The regular Major League Baseball (MLB) season started last week in Japan with a couple of games between the Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners. Wagering on the season win totals for those two teams are no longer available.
The season really begins Thursday in America and there’s still a few hours to place wagers over or under season win totals for MLB teams.
Where to wager on MLB season win totals
Win totals are available for betting earlier every year. Caesars Sportsbooks was the first to release MLB season win totals in February. Now that all free agents are signed and the season is about to begin, MLB win totals are available at all legal US sportsbooks.
Researching MLB season win totals
Analytically inclined baseball websites are a great resource for sports bettors. One of the many useful tools to look at before the season is MLB win total projections. PECOTA from Baseball Prospectus and Fangraphs projections are two of the most popular win total resources before and during the season.
Both resources offer useful team and player information throughout the season for both bettors and daily fantasy players. An interesting way to look at wagering on MLB season win totals is to compare the projection sites to the sportsbooks.
Comparing projections and sportsbooks
Many of the MLB win totals are close enough that there isn’t too much to take away. However, there are a few teams that have a decent difference that it could cause a bettor to pause before placing a wager. Likewise, the information might appear strong enough to place a wager.
One of the biggest surprises with PECOTA this year is how much their projection does not like the Chicago Cubs. FanDuel has their season win total at 87.5 and Fangraphs projects the win total at 88. PECOTA projects that the Cubs will only win 80 games and finish last in the NL West.
The PECOTA projection for the Cleveland Indians stands out in the opposite way of the Cubs. FanDuel has the win total set at 90.5. Fangraphs projection is a little higher at 92 wins. Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projects the Indians will win 97 games in the weak AL Central.
Everyone seems aligned with the Philadelphia Phillies after the signing of Bryce Harper. The projection systems have the season win total close to 88.5 wins posted on FanDuel. The projection systems seem to like the offseason moves by the San Diego Padres.
Fangraphs projects the Padres to win 79 games. PECOTA has the Padres win total projected at 81 after the signing of free agent Manny Machado. The latter hasn’t been updated with the announcement that Fernando Tatis Jr. will start the season with the Padres. For comparison, FanDuel has their season win total at 77.5.
Almost game time
Even though the season is technically underway, the MLB season starts in the US on Thursday. Bettors will have until the first pitch of each team to place season win total wagers. First pitch for the Yankees, Orioles, Mets, and Nationals is as 1 pm east coast/10 am Pacific for bettors that want to get wagers in before season win total betting closes.
MLB.com has pitching matchups and game times posted for the first few days of the season.