In the majority of professional sports, the bookmakers are able to do a good job of balancing out the action on both sides of the line. However, baseball is a lot more difficult for the sportsbook to keep the action even on for obvious reasons. The problem is that Major League Baseball’s best team normally wins around 100 games. The worst team usually finishes with around 60 wins, which is a difference of 40 games. Based on the schedule size and the relatively smaller difference between the best and worst teams it can be very profitable betting on MLB underdogs. Here is a look at five tips for finding quality MLB underdogs.
One of the most intriguing aspects of betting on baseball underdogs is the value that some of the bigger lines provide. If a team is listed at +160 and has a good chance of winning then you will want to jump all over that line just based on the value it provides. As a general rule, if you see an underdog listed at +150 or better then you will want to strongly consider putting some money down on them to win straight up.
Solid Starting Pitching
It might seem obvious but the sportsbooks tend to overlook starting pitching to a degree when it comes to MLB underdogs. No one player could have a bigger impact on the outcome of a game than a quality starting pitcher or a terrible starting pitcher. Make sure you include starting pitching in your analysis of baseball matchups. MLB underdogs are that much more valuable when they have a quality starting pitcher on the mound.
If you are betting on underdogs, it’s a great idea to consider divisional games. According to a study conducted for just close to 9,000 baseball games, divisional underdogs won 3,414 games and lost 4,513 games. That number produced a total profit of 191 units. Focus on divisional underdogs and you could really boost your bottom line when it comes to betting on baseball.
Underdogs Coming Off Shutout Losses
If you are going to focus on MLB underdogs you will want to strongly consider underdogs coming off shutout losses. The sportsbooks are more likely to give favorites a little more backing when they are matched up against a struggling team. Keep an eye out for underdogs coming off shutout losses because they can often provide solid value both on the moneyline and the run line.
While starting pitching is extremely important, you also don’t want to overlook the potential of teams with good bullpens. If an underdog has the potential to take an early lead and hand the game over to a shutdown bullpen then there is an even better chance they will win. If a team has a solid bullpen, they probably shouldn’t be an underdog too often. If you can find situations where they are listed at favorable odds, you might want to jump on that underdog with a solid bullpen.