For many Major League Baseball bettors, over/under wagers are actually the preferred option. While money line or run line bets may force the bettor to lay a steep price on a favorite, a total wager in baseball isnt much different from a point spread bet in football or basketball. The bettor must take several aspects of a game into account before deciding on which side to choose for an MLB totals wager.
On average, a typical MLB team will score 8 to 9 runs per game. Most totals will hover around these numbers. On the low end, over/unders can range from 6.5 to 7 runs. At the high extreme, totals can range from 11 or 12 runs.
Ballpark Venue a Primay Aspect to Setting Wagers
The bookmaker will look at a few basic concepts before setting a total for each game. The ballpark where the game will be played is arguably the most important factor. While football fields and basketball courts have standard dimensions, each of the 30 Major League Baseball stadiums is a little different from the next. Some of the ballparks are viewed as being favorable to the hitter. In these type of stadiums, the fences can be closer to home plate than most other ballparks.
In another aspect that can lead to a stadium being labeled as a hitters ballpark, the ball will carry better than average in the air. A classic hitters ballpark is Bostons Fenway Park. This historic stadium is famous for its Green Monster wall down the left field line. While this stretch of wall is the highest of any wall in the majors, it is far closer to home plate than usual. At Fenway Park, routine fly balls in most stadiums can easily turn into extra base hits due to the short dimensions in left field.
A couple of other hitters parks are Cincinnatis Great American Ballpark and Philadelphias Citizens Bank Park. The ball carries well at these stadiums. Also, each of these ballparks have favorable dimensions for the batter.
In contrast, a particular stadium can be favorable to a pitcher. These stadiums feature big dimensions. In a typical pitchers ballpark, it is more difficult for the hitter to club a home run. Also, the ball wont travel well in the air at certain stadiums. Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles are examples of pitching ballparks. The dimensions of these stadiums are deeper than usual. Also, the ball doesn’t travel especially well in the Southern California air.
There are some ballparks that don’t really favor the offense or defense. In these stadiums, the dimensions are pretty standard. Because of the extreme wind variations at Chicagos Wrigley Field, this stadium can vary from day to day. If the wind is blowing out, home runs can be easy to come by. In contrast, Wrigley Field is a good pitchers yard when the wind is blowing in.
Offensive Quality remains a Critical Factor
In football and basketball, the best personnel available will be in action for each game. Baseball is a little different. The quality of a team can be drastically altered depending on the quality of the starting pitcher that takes the mound on a particular day. Obviously, a dominant starting pitcher can have a great impact on the over/under of a game. However, there are many occasions where the starting pitchers may not lead to a big adjustment in the over/under figures. If average pitchers are going against each other, the total can be influenced more by some other factors. Regardless of the pitching, the bookmaker will take into account the quality of the offense for each team in a game.
Average Number of Runs
The oddsmaker will be aware of the average number of runs scored for each of the lineups in a game. When handicapping a total, the bettor can find some subtle information to potentially gain an edge. Obviously, the starting pitchers should be examined closely. For example, a particular starting pitcher may not have a good history against a certain team or at a specific ballpark. A good left-handed pitcher may have trouble against lineups that are loaded with right-handed batters.
The bullpens for each squad should also be considered. An apparent pitching duel among the starters may ultimately be turned over to some suspect relief hurlers. Even the home plate umpire should be taken into account for each game. Some umps have big strike zones that favor the pitchers while others will have a tight zone that aids the batters. While there is a lot of info to process, the baseball bettor can usually find a good total to wager on each day during the spring and summer.