MLB Betting Predictions: Big Moneylines Creating Value for Blue Jays-Astros, Red Sox-Orioles
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports. Gerrit Cole
- The Astros are -305 favorites at home tonight against the Blue Jays, and the Red Sox are -255 favorites in Baltimore.
- Historically, heavy favorites on the moneyline have actually produced value on the total.
One quick thing about me before I get into this post: I’ve been a baseball fan since I was a wee 3-year-old watching the Mark McGwire vs. Sammy Sosa home run race in ’98. I played through high school and even went on to play at a Division I school.*
*on the club team
Because of that, I’m pretty familiar with the rules of the game by now. One of the rules I’ve recently picked up on is that when the home team is winning at the end of 8.5 innings, they don’t actually play the bottom of the ninth. Mind blowing stuff, I know.
All right, so that’s obvious, but that doesn’t mean it can’t help us find some value in the betting world. After all, a game with 18 half-innings is going to have more runs on average than one with 17.
So how do we determine which games are going to end after the top of the ninth? The moneyline.
If the home team is a heavy favorite — like the Astros are today against Toronto — we can assume there’s a strong chance that the bottom of the ninth won’t be played, whereas a heavy road favorite — like the Red Sox tonight in Baltimore — increases the chance of seeing a final half-frame.
Unders in games featuring a home favorite of -300 or higher have gone 104-90-5 since 2005, per Bet Labs. Similarly, overs with road favorites of -200 or higher (because road teams are less likely to be as heavily favored) have gone 121-87-10 since ’05.
Adding a simple market restriction makes both strategies even more profitable.
When betting the under with a home favorite, a low total — which might draw public eyes to the over — has created a more profitable spot. And as you might expect, a higher total in games with big road favorites creates more value on the over.
Specifically, when a home team is listed -300 or higher and the total is listed at 8 or less, the under has gone 43-25-1 (63.2%) since 2005, winning 16.2 units for a 23.4% return on investment.
A road favorite of -200 or higher in a game with a total of 8 or more has led to an over record of 77-46-4 (62.6%), winning 26.1 units for a 20.6% ROI over the same span.
The Astros are -305 home favorites tonight with a total of 8, while the Sox are listed -255 on the road with a total of 10.
The picks: Blue Jays-Astros under 8 (-105), Red Sox-Orioles over 10 (-110)