The 2021 MLB win totals are out, but I have not looked at them yet. First, I want to get an idea of which teams I might be higher on than the market. I’m going to build a small list, and then make quick, dart-throw projections for win totals and where I’d bet them. This will be purely off the cuff without additional research to get a baseline.
Of course, I will not be alone in liking a team like the Chicago White Sox. But maybe I will LOVE them even more than the betting market.
Here are the teams I’m quickly hoping to take the over on, and what kind of total I’m hoping to target:
- Chicago White Sox — Max number I’d want to bet the over at is 92.5.
- Houston Astros — Max number I’d want to bet the over at is 91.5.
- Miami Marlins — Could we find a number near 75?
- Washington Nationals — Is it possible a number as low as 87.5 is available? Max I’d bet over is 91.5.
- Philadelphia Phillies — I bet the Phillies over seemingly every year. Hoping for below 85.
- Milwaukee Brewers — Similarly, I’m hoping to find the Brewers near or below 85 wins.
- Arizona Diamondbacks — They’ve had a rough go of late. Is a win total at 74.5 asking too much?
Ok, that’s it for now. I don’t want to have too many early leans on the over. The win total market is not a zero-sum game. Meaning, if you add up all the totals, it will not equal the total number of games played. Typically, books have numbers shaded towards the over, as that is the more popular play.
But this excercise wouldn’t be complete without revealing the initial win totals for the teams above. I won’t go into a detailed breakdown just yet, but let’s see if there is any early value based on gut feel:
Chicago White Sox — 91.5
The win total at 91.5 is one win below my max buy price of 92.5. This looks like a solid 1 unit play.
Houston Astros — 86.5
The Astros are getting considerably disrespected by the market here at 86.5
Miami Marlins — 70.5
I came in 6.5 wins too high on the Marlins. Sure, that number was overly optimistic. And the Marlins get downgraded for playing so many of their games in the meat-grinder of the NL East. But I would not be surprised to see this team flirt with a .500 record, and I’ll happily lay down a few dollars at over 70.5.
Washington Nationals — 84.5
I see the Nationals as a World Series contender, which is why I would have bet this number up to 91.5. I was hoping for a number as low as 87.5 and seeing 84.5 on the board might make this my favorite early MLB win total to bet.
Philadelphia Phillies — 80.5
I swear, the Phillies keep getting better, and their win total keeps dropping. In this case, the entire NL East has improved so much that it’s understandable to leave the Phillies in the dust. In my opinion, this is much better than a .500 team.
Milwaukee Brewers — 82.5
I see much more potential for upside on this win total than downside. I hoped to find the Brewers under 85 wins. So there is a little room to breathe on this over bet.
Arizona Diamondbacks — 74.5
Projected this win total spot on, and I will take a bite at the over.
Chicago Cubs — 78.5
Alright, I had to do it. I’m a Cubs homer, so I didn’t want to include them on the initial list. But after seeing the total at 78.5, I had to make a note of it. For comparison, the Cardinals have a win total of 86.5. The Cubs won this division a year ago without any major contributions from the pillars of the offense. Of course, Yu Darvish is gone and the Cardinals traded for Nolan Arenado.
Those two moves alone *could* explain an 8-win gap. So, don’t be like me. Resist the urge to bet on the team you love. I have weaknesses, and this is one of them.