MLB Betting: How To Bet On Division Winners



In this article, we’ll take a look at how to bet on MLB futures involving the division winners in both the American League and National League. In the MLB, there are six divisions made up with five teams in each division. While some teams will have betting value within a specific division, other divisions may be relatively well priced and offer no value. The aim of this article is to provide you with advice on how to find teams with value to win their respective division.

Don’t Bet On Public Favorites

When picking a division winner, it’s important to stay away from public favorites due to the fact that the payout for these teams to win their respective divisions will likely be pushed down due to public hype surrounding these teams. While you may think that a team seems like a lock to win their respective division, it’ll likely be true that the oddsmakers have this fact reflected accurately in the betting line for this team as well. Always remember: it’s not about betting on the most likely team to win a division but rather, on the likelihood of a team winning a division compared to that team’s likelihood of winning a division indicated by the betting odds.

Consider Underdogs

Baseball is subject to much more randomness compared to other sports and as a result, it’s not completely out of the ordinary for a team that many consider to have no chance to win its respective division to actually run away with the division. Many factors, when compounded over the course of a long and gruelling 162-game regular season, can turn a heavy favorite to win a division into a sucker’s bet. Factors such as injuries to multiple star players, underperformance of key players, overperformances from unexpected players, and significant midseason trades can truly alter the trajectory of a team’s division hopes in unexpected ways. With the sheer difficulty of predictability in baseball, a bet on the underdog may turn out to be the best bet.

Historical Individual Performances Against Divisional Rivals

It’s important to dig deeper and take a look at historical individual performances between pitchers and hitters in the same division. Often times, numbers that pop out from this type of analysis may indicate a trend that’s likely to continue into the future. For example, if a player has been known to dominate certain opposing pitchers who also happen to be playing for divisional rivals, this player may be able to edge out a few wins here for there for his team, which may translate into the difference of winning and losing out on the divisional title. As baseball is an individual-heavy sport, it’s essential to dig down and analyze head-to-head matchups of players in the same division.

Motivation From Last Season

Some teams may be much more motivated than others due to events from last season that may not necessarily be reflected in the betting odds. For example, a team that previously lost out on the divisional crown to another team last year in a heated battle down the stretch, along with a few controversies involving that same team, may be much more motivated to come back this year stronger than ever to take the divisional crown. Qualitative factors may end up having a large impact on which team ends up winning their respective division and should be considered rather than taken lightly.