- Dodgers, Yankees pace all MLB teams in projected win totals (38.5) at BetOnline
- Tigers, Orioles (o/u 21.5) have the lowest over/unders
- Dodgers and Yankees would have to win 65 percent of their games to hit the over on 38.5 victories
Late Tuesday night, Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association finally agreed on something. The players signed off on the league’s health and safety protocols, while also committing to have players show up in their respective home cities to begin preparations. That means the 2020 regular season is finally scheduled to happen. The league is planning on holding Opening Day on either Thursday, July 23, or Friday, July 24.
So, baseball bettors that had been looking forward to the originally-scheduled March 26 Opening Day will have had to wait nearly four full months for the campaign to actually get underway. Regardless, baseball is baseball. The ’20 schedule will include 60 regular-season games as opposed to the standard 162, but America’s Pastime is officially back on track.
Dodgers, Yankees Pace The Field
Betting sites have had to adjust to the news, of course. Having 60 games as opposed to 162 changes the betting outlooks for all 30 teams. On Wednesday, BetOnline.ag posted updated win total over/unders for every team. They’re listed as follows:
|Team||Win Total at BetOnline|
|Boston Red Sox||31.5|
|Chicago White Sox||31.5|
|Kansas City Royals||24.5|
|Los Angeles Angels||31.5|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||38.5|
|New York Mets||32.5|
|New York Yankees||38.5|
|San Diego Padres||31.5|
|San Francisco Giants||25.5|
|St. Louis Cardinals||32.5|
|Tampa Bay Rays||33.5|
|Toronto Blue Jays||28.5|
In news that should surprise nobody, the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees pace all clubs with an over/under of 38.5 wins, per BetOnline. The Dodgers went 106-56 in 2019, which comes out to an incredible win percentage of 65.4. The Yankees, meanwhile, went 103-59, which is a winning percentage of 63.6.
Those were two of the best regular-season records of all-time. Winning 39 of 60 games would come out to a winning percentage of exactly 65 percent, which is what either club would have to hit in order for the over on 38.5 to cash. Obviously, that’s quite the tall order. Baseball is an inherently unpredictable game, and there’s no telling how injuries may affect the ultimate outlook for any team in a shortened season.
A 38.5 over/under would be equal to an over/under of 105.5 on a 162-game schedule. While three teams have won at least 106 games over the last two seasons, it’s something that didn’t happen a single time between 2002 and 2017. Needless to say, winning 65 percent of your games is incredibly rare in baseball.
The shorter schedule also lends itself to more randomness. For example, the Nationals were 19-31 through 60 games last season. Washington wouldn’t have qualified for the playoffs had the season ended at 60 games. However, the Nats were able to catch fire from that point and go on to win the World Series for the first time ever.
Astros’ Question Marks
As a result, teams will have to prioritize getting off to fast starts more than they normally might over the course of a typical marathon season schedule. The team with the next-highest win total is the Houston Astros at 35.5. Houston had the best winning percentage in baseball last season (66 percent), but the Astros did lose a number of key players over the winter. Gerrit Cole is now a member of the Yankees, while manager AJ Hinch was fired due to his role in the team’s infamous cheating scandal.
Oddsmakers aren’t nearly as bullish on the Astros as they have been in recent years, but this is still a team that should not be overlooked. Houston still has a loaded roster featuring All-Stars all over the field. The starting rotation may not be what it was last season with Cole in the fold, but it would be a massive surprise if the Astros aren’t among the league’s best clubs again in 2020.
Low Expectations For Tigers, Orioles
The two teams with the lowest projected win totals are the Orioles and Tigers at 21.5 apiece. The Tigers had a winning percentage of 29.2 in 2019, while the O’s weren’t much better (33.3). If Detroit matches their winning percentage again in 2020, they’ll win just 17 games. Baltimore, meanwhile, would be right at 20 victories.
A total of eight teams have an over/under of 31.5 wins, which puts them right on the brink of postseason contention. Teams like the Brewers and Diamondbacks seem to be a bit overvalued given their 31.5 win totals, while the Angels and Phillies could be potential sleepers.
The Indians and Mets have the highest win totals among teams that did not qualify for the playoffs a season ago. Cleveland traded ace Corey Kluber to Texas, but the Tribe still have a quality rotation featuring high-caliber young arms like Shane Bieber and Mike Clevinger. The Mets, despite having lost Noah Syndergaard for the season, boast the two-time defending NL Cy Young Award winner (Jacob deGrom) as well as 2019’s NL Rookie of the Year (Pete Alonso).
The league is ready to implement a couple of rule changes ahead of the truncated 2020 season. Both leagues will utilize the designated hitter, which means the NL will be doing so for the first time ever. A runner will also be installed at second base to begin each extra inning in an attempt by MLB to limit the length of extra-inning games with teams trying to get a full 60-game schedule played by September 27.
The trade deadline has been moved from July 31 to August 31, while teams may have as many as 30 players on the active roster later in the season.