MLB 2020 odds and American League West win total predictions: What to do with the Astros?

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It has been one of the craziest MLB offseasons imaginable for the Houston Astros thanks to the sign-stealing scandal. But with spring training here, we turn our attention to the MLB odds for regular season win totals. Andrew Caley may not have a trash can banging system in place to know what’s coming, but he slides into the MLB betting odds headfirst and gives his best Over/Under win total predictions for the American League West.

AL WEST REGULAR SEASON WIN TOTALS

TEAM 2020 WIN TOTAL ODDS TO WIN AL WEST
Houston Astros 94.5 -225
Oakland Athletics 89 +350
Los Angeles Angels 85.5 +600
Texas Rangers 79.5 +2000
Seattle Mariners 67.5 +30000

HOUSTON ASTROS – O/U 94.5

Last season: Over 96.5 by 11 wins

Where to even begin with the Astros? The banging scandal has rocked baseball to its core. The GM and head coach are fired. The team was fined and lost a bunch of draft picks. But the general consensus is that it wasn’t enough. Everyone hates the players and owner for being so contrite and believe their World Series title should be stripped. The point is, this story isn’t going away anytime soon. Astros players are going to hear it from fans and opposing players all season long (what’s the Over/Under for number of trash cans confiscated when the Astros play?).

Losing star starter Gerrit Cole hurts a lot and the division as a whole got a little better, but this all about the trash can. And in the end, the weight of the scandal will prove too much. That’s already baked into this number as Houston won 107 games and nearly a second title last year, but we’re taking the cheaters to go Under. There’s a minor league team called the Trash Pandas, maybe Houston can borrow that nickname for this season?

Pick: Under 94.5

LOS ANGELES ANGELS – O/U 85.5

Last season: Under 82.5 by 11 wins

Every year I pick the Angels to go Over their win total. And every year, they disappoint. I want Mike Trout in the postseason and the Halos are usually tasked with a modest number. And here we are again. But this year might be a little different. The Angels brought in Joe Maddon to be their new manager, they signed postseason hero Anthony Rendon away from the Nationals, and it sounds like two-way star Shohei Otani is healthy. If they get 20 starts out of him, that’s a huge plus. But the Angels also bolstered their rotation by brining in Julio Teheran and Dylan Bundy, who I think has the stuff to be a frontline starter now that he’s out of Baltimore. This is the year. I know it.

Pick: Over 85.5

OAKLAND ATHLETICS – O/U 89

Last season: Over 83.5 by 14 wins

The A’s just continue to surprise. I went into last season thinking there was no way they could repeat their 97-win performance from 2018, and they went out and won exactly 97 games again. Matt Olson, Matt Chapman and Marcus Semien anchor a solid lineup. The A’s play fantastic defense and have a rotation that feeds into that perfectly. Mike Fiers leads the staff, Sean Manea is healthy, and Frankie Montas gets a full season. The bullpen is also lethal. With the same core returning and healthy, I’m giving the A’s the benefit of the doubt.

Pick: Over 89

SEATTLE MARINERS – O/U 67.5

Last season: Under 71.5 by three wins

After a hot start to the 2019 campaign, the Mariners went into full-on tank mode. The M’s ended the season with 67 wins, but 18 of those wins came before May 1. At the plate, Seattle ranked second-to-last in batting average and on the mound, they ranked 23rd in team ERA. It could be more of the same in 2020. This is Year 2 of the Mariners rebuild and it’s sounding like they’re going to give a lot of time to their top prospects. Kyle Seager is now the Mariners’ elder statesman with Felix Hernandez gone. But expect Seager, Dee Gordon and Mitch Hanigar all to be shopped at some point this season. The rotation is OK, not good enough to get Over this number.

Pick: Under 67.5

TEXAS RANGERS – O/U 79.5

Last season: Over 71.5 by 7 wins

The Rangers are another intriguing team heading into 2020. They have a new ballpark and were a surprising team in Chris Woodward’s first year as manager, winning 78 games. This offseason they went out and acquired one of the best pitchers in the American League in Corey Kluber. The Rangers now have a solid rotation with Kluber, Mike Minor, Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles. Joey Gallo enters the season healthy and should provide a boost to the Rangers lineup. This number feels pretty spot on, but Kluber is worth an extra win or two.

Pick: Over 79.5

UNDERSTANDING MLB SEASON WIN TOTALS

Sportsbooks will post projected win totals for every MLB team before the season starts. The numbers are projections for the amount of wins a specific team will get in a given year set accurately enough in hopes of getting an even amount of dollars wagered on both the Over and the Under. These markets open before Spring Training, close when the regular season begins and don’t cash out until the season is over eight months later. So, be prepared to ride out your investment.

MLB season win total odds will usually look like this:

Houston Astros Over/Under 94.5

This means you can bet the Astros to have more than or less than 94.5 wins. So, 95 or more wins and you cash an Over bet and 94 or fewer wins and your Under is the winner.

Most of these odds are juiced to -110 each way, meaning you would need to bet $110 to win $100. If adjustments are made, due to players changing teams, getting hurt or liability (amount wagered on a certain side), then usually the number would change, for example: the Astros move from 94.5 to 95.5.

HOW TO BET MLB REGULAR SEASON WIN TOTALS

There are many strategies to consider when making an MLB regular season win total bet. First and foremost, you’re looking for value. Has a sportsbook overvalued a player acquisition or undervalued the strength of a division? Just because the A’s won 97 games last year, doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll go Over their win total of 89 this year. With a little bit of research, you can find some real value in the numbers.

Also, consider the length of your investment. As mentioned before, MLB regular season win totals need to be locked in prior to the Opening Day of the MLB season (usually at the end of March) and don’t cash out until the season ends (usually at the end of September). That’s a long time to wait out a bet. If you are betting the Mariners to go Under 67.5 wins, but they come flying out the gates winning 20 of their first 30 games, who’ve got a season-long sweat on your hands.

Another thing to look at is good teams versus bad teams. The MLB is in a weird state where it seems like only a third of teams are actually trying to win at a time, while the others tank to accumulate assets. But since sportsbooks don’t like setting numbers too high or too low, there’s actually value in betting bad teams to lose and good teams to win.

Finally, shop around. These totals are from the Superbook at the Westgate in Las Vegas. If you like the Angels but don’t love the number at 85.5, maybe another book doesn’t have as big a liability on the Los Angeles and has a number of 84.5 or even 84.

 

Verlander injury shuffles Astros’ MLB futures odds

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MLB betting got a shake-up Sunday afternoon, specifically on World Series odds and AL pennant odds, with news that Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander could miss the rest of the season – or at least a significant chunk of it – with an arm injury.

Initial reports suggested Verlander had an elbow ailment, but both he and manager Dusty Baker quickly denied that. Baker called it a forearm strain and said that Verlander would be re-evaluated in “a couple of weeks.” The reigning AL Cy Young winner pitched a solid six innings in an 8-2 Opening Day rout of the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Verlander’s injury led oddsmakers to shuffle futures book odds on the defending AL champions. Covers checked in on the MLB odds moves with a couple of Las Vegas sportsbooks.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ World Series odds?

At CG Technology books, risk analyst Rich Zanco said the Astros quickly moved from +1,200 to +1,800 in World Series futures. The SuperBook at Westgate also had Houston pegged +1,200 prior to Sunday’s news and initially went to +1,600, then dialed it a little further to +1,800.

However, there were apparently buyers on the Astros at that point, prompting the SuperBook to reel the price in to +1,400.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ American League odds?

In AL pennant futures, the Astros initially moved from +600 to +800 at The SuperBook, then ticked back to +700.

World Series odds

Team Odds to win
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +350
Houston Astros +600
Atlanta Braves +1,600
Minnesota Twins +1,600
Tampa Bay Rays +1,800
Washington Nationals +2,000
Cleveland Indians +2,000
New York Mets +2,000
Chicago Cubs +2,000
Oakland Athletics +2,000
St. Louis Cardinals +2,500
Cincinnati Reds +2,500
San Diego Padres +2,500
Philadelphia Phillies +3,000
Chicago White Sox +3,000
Los Angeles Angels +3,000
Milwaukee Brewers +4,000
Boston Red Sox +5,000
Arizona Diamondbacks +6,000
Colorado Rockies +8,000
Toronto Blue Jays +10,000
Texas Rangers +10,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +20,000
Detroit Tigers +20,000
San Francisco Giants +30,000
Seattle Mariners +30,000
Miami Marlins +30,000
Baltimore Orioles +30,000
Kansas City Royals +30,000

Odds courtesy The SuperBook

MLB picks and predictions for Opening Day

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It was a long and scary road, but we finally get MLB betting back on Thursday, July 23. Opening Day of the pandemic-shortened 60-game baseball schedule is headlined by a pair of matchups, with the New York Yankees visiting the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers rekindling their rivalry with the San Francisco Giants.

Like we do each MLB season (COVID-19 or not), we’ll be taking a swing at today’s baseball odds and giving our best MLB picks and predictions. Up first: Opening Day 2020.

MLB picks for today

New York Yankees vs Washington Nationals

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was supposed to miss the start of the season back in the spring, but the delay to the 2020 campaign allowed the outfielder to heal up from broken ribs and return to his longball-launching self.

Judge looked great in New York’s warmup games, albeit for a limited number of at-bats. He went 3-for-7 with all three hits leaving the ballpark. And he wasn’t alone, with the Yankees’ other power bats providing plenty of pop around him in the order. He’ll get a chance to go yard again on Opening Day.

PREDICTION: Aaron Judge home run (+210)

San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers

The Giants are no strangers to Clayton Kershaw, who has long dominated the Dodgers’ divisional foes. In 49 career appearances against San Francisco, The Claw is 23-12 with a 1.74 ERA and has allowed just 0.71 hits per innings pitched in those starts.

The Giants don’t pose much of an offensive threat, averaging 8.22 hits per game in 2019. San Francisco has managed 45 total hits in its last eight starts against Kershaw – an average of 0.86 hits per inning faced. Given the Dodgers’ ace looked ready for work in his tune-up efforts, we could see him go seven innings or more on Thursday, panning out to a little over six hits for San Fran.

PREDICTION: Giants between 6-7 total hits (+235)

Mookie Betts has reportedly landed a whale of a contract extension with the Dodgers after joining the ballclub this offseason via a trade with the Boston Red Sox. And what better way to lock down that deal than an impressive effort on Opening Day.

Betts recorded 313 total bases in 2019 (30th) and 353 in 2018 (fourth). He’s been swinging well in training sessions this offseason: in 27 at-bats during the spring/summer schedule, he has 13 total bases, including two doubles and a home run, while hitting leadoff during Summer Camp. We like that to continue into Opening Day.

PREDICTION: Mookie Betts two or more total bases (-182)

Top MLB consensus for today

Want to know who today’s biggest MLB betting and consensus bets are right now? Check out our top MLB consensus picks.

Opening Day betting card

  • Aaron Judge home run (+210)
  • Giants between 6-7 total hits (+235)
  • Mookie Betts two or more total bases (-182)