It’s baseball time again and 2013 looks like being one of the most open seasons for years. In our MLB 2013 betting preview we’re going to look at the season from a betting point of view and see if there’s any money to be made. We have readers from around the world, so we’ll try and quote both fractional and moneyline odds to keep you all happy.
First things first, if you’re in the US you’re going to need an account at TopBet and Bovada as they’re by far the best books for MLB betting. If you’re outside the US, then get yourself to Bet365 and open an account there. We’re going to look at regular outright odds to win divisions and a look at some props such as ‘most home runs’ as well.
Let’s look at the AL first of all. Most of the talk is about the Tigers, who have an absolutely beastly 25 man roster and are coming in at best price +800 (15/2 on Bet365). The other big offseason mover was the Toronto Blue Jays, and they’re best price +1000 with TopBet which is great value when you consider Bet365 has them at 13/2 which is +650. The Angels are the dangerous team out West but they’re in a tough division. Nonetheless, TopBet has them as short as +700, while they’re +850 on Bovada, so that’s where you should go if you fancy the Angels. Really the AL should come down to these 3 teams.
If we go looking into each division in the hunt for value, we see the Yankees at +375 for the AL East and even though they’re severely depleted, can we ever really write them off? In the AL Central the Tigers are massive favourites and even the White Sox at +600 doesn’t seem like good value. It’s a similar story out West where the Angels are -150 (5/8 at Bet365). There does seem to be a little bit of value in Oakland at +500.
I’ll admit I’m more of an AL fan, but I know how to pick a winner in any league! Looking at the odds for a World Series winner from the NL, all signs point to Strasburg and the Nationals, with the Dodgers running them close. The Nationals come in at +700 in both American books and 13/2 at Bet 365 while the Dodgers are at +700 at TopBet and +800 at Bovada. The standout pick for me however is the Braves at a massive +1500 at Bovada. With a great rotation featuring with Tim Hudson and Kris Medlen, Craig Kimbrel closing out games, they’re going to be watertight. The books seem to fancy the Reds a little, and have them at around the +1200 mark and they’re as short as 8/1 with Bet365 but personally I don’t think they’re good value at that price when they have to go through the aforementioned teams to get to the Series.
Looking at the individual divisions, the East belongs to the Nats at -110, but again +225 on the Braves seems like it might be worth a little wager. In the Central the Reds are -130 with the Cards at +225 and I think that’s a little short, given how far off the pace they were last year, so no value here. Looking to the West the Giants and Dodgers might have a season long battle and I do like a small bet on the Giants if you can get +180 or better. Remember, the Dodgers have proved nothing yet and the Giants are the defending champs so a return of 80c on the dollar on a bet on them seems tasty.
OK, time for the fun stuff. In a lot of cases prop bets are just a bit of fun and give you some added interest in the season. There’s often not much value to be had, but let’s take a look at what’s on offer: For Most Home Runs, Stanton is the clear favourite and had a homer every 12.1 at bats in 2012 and 15.2 in 2011. Bautista had lower totals than this over a 3 year spell, so I think I’d install him as favourite. Currently they’re priced +600 and +800 respectively. One other player who has had similar hr/ab lately has been Edwin Encarnacion and there has to be value in him at a massive +2400 on TopBet.
At Bovada you can bet on the over/under for a ton of other fun props. A few examples: Highest Hit total by a batter (Line 213.5), Highest Win total by a pitcher (Line 21) and Highest Save Total by a pitcher (Line 47.5). Again, these are mostly just for fun rather than serious betting opportunities.
So I’ve given you my take on things, and I hope it’s helped you to decide on your bets for the upcoming season. One thing I have to stress again is to open an account at both TopBet AND Bovada, and put some money in each. The difference in prices on offer in the MLB is huge and choosing the best lines is where you make your money in the betting game, so don’t be lazy, and just do it!
Good luck with your bets folks!