Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Over/unders are here!!!

It's like Christmas morning, meets bracket day, meets the two weeks when the McRib comes back each year. Yes it is one of the finest days of the gambling year, the day when MLB regular season over/unders come out. This is not a specific day, some books had them out two weeks ago and Jonah Keri already wrote about it for Grantland but the day you care about is the day the ones you are going to bet are available.  Just a warning if you don't really care about this topic or baseball gambling in general, you might want to avoid the blog for a month or so. This is pretty much what we are going to be talking about.

My grand plan for the year is bet on all thirty team over/unders. Most of these will be small bets just to have some skin in the game because a lot of these lines are tough picks but their are a few locks I have my eyes on too that might get big wagers. Throughout the month I will post my picks and the research behind them. Some initial thoughts:

The AL east can't all be good: These are the lines for the AL East:


Logic would dictate the division cant all finish this high so some teams have to go under. Last year all but one division in baseball had a team finish with under 70 wins and the remainder (the four team Al West) had one at 75. It would seem that at least one of these teams is a sure under. For my money it's Boston. they didn't make big upgrades this off-season and I see no reason why they should be significantly better than their 69 win season last year.

I respect that the linemakers saw the luck the Orioles had last year and gave them a low line despite being a 90+ win team in 2012, it really shows some sophistication. That being said 78.5 is probably close to the mark for them, I like the under but it won't be much.

They got the Mets right: The line for our Mets is at 75, which seems just about perfect. Again I might bet the under here as we barely limped to 74 wins last year and we had the benefit of a lucky first half and a Cy Young winner. In the same vein I won't be at all shocked if we get to 76 or 77 (but not the 80 PECOTA has for us, that's just ridiculous).

Can you really do worse than 59? The two lowest lines come in at 59.5 for our class of '62 pledge brother Houston Atsros and 63.5 for the Marlins. I am always tempted to take the over when the lines get really low like this. I honestly believe it is difficult to win less than 60. Obviously this happens (the Atsros themselves did it with 55 last year) but I still think it is a somewhat reliable bet. Who know's with the Marlins? Like James Bond in Skyfall , the Marlins skill is resurrection. We have watched the owners of this squad gut the entire team on multiple occasions then come back and be successful a year later, so I just cant count them out.

I will be back as Spring training continues with detailed analysis and picks for each team.

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