More so now than in recent years, a careful look at the MLB schedule and an evaluation of the new rules in effect for this season are important factors when preparing to bet on which teams will exceed and/or fall short of their expected MLB win totals in 2023.
No longer will any club play 19 games against each rival in its division, which means squads such as the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers will get to face the bottom-feeders Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds only 13 times each this season — and it works in reverse, too. The NL pennant-winning Philadelphia Phillies are surely glad to know they will play the NY Mets and Atlanta Braves only 13 times apiece. Last season, the Phillies went a combined 13-25 versus those two NL East powers in the regular season.
The new rules regarding limited pickoff attempts could be a boon to teams that emphasize base stealing and who have catchers adept at throwing out runners. Also, left-handed sluggers will certainly have greater success not having to hit into the shift.
“This is one of the most popular things we have on the board,” said Randy Blum, the executive manager of risk at the SuperBook, regarding over/under win totals. “A couple of teams consistently are bet over. San Francisco [Giants] is one and for some reason Minnesota [Twins], too.”
2023 Over/Under Win Totals for All 30 MLB Teams
Last season, 15 teams exceeded the posted total and 15 went Under. The Baltimore Orioles were the Cinderella squad with 83 wins after having a preseason number of 62.5, which was the lowest in the league. The club that nose-dived the most were the Washington Nationals, which came up 15.5 wins shy of its estimated 70.5 victories.
The defending World Series champion Houston Astros, which went 106-56 last season, has the highest win expectancy of the 30 teams (97.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook) with the Oakland A’s at the opposite end (57.5 at the Westgate SuperBook). That’s the lowest for any team in the past three decades, according to Sports Odds History.
|Team||BetMGM (Use promo code: TODAY)||DraftKings||FanDuel|
|Boston Red Sox||78.5||78.5||78.5|
|Chicago White Sox||82.5||82.5||83.5|
|Kansas City Royals||69.5||69.5||68.5|
|Los Angeles Angels||82.5||82.5||82.5|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||96.5||95.5||96.5|
|New York Mets||92.5||91.5||93.5|
|New York Yankees||94.5||93.5||93.5|
|San Diego Padres||93.5||93.5||93.5|
|San Francisco Giants||80.5||81.5||81.5|
|St. Louis Cardinals||89.5||88.5||88.5|
|Tampa Bay Rays||88.5||88.5||89.5|
|Toronto Blue Jays||91.5||91.5||91.5|
The win totals listed above reflect the following changes during the four weeks of betting leading up to Opening Day, Thursday, April 30.
The Mets’ season win total has been bet down three games at DraftKings, two games at BetMGM, and one game at FanDuel.
Teams that saw their win totals increase by one game at BetMGM: Orioles, Dodgers, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Braves, Twins, Angels
Teams that saw their win totals decrease by one game at BetMGM: A’s, Rangers, Nationals, Tigers, Giants, Pirates, White Sox
Teams that saw their win totals increase by one game at DraftKings: Giants, Red Sox, Royals, Pirates, Angels, A’s
Teams that saw their win totals decrease by one game at DraftKings: Braves, Yankees, Nationals, Orioles, Phillies, Cardinals, Astros, Guardians, Dodgers
Teams that saw their win totals increase by one game at FanDuel: Angels
Teams that saw their win totals decrease by one game at DraftKings: Astros, Nationals
MLB Teams Who Will Go Over 2023 Win Total Predictions
Here’s a look at three teams that appear set to exceed their posted numbers.
Philadelphia Phillies (87.5, SuperBook)
The Phillies came on like gangbusters in the final four months of the 2022 season and into the playoffs after falling eight games under .500 entering June. They rebounded even with star Bryce Harper (elbow) sidelined for two months in the summer.
Philly’s beleaguered bullpen was particularly effective in the playoffs, and in the offseason, the Phillies acquired eight-time All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel to back up a starting rotation headlined by Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola.
A key addition for the attack was getting fleet shortstop Trea Turner (27 steals) from the Dodgers to join a lineup headlined by two-time NL MVP Harper and defending NL home run champ Kyle Schwarber (46), a pair of lefty hitters. Then, there’s all-around All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto, who not only has thrown out 36.4 percent of base stealers in his nine-year career (second best among active catchers) but last year was 21-for-22 on thefts while on the bases.
San Diego Padres (92.5, SuperBook)
The Padres already had a dynamic middle of the lineup in place last year with the trade deadline acquisition of Juan Soto from Washington to go with Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr., who still has 20 games remaining on his suspension for using a banned substance.
In the offseason, they added Boston Red Sox’s leading hitter, Xander Bogaerts, to play shortstop. The future is now for a Padres team that finished 22 games behind the Dodgers in the standings in 2022 but KO’d them in four games in the divisional round.
The pitching staff is headed by ace Yu Darvish and lefty Blake Snell. In addition, the Padres have righty Joe Musgrove, the team’s ERA leader (2.93) in 2022, but he broke the big toe on his left foot earlier this week and his status for the beginning of the season is in doubt.
Blum said the SuperBook has some reservations about the Padres’ chances to exceed this total.
“With Tatis, he’s a little bit of a wild card,” he said regarding a guy who hasn’t played since 2021. “And without Musgrove for however long …”
Los Angeles Angels (81.5, Across the Board)
This is the lowest number the Angels have had since 2017, the year before standout pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani joined the squad.
Ohtani, the American League’s MVP in 2021, can explore free agency next winter, so there’s a glaring sense of urgency for the Angels to end their eight-year playoff drought and not waste the remaining years of the career of center fielder Mike Trout, who was the 2019 AL MVP. He hit 40 homers last season despite missing 43 games.
Giving the pitching staff a boost behind Ohtani is Tyler Anderson, who had a career year with a 15-5 mark and 2.57 ERA with the Dodgers in 2022.
MLB Teams Who Will Stay Under 2023 Win Total Predictions
Not all teams appear to be on an upswing.
Boston Red Sox (78.5, DraftKings and FanDuel)
Three seasons ago, star outfielder Mookie Betts was jettisoned to the LA Dodgers. This offseason, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, the team’s leading hitter in 2022, opted out of his contract and signed with San Diego.
Also, gone in another way is powerful second baseman Trevor Story, who is likely to miss much — if not all — of the season after surgery on his throwing elbow.
On the pitching staff, is the team really counting on lefty Chris Sale, 33, to anchor the starting rotation? He was healthy for two starts last season as the team cratered down the stretch going 36-53.
Texas Rangers (83.5, Across the Board)
In 2021, the Rangers opened their wallet to acquire a pair of veteran sluggers who came through big-time last season, with shortstop Corey Seager leading the team in homers (33) and second baseman Marcus Semien hitting 26.
This offseason, the money went toward bolstering the starting rotation. But problems there are already brewing.
The headliner was two-time NL Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom from the Mets, and Texas also signed former Red Sox ace Nathan Eovaldi to a rich deal. In addition, Andrew Heaney, who was part of the Dodgers’ rotation for the final two months last year, joined the team. But all three are veterans with a history of injuries. DeGrom and Eovaldi are already dealing with ailments this spring.
Oakland A’s (60.5, DraftKings)
Not only have the A’s pulled off a fire sale to match what Connie Mack did with the team more than a century ago, but the team will have to endure the most air miles of any squad during the season. Their .216 batting average in 2022 was the fifth worst in the majors in the modern era, according to StatMuse.
Chicago Cubs (77.5, BetMGM and DraftKings)
The Cubs went gung-ho in acquiring veterans who have championship pedigrees in Dansby Swanson (Atlanta), Cody Bellinger (Dodgers), and Trey Mancini (Houston).
But Blum says he’d be hesitant to get on the Cubs’ bandwagon.
“Those guys, like Bellinger, are big names but haven’t been super successful of late,” he said. “And I’m not a big fan of the pitching staff.”
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MLB Win Totals FAQ
The 1906 Chicago Cubs and 2001 Seattle Mariners were 116-game winners.
The Philadelphia Athletics went 36-117 in 1916.
The over/under refers to the number of runs that the two teams will combine to score in a game. For each game, a sportsbook sets a total number of runs based on its projections and it’s up to the bettors to determine whether the final score will be over or under that number.