Do Off-Season Moves Influence MLB Win Totals?

With Spring Training underway, many sportsbooks have released their MLB win totals for the 2013 season.  Last week, 5Dimes became the first offshore book to join the party.  While many outlets have already compared the new offshore numbers to the Vegas casinos, we decided to take a different route.

We used Baseball Prospectus’ projections for the 2013 season and compared those to 5Dimes MLB win totals to see if there were any large discrepancies. We have grouped the teams by division and any difference of more than 4 games will be found in bold.

Team Baseball Prospectus 5Dimes Difference
Yankees 88.1 88 -0.1
Rays 84.2 86 1.8
Red Sox 83.6 83 -0.6
Blue Jays 82.7 89 6.3
Orioles 74.8 78.5 3.7
Tigers 89.9 92.5 2.6
Indians 80.8 77.5 -3.3
White Sox 78.7 81 2.3
Royals 77.8 77.5 -0.3
Twins 71.1 67.5 -3.6
Angels 87.7 91.5 3.8
Rangers 85.4 86.5 1.1
Athletics 82.5 84.5 2
Mariners 79.6 77.5 -2.1
Astros 67.9 59.5 -8.4
Nationals 86.9 92 5.1
Braves 82.2 87.5 5.3
Phillies 81.0 84 3
Mets 80.6 75 -5.6
Marlins 70.8 63.5 -7.3
Reds 89.0 91 2
Cardinals 82.8 86.5 3.7
Brewers 79.1 81 1.9
Pirates 78.9 77 -1.9
Cubs 77.5 72.5 -5
Dodgers 89.4 91.5 2.1
Giants 83.4 88 4.6
Diamondbacks 82.5 82.5 0
Padres 76.7 74.5 -2.2
Rockies 74.4 70.5 -3.9

The largest discrepancy in MLB win totals is with the lowly Houston Astros. Baseball Prospectus believes the Astros will be awful at 68-94, while 5Dimes’ line suggests they will be god-awful at 59 or 60 wins. While we could argue the awfulness of Houston at length, the public perception may have shifted the line and created value on the Over. (Please consult your physician before ever betting an Astros future bet.)

The next two teams of interest were involved in the surprise trade of the off-season. The Marlins sent the good half of their team north of the border to the Blue Jays for prospects and some aquarium equipment. This immediately made everyone think the Blue Jays would be really good (might finish ahead of the Yankees) and the Marlins would be really bad (might finish ahead of a WNBA team in attendance).

It’s no surprise that the Braves (Upton brothers) and the Giants (reigning champions) have slightly higher MLB win totals than projected, while the Mets and Cubs (still the Mets and Cubs) have win totals below their projections.

These projections are in no way foolproof but can be used to easily draw a line between actual talent and public perception. Do you think the Astros will lose 102 games? Are the Blue Jays overrated? Feel free to leave your comments in the section below.

 

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3 comments on “Do Off-Season Moves Influence MLB Win Totals?
  1. Consider this… the Blue Jays need 90 wins to win an OVER bet this year.

    Last year 3 teams in the AL East had 90 or more wins, and 5 teams in the AL total.

    Again in 2011 there were 3 teams in the AL East with 90+ wins, and 5 total in the AL.

    In 2010 there were two teams with 90+ wins in the AL East and then Boston with 89 wins. In that year the Blue Jays still had 85 wins making it 4 teams in the AL East with 85+ wins.

    They could be a bust this year with such high expectations, but given the quality of their pitching staff and their line up I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get 90+ wins. Looking at past years they could have 90 wins and still finish 2nd or 3rd in the AL East.

  2. Good homework, the Astros pick looks good at O 59.5. I also like the under on Toronto. These Marlin pickups didn’t exactly perform that well mentally or physically at Fla, and if they do jell it should take a while. And what do you think about taking a middle on the Astros. Just thinking!

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