Making Futures Bets in Baseball

Pitcher Victor Gonzalez #81 of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP

Too many baseball bettors look at futures bets as something fun to do and throw a few wagers at the dartboard and hope something sticks.

If this is fun money you don’t mind probably losing, we will not debate that kind of thinking. However, because you are reading about this topic on this website, we want you to learn something and have it improve your chances of winning.

The very first thing about betting on season-long futures is to use money that you don’t need because you are talking about having to wait six months or longer if you are correct in your prediction.

That’s a long time to tie up useful capital and there is one other element we will discuss relating to this later. We recommend making these kinds of wagers against the MLB’s future odds.

Season win totals, who wins the division and or the league. You are welcome to do anything else, however, most other future bets include risk or greater volatility. Let’s get started.

Betting Division and League Winners

The benefit of this is you should have a max of six teams based on the division, with the possibility of a couple of others being competitive.

That would be the same for picking a National or American League winner, you have a narrow field. Once again, stick with the teams you have historically followed and you know best.

If you are not a National League person, what makes you think you are magically going to have an answer? Take last year for all you need to know.

Who didn’t think the Los Angeles Dodgers would win the NL West and the National League a year ago? They did neither.

To pick the winner in these categories, understanding how these teams will score through previous statistical analysis, prevent runs in the same manner, and what is the age makeup of a contender. 

Last year’s San Francisco squad with its 30-something everyday lineup was an outlier experience. Don’t count on that occurring again.

For the division and if you like someone other than the favorite, think about the differential in the season win total and how does your underdog surpass the difference.

Is it the offense, pitching, or both? That is a simple method to utilize. To win the league, how any club plays in the postseason is a crapshoot of sorts.

But going into the playoffs, if your choice has three quality starters, a strong backend of the bullpen, and four or five players in the lineup that can carry their team for a series, you might win that bet.

Above all, as we say, have fun and spend your money wisely.

Betting Season Win Totals

For season win totals, start with knowing the five-year history of the team you are pondering. What is the direction of the franchise and are they on an uptick and heading in the right direction?

While it is impossible to forecast injuries, it is imperative to know the makeup of the roster and the history of any given squad.

That’s why it makes sense to focus on teams you follow in a division or a league and not let your like or dislike of any club cloud your judgment.

If a team has three starting pitchers and a closer who hit the IL a couple of times a year, chances are this would not be a team to consider for baseball bets on Over’s. 

Injuries happen every season, and if you are supporting a group that is known for having core players missing time, that is not an attractive wager looking for something positive to happen.

On the other hand, when a team has used its farm system and gotten better over a two/three-year window and has its top players approaching or in their prime years, that might be the time to select such a squad for an Over.

The schedule is another key component. This is the last year of playing 19 division games against rivals, which is 47 percent of a club’s schedule.

If you see a squad that is predicted 2nd or 3rd in their division and has a season win total of 79 to 83, that sounds accurate, dig deeper.

If this said club has one team predicted to win no more than 90 games, another outfit with a comparable win total, and two teams that are rebuilding, that could make this average-looking bunch more attractive.

Why do we say this? If the team we are pondering could go 25-13 (that’s 13-6 and 12-7) versus those two crummy clubs in their division, even if they are 10 games below .500 against everyone else on the schedule, they would still win the bet.

Earlier we mentioned we would come back to a topic, this is it. When you finalize your season win totals, take those tickets and put them somewhere that you will look for on September 10th

We have known any number of MLB bettors who come to OddsTrader to check the daily odds that allow their future MLB picks to influence their daily decision-making. 

The two parts of baseball betting are completely opposite and should be viewed that way.

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