MLB Player Props: Will Unders Crush Again in 2019?

MLB Player Props: Will Unders Crush Again in 2019? article feature image

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Miguel Cabrera.

  • Last year, season-long MLB player props went under nearly 70% of the time.
  • Injuries accounted for a large portion of these, but even if you exclude them unders still hit at nearly a 63% rate.

If you've been following any of my player prop picks for the upcoming season, you may have noticed something … I'm quite fond of unders. Yes, my secret is out. You caught me red-handed. But why, pray tell?

Well, as was the case with football, MLB season-long player props went under at a very high rate last year. And I'm not talking around 55%.

I'm talking about a 311-141-5 record. And, if we count ERA overs as unders since they are the negative side in terms of player performance, we get 313-139-5 — a 69.2% rate. Furthermore, every single individual category had players underperforming.

Let's think about why, though.

These props all essentially assume that a player stays healthy for the vast majority of the season. As you can see, I counted up the unders that hit thanks to injuries and there were quite a few.

I counted them as injuries if a player played only a small portion of the season or missed a significant amount of time and appeared as though he would've gone over or came close to the over/under had he not been injured.

If you take out props impacted by injuries, unders still went 236-141-5 (62.6%).

I think that the books don't account for the fact that baseball statistics are volatile. Either that or they know that bettors aren't going to account for it. They may know that these type of props frequently go under, but they like it that way because they make a profit anyway.

As is the case with all types of bets, I'd expect that these overs are more popular than the unders, and perhaps by a substantial margin. Bettors like rooting for points, runs, home runs, etc. on a day-by-day basis so it would make sense that they'd like rooting for them throughout the course of the season.

I have only this one-year sample size to go off of, but I'd be shocked if unders don't hit more often than overs again this year. Maybe they don't push for 70%, but with the help of injuries, they should still reach 55%.

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