each book, but I primarily see value in playing the Angels at +800, Athletics at +450, Reds at +400, and White Sox at +400 to win their respective divisions: