During the 2015 MLB season, the St Louis Cardinals finished with the best record in nation at 100-62, good for a 61 percent winning percentage. The eventual World Series Champions of the season, the Kansas City Royals (95-67) had a winning percent of 56. Deductively, even the best teams in the MLB lose quite a high number of games. For instance, the Cards lost 62 games (39 percent) and the Royals lost 67 games (44 percent). Comparably, the worst team in both the American and National Leagues, the Philadelphia Phillies (63-99), had a not-so- bad 38 percent winning percentage. This underlines the fact that, in the course of the MLB betting season, general parity leads to a lot of money being made by underdog MLB bettors. I mean, if the MLB-leading Cardinals, who were favored in the majority of their games last season, lost nearly 40 percent of their games, underdog bettors cashed in quite handily by backing the opposite team, just in the same way such bettor made some good amount of money by siding with the nation’s worst teams like the Phillies.
Keeping the above explanations in mind, how then can we spot the quality underdog plays in the MLB odds? Here are a couple tips that can help guide you to success in MLB underdog betting.
A Quick Look at the Tips for Finding Quality MLB UnderdogsLooking Out for Small Underdogs with Better Starting Pitchers: Oftentimes, you will find that a team that has their ace pitcher on the mound will perform better than their opponent, whether or not they are the underdog of favorites in the MLB lines.
Lefty/Righty Situations: Some teams really struggle when facing right-handed pitchers while other struggle against left-handed pitchers. When handicapping underdog MLB bets, be sure to know how teams perform in such situations and factor such performances into your bets accordingly.
Strong Bullpens: Many bettors often overlook the importance of bullpens and that can easily lead to wrong picks. A strong bullpen is a crucial component of winning and backing a team with a decent underdog team with a strong bullpen greatly increases your chances of winning your bets in the moneyline.
Winning Streaks vs. Losing Streaks: Forget about the “Gamblers Fallacy,” numbers don’t lie. Streaky pitchers, streaky bullpens and streaky hitters bring a lot of positive value just in the same way fading opponents on a skid can be crucial. Don’t deceive yourself into chasing a team on an extended losing streak with the hope that it will win soon, that strategy will leave you disappointed in a big way. Instead, learn to trust the system of backing solid and proven winners with good winning streaks.
Recent Performances: Just like winning streaks and losing streaks, teams with strong recent performances are more likely to succeed than those with shaky performances in their recent games. If, for example, a team that has won 9 of its last 10 games is playing against one that has won just 2 of its last 10 games, chances are that the one on a 9-1 run will succeed (even if it is an underdog) against the one on a 2-8 run.
False Favorites: In this MLB betting tip, the emphasis is on finding those MLB underdogs who you think should have actually been the favorite in a game yet are installed as dogs, either due to public support for the opposing team or some ill-timed bad performance in their previous game. If you find such an underdog, don’t hesitate to back them up.
Home Underdogs: Home advantage isn’t as felt in the MLB as it is in other sports, but the value is still there. This is especially the case for small home dogs and underdogs in MLB divisional games.
Final Remarks on Betting MLB Underdogs
At the end of the day, you should remember that underdog MLB betting, though a proven profitable system, calls for patience and being strategic with selective wagers. The 162-game MLB season is a marathon and not a sprint, so you are better off taking things precariously and calculatedly, rather than rushing ahead of yourself with your choices and picks.