Betting run totals can be extremely profitable throughout the long season. There are several angles that should be investigated before each bet.
A more casual bettor might want to bet the under in a game, but before he can get his bet in, that total has already dropped .5 to 1. A more experienced will look for edges in the five inning lines, team totals, or even fade some of the hitters with player props. My preference is to always look at the five inning totals. Situations that affect baseball totals include the winning home teams not batting in the bottom of the ninth, how rested the bullpens are, and which players are in the lineup.
The first baseball situation affecting the total I always think about is the home team not batting in the bottom of the ninth if they are leading. It might not have seemed like much at the time, but if you were playing the over in the Houston Astros home games last year, missing that last half inning of at bats was a big deal. The Astros averaged 5.41 runs per game. That puts them at .6 runs per 3 outs. If the Astros’ offensive output is close to what they did in last year’s championship run, it will be tempting to play overs. If they are at home, a bettor needs to make sure that .6 of a run is factored in to their decision, even more so this year with the Astros deepened starting pitching rotation.
The second situation I always monitor before playing a baseball run total is the availability of key bullpen pitchers can offer a significant edge over the long season. Late inning relievers will need to rest. I will be playing the over in situations where a team is missing a shutdown closer and having one of their weaker starting pitchers on the mound.
If the starter gives up more than three runs, a bet on the over can be in a great spot to benefit from the absence of bullpen pitchers. In certain situations betting on the opponent’s run total offers angles to capitalize on these bullpens. A team’s bullpen may be missing two arms due to injury and their setup man pitched in the three previous games. Even if a capable starting pitcher is on the mound the bullpen could fall apart. Using edges gained from knowledge of bullpens can help a bettor back out of bad spots and buy into teams facing a below strength bullpen.
The third edge I use when betting on baseball totals is checking the five inning lines and player props for better value than what is being offered on the full game run total. Playing on five inning lines and player props is another way to leverage bullpen situations. Look to back hot hitters who will get multiple at bats against below full strength bullpens. You can avoid these bullpen situations if you want to bet on the team’s starter by betting on the five inning totals.
Lastly, one of my favorite methods for making money with baseball totals is researching the expected lineups is a great way to further supplement the previously mentioned run total strategies. If there are bullpen pitchers unavailable it does not matter as much if Bryce Harper is out of the lineup. Fading these bullpens by betting on the over is less likely to cash. Researching the lineup participants and the team’s recent offensive performance is absolutely necessary before betting totals.
All season long I will be tracking good run total situations. Knowing the weak bullpens facing full strength lineups performing at a high level is a great time to be taking the over. However, if the hot lineup is at home there is a chance you lose a full three outs. While this should not be the ultimate deciding factor, it needs to be taken in to account. Over the long run, there is too much value to ignore the runs that are being lost without those three outs. Checking bullpen availability and expected lineups is necessary for gaining edges in run totals bets.