⚾ How to win MLB totals
While fading the public on MLB money line wagers has proven to be a profitable strategy, the same cannot be said for fading the public on MLB totals. The main reason for this is books usually have lower betting limits on totals, so while the ticket count might be similar to the money line wagers, the amount of money isn’t even close. Public money won’t have the same impact on the line moves with totals and most books allow their sharp bettors to shape the number.
They key to being profitable investing in totals is getting your investment in early before the books adjust their lines. In other words, be a sharp bettor with totals. And with all of the MLB advanced stats readily available, it’s not as hard as it sounds. Obviously, it takes time with plenty of trial and error but here are a few building blocks to look at before making an investment in MLB totals:
PARK FACTORS: Obviously, playing at Colorado or Arizona is much different than playing at San Francisco or San Diego. Park Factors are built into the opening total but it’s worth knowing which team has a short right field porch when they’re facing a left-handed heavy lineup.
WEATHER: Monitoring the wind speed and direction can give a tremendous edge to a bettor. This needs to be used in concert with the park factors as some parks mitigate the wind. But totals usually open the night before a game and we all know how volatile the weather can be. Even a 5 mph wind blowing in can keep a total under so be a weather man!
OPS: This is On-Base percentage + Slugging Percentage. Obviously, for runs to be scored, you want players getting on base and hitting for extra bases. Finding a team with a high OPS matched up with a pitcher who gives up walks and HRs is an obvious recipe for runs.
IR-A%: This is Inherited Runs Allowed Percentage. This statistic essentially answers the question of how often a relief pitcher allows a runner to score when he enters the game with a runner (or runners) on base. Because the relief pitcher doesn’t get charged with inherited base runners, this is a great stat that can help find value in the totals, especially when an ace is on the mound and the total is low or live betting when a pitching change seems imminent.
These building blocks are just a starting point when looking to invest in totals. Obviously, there are many other key stats that can be incorporated. But being able to confidently invest in a soft number as soon as the lines are released is worth the extra work.