NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST 2020 SEASON WIN TOTALS
|TEAM||2020 WIN TOTAL||ODDS TO WIN THE NL EAST|
|New York Mets||86.5||+225|
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ATLANTA BRAVES – O/U 91.5
The Braves won 97 games on their way to claiming their second consecutive NL East title, but while they have a strong core of the Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman, they're missing some key pieces from last season - most notably Josh Donaldson and Dallas Keuchel. They did bring in Marcell Ozuna and Travis d’Arnuad to supplement that production. Veteran Cole Hamels was the only addition to the rotation as the Braves hope young guns Mike Soroka and Max Fried take the next step. This is a smart number considering the NL East could be the strongest group in the Big Leagues, but the uncertainty of the starting pitching makes me wary of the Over.
Pick: Under 91.5
MIAMI MARLINS – O/U 63.5
The Marlins rebuild continues into Year… whatever it is, under Derek Jeter. The Fish have won 63 and 57 games in each of the past two seasons, but could 2020 be the year in which the Marlins' rebuild starts to bear fruit? Jeter has restocked the farm system and it’s a question of whether some of those players can impact the Big League ball club. They have also done what the Tigers did and brought in some veterans to support all their youngsters, including Corey Dickerson, Jonathan Villar and Jesus Aguilar. On top of that, the Marlins had a surprising rotation, ranking 16th in starter ERA. If the Marlins bullpen improves just a little, they should be able to challenge this number.
Pick: Over 63.5
NEW YORK METS – O/U 86.5
The Mets were one of the more fun teams in baseball last year, making multiple late-season pushes for the final NL Wildcard spot before ultimately coming up short. Still, they won 86 wins last year. Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil should build off their 2019 campaigns and lead a lineup that has a nice mix of young talent and veteran leadership. Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndegaard and Marcus Stroman makes up as good of a rotation as there is in baseball. Closer Edwin Diaz is primed to bounce back after a tough first year in the Big Apple and New York added Dellin Betances to the bullpen mix. With a stellar staff and young talent, this Mets team can make a real leap this year.
Pick: Over 86.5
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES – O/U 85.5
The Gabe Kapler era in Philadelphia is over, as the Phillies bring long-time Yankees manager Joe Girardi into the fold. The move was facilitated by a poor 2019 showing in which the Phillies, despite boasting a strong lineup, won just 81 games. Philly is hoping new leadership from Girardi and new shortstop Didi Gregorius (one of Girardi’s favorite players in New York), can get it over the top in 2020. The Phillies still boast a strong lineup lead by Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins and J.T. Realmuto, but with all those big names the team was far too inconsistent at the plate last summer. When it comes to pitching, Aaron Nola regressed a bit last season, Jake Arrieta seems to be on the downturn of his career, and Zack Wheeler has many questioning if he's worth his paycheck. The most glaring part is the Phillies bullpen, which was far from great in 2019 and did little to improve this offseason. In a division this tight, that will be a factor.
Pick: Under 85.5
WASHINGTON NATIONALS – O/U 89.5
The defending World Series champions enter 2020 in a very interesting spot. The Nationals were able to re-sign World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg to a long-term deal, securing one of the major’s best rotations, that includes Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin. However, the Nats did lose their other postseason hero, Anthony Rendon to the Angels, and didn’t do much to replace him. Eric Thames is OK, hitting 72 home runs over the last three seasons, but has a big hole in his swing. That said, this lineup is still very talented. Juan Soto has another year of experience and is one of the next big stars in baseball. With starting pitching this good, a solid lineup, and the confidence of a championship, I’m betting there’s no World Series hangover.
Pick: Over 89.5
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:
Washington Nationals Over/Under 90
This means you can bet the Nationals to have more than or less than 90 wins. So, 91 or more wins and you cash an Over bet and 89 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 Nationals move from 90 to 91.
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 Braves won 97 games last year, doesn’t necessarily mean they'll go Over their win total of 91.5 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 Mets to go Over 86.5 wins, but they stumble out the gates losing 15 of their first 30 games, you’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 Phillies to improve but don’t love the number at 85.5, maybe another book doesn’t have as big a liability on Philadelphia and has a number of 84.5 or even 84.