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.
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.