- Opening Day for the 2023 MLB season is right around the corner.
- Season win totals are available for all 30 MLB teams at BetMGM.
- MLB season win total unders can be widely profitable.
It’s a tradition unlike any other. Every year, I fall headfirst into March Madness, spending two insane weeks watching brackets and buzzer-beaters.
At some point, I stop to catch my breath … and realize that Opening Day is about 72 hours away. Happy MLB odds season, everybody!
MLB Season Win Totals
Every year, I identify a small handful of bets in the MLB season win totals markets, which works much like every other season win totals market. Bettors are forecasting whether a team will reach a predetermined number of wins.
At the BetMGM online sportsbook, win total bets are voided if a team does not play at least 159 of its 162 games.
My general strategy is to think contrarian. Remember that overs are much more popular than unders, so there is sometimes inherent value in betting the other direction.
I also like to target bad teams in deep divisions, though MLB’s shift in scheduling philosophy may ultimately force me to reconsider this as one of my key strategies. The 2023 season could be a revealing year for such bets.
Washington Nationals: 59.5 Wins
The Mets, Braves, and Phillies draw most eyes at the top of the NL East, but it’s the Nationals I’m focused on.
Perhaps that’s because I’m an Orioles fan (#beltwaybaseball) in the DMV. Either way, it’s been clear to many of us for a while that the Nationals have gotten worse pretty much every year since their 2019 World Series championship. The team traded away Juan Soto in the middle of last season and spent the remainder of the year as the worst team in the majors.
I don’t expect that to change this year. The rotation is bad, and the lineup is mostly uninspiring. The Nationals’ main role this year is to serve as cannon fodder for the big payrolls at the top of the division.
I’m not sure what the argument is that they win five more games than last year in their first full season without Soto.
Bet: Nationals Under 59.5 Wins
Milwaukee Brewers: 85.5 Wins
This is the most interesting bet on the board as far as I’m concerned. Milwaukee was a modest divisional favorite last year in the NL Central before finishing in second, several games behind the Cardinals. Final record: a good-not-great 86-76.
You may have already picked up on where I’m going with this. The win total for this season, as noted above, is 85.5. So the book is essentially asking you a classic win totals question here: Do you think this team can do exactly what it did last year?
With Milwaukee, you’d think this would be an easy answer. The Brewers are a well-run organization with a strong pitching lineup and good bats. Why wouldn’t they be able to tread water? Shouldn’t everyone go bet the over?
It’s thought trains like this that lead me to take a hard look at contrarian unders. In this case, my suspicion is that the aforementioned scheduling changes are poised to ratchet up the Brewers’ schedule difficulty, perhaps more than any other team in the National League.
At bottom, the Brewers will play an additional 18 games this year against average-or-better teams, rather than the 18 games they would have played against the Cubs, Pirates, and Reds.
The Brewers could be just as good as last year and easily go 82-80. Perhaps worse.
That’s why I like the under here.
Bet: Brewers Under 85.5 Wins
Seattle Mariners: 87.5 Wins
Seattle has become a beloved sleeper pick throughout this offseason, thanks to young, popular, up-and-coming players like Julio Rodriguez.
Seattle has back-to-back 90-win seasons, and the Mariners are being hyped as the team to dethrone Houston in the AL West. There is a feeling that they could even be a World Series contender in an American League that has some elite clubs at the top.
Still, the number here is just 87.5 wins for Seattle. That’s a noticeably low number, given the circumstances. The book likely knew it was going to take big action on the over at that price but hung the number anyway.
To me, this all reeks of the over-hyped team that hasn’t actually proven much yet.
If you’re the sort of bettor that can hold two thoughts in your head at the same time, then I think Seattle makes sense as a dart throw for AL West winner (+300) or even AL Pennant winner (+900) because of the potential return.
But in the context of the MLB season win totals market, I think this number sticks out as a contrarian under selection. Seattle’s roster looks great, but the number is incredibly suspect here.
Bet: Mariners Under 87.5 Wins
Boston Red Sox: 78.5 Wins
The Boston Red Sox are not a bad team. They have a decent pitching rotation and a decent collection of bats.
The problem is that they play in a maniacally good AL East, where even my lowly Orioles are finally breaking out of the basement.
Boston is, at best, the fourth-best team in this division, and that’s only if you’re the type to believe that Baltimore will take a step back before it’s able to take another step forward.
But the Red Sox reality is that they’re an aging, injury-prone team that doesn’t do anything particularly well, playing in the best division in baseball. Even with fewer divisional games, Boston will likely struggle to get to .500.
Bet: Red Sox Under 78.5 Wins
World Series Betting at BetMGM
The online sportsbook has updated World Series odds throughout the year. From offseason futures to live betting opportunities during the Fall Classic, BetMGM has you covered for World Series betting.