The best part of MLB’s Opening Day always has been the trip down nostalgia lane. Baseball was my first sports love and, to this day, still is my favorite sporting event to attend.
Nothing compares to spending an afternoon in the stands watching the Boys of Summer play 9. While my father was a die hard Yankees fan, you know by now that my loyalty starts and ends with my bankroll.
Betting baseball, and doing it successfully, is the very definition of a grind. This season, that grind will be condensed like no season before it.
This year has brought uncertainty and the winds of change to the world in general and to the world of sports alike. Major League Baseball exemplifies that change. First, the regular season will be 60 games, as opposed to the usual 162. Teams will only play other teams in their division (40 games) and in their inter-league division (20 games). Without fans in the stands, you may think that the intensity level will drop. In my view, a shortened season means every game is more important, every at bat that much more significant. Starting pitchers will be making fewer starts, which may lead to deeper pitch counts. That said, without a true spring training, bullpens may be relied on more heavily at the start, as starters work their arms into shape.
One thing that will remain consistent is my overall betting strategy. For the most part, I do not lay big favorites. Approximately 95% of my MLB sides lay between +200 and -160 and it is very rare that I ever lay more than -160 on a single baseball game.
That will not change due to the shortened season. Historically, I never have relied much on a team’s home-field advantage – and now home-field would obviously seem to be even less of a factor without fans in the stands.
I bet MLB over/unders a bit heavier than sides and that will continue to do so during the 2020 season. The three biggest factors when considering a total bet are: 1) starting pitcher matchup 2) weather, and 3) the plate umpire. In certain venues, like Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium, the wind has a huge effect on the number. I have seen totals go from 8.5 (-110) to 7 (-120) based on the projected wind at game time.
Always remember the key numbers when betting MLB totals. I cannot stress enough how important 7 runs and 9 runs are when playing a total. I will choose to lay OVER 8.5 -125 before I take the OVER 9 -105 – i.e. it is worth laying extra the 20 cents to get the win over a push, based on the number of games that land 5-4 or 6-3. Without a doubt, line shopping becomes extremely important when betting MLB totals, so always try to have as many outs as you possibly can and hunt for the best numbers.
2020 has been anything but normal. I hope that the return of baseball marks the moment that sports fans and bettors across the country can at least start to get back to a sense of normalcy. Make no mistake, we will be firing away on baseball everyday right out of the gun, usually with multiple bets each day. Our team will be working around the clock to find advantage plays for our customers. As the oddsmakers attempt to set lines against conditions they are unfamiliar with, the opportunities to pounce on their mistakes will come early in the season and hopefully, often.
The grind continues, once again. Play Ball.
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