Yankees Over, Mariners Unders Stand Out as Value Bets in AL Win Percentages

Aaron Judge at the plate.
Will Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees win at least 61.5% of their games in 2020? Photo by Keith Allison (Wikimedia).
  • With the MLB season likely to be shortened, regular-season win percentages have replace win totals
  • Cross-referencing win percentages with the bygone win totals can yield some value bets
  • Recent rumors suggest the 2020 MLB season will start with all 30 teams in Arizona

With the MLB looking at some a shortened season, sportsbooks have changed the way they’re going to handle regular-season win totals. Instead of posting a specific number of wins, they’ve posted over-unders for winning percentages. The table below sets out the over/unders for all 15 American League teams. (See the National League win percentages here).

There could be value on the board with  three in particular.

MLB Regular Season Win Percentage Odds

AL East Teams Over Odds Under Odds
Baltimore Orioles 35 -112 35 -112
Boston Red Sox 52 -112 52 -112
New York Yankees 61.5 -112 61.5 -112
Toronto Blue Jays 47 -112 47 -112
Tampa Bay Rays 56.5 -112 56.5 -112
AL Central Teams Over Odds Under Odds
Chicago White Sox 52 -112 52 -112
Cleveland Indians 53.5 -112 53.5 -112
Detroit Tigers 35.5 -112 35.5 -112
Kansas City Royals 40 -112 40 -112
Minnesota Twins 58 -106 58 -118
AL West Teams Over Odds Under Odds
Los Angeles Angels 45 -112 45 -112
Oakland Athletics 55 -112 55 -112
Seattle Mariners 41 -112 41 -112
Texas Rangers 47.5 -112 47.5 -112
Houston Astros 58.5 -112 58.5 -112

Odds taken Apr. 7.

New York Yankees Over

Taking a look at the New York Yankees, the 2020 MLB win totals tracker shows that they opened up with a number of 101.5 but are now facing a winning percentage over-under of 61.5. That number is slightly lower than their original win total: 101.5 represents a winning percentage of 62.6.

While we have an edge there, also remember that this team finished with a .636 winning percentage last year and added Gerrit Cole to the mix. The other thing I like here is that the Yankees, who were battered and bruised with injuries in spring training, have now had a chance to heal.

Guys like Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, James Paxton and Giancarlo Stanton should all be good to go for when action returns. That wouldn’t have been the case for Opening Day as it was originally scheduled.

Add it all up and I think there’s some value betting the over with the Yankees here.

Toronto Blue Jays Under

One interesting discrepancy to note when comparing win percentage versus win totals is the Toronto Blue Jays. Their win total opened at 75.5, which converts to a winning percentage of 46.6%. I thought that was high to begin with but now when you look at the current number, it’s even higher at 47%.

While it’s not a huge change, my view is more in line with the FanGraphs projection that have this team winning about 46% of their games. I thought even that was optimistic as that was their full-season projection.

This is a young squad that needs to grow and develop. Missing these spring training sessions and exhibition games will have an impact. That’s why I like the under here.

Seattle Mariners Under

Taking a look at the Mariners new number, they’re tasked with winning 41% of their games, which I think is a high number for them. This is a team that went 68-94 last season, so they won 42% of their games, but in my view, this is a team that’s headed in the opposite direction in the offseason.

To start, General Manager Jerry Dipoto has made it clear that this team is not cut out to compete for a playoff spot in 2020. There are a lot of young players on this team with 17 of them at age 25 or younger.

In a division with the Houston Astros, the Oakland Athletics, the improved Los Angeles Angels and a Texas Rangers team that’s projected to be around .500, the Mariners are going to be the doormat. FanGraphs is expecting Seattle to finish with a winning percentage of 40.8%. I like the under.

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