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Oddsmakers weigh in on 2014 MLB regular season

On Wednesday, Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv) released its 2014 Regular Season Win Odds for all 30 Major League Baseball teams. At first glance, it seemed like the best teams were being sold a bit short while the poorer teams were all expected to improve.

In the specific case of the St. Louis Cardinals, the 97-win National League Championship team from last season has an over-under of 90.5 games currently. That compares to an over-under of 85.5 wins at this time last spring.

I decided to look at Bovada’s odds from this time 12 months ago and compare them to the end of season results from 2013. Then I included the just-released odds for 2014 (center column). The color indicates change from the previous numbers immediately to the left. Teams are listed by division in 2013 season-ending order.

2013 Regular Season Wins 2014 Wins Spring 2013 vs. Actual 2013 vs.
Spring Actual Spring Spring 2014 Spring 2014
American League East
Boston Red Sox 82.5 97 87.5 5 -9.5
Tampa Bay Rays 86.5 92 88.5 2 -3.5
Baltimore Orioles 78.5 85 80.5 2 -4.5
New York Yankees 88.5 85 86.5 -2 1.5
Toronto Blue Jays 87.5 74 79.5 -8 5.5
American League Central
Detroit Tigers 92.5 93 89.5 -3 -3.5
Cleveland Indians 76.5 92 80.5 4 -11.5
Kansas City Royals 78.5 86 81.5 3 -4.5
Minnesota Twins 67.5 66 70.5 3 4.5
Chicago White Sox 80.5 63 75.5 -5 12.5
American League West
Oakland Athletics 83.5 96 88.5 5 -7.5
Texas Rangers 86.5 91 86.5 0 -4.5
Los Angeles Angels 92.5 78 86.5 -6 8.5
Seattle Mariners 77.5 71 81.5 4 10.5
Houston Astros 59.5 51 62.5 3 11.5
2013 Regular Season Wins 2014 Wins Spring 2013 vs. Actual 2013 vs.
Spring Actual Spring Spring 2014 Spring 2014
National League East
Atlanta Braves 88.5 96 87.5 -1 -8.5
Washington Nationals 92.5 86 88.5 -4 2.5
New York Mets 74.5 74 73.5 -1 -0.5
Philadelphia Phillies 83.5 73 76.5 -7 3.5
Miami Marlins 63.5 62 69.5 6 7.5
National League Central
St. Louis Cardinals 85.5 97 90.5 5 -6.5
Pittsburgh Pirates 77.5 94 83.5 6 -10.5
Cincinnati Reds 91.5 90 84.5 -7 -5.5
Milwaukee Brewers 81.5 74 79.5 -2 5.5
Chicago Cubs 72.5 66 69.5 -3 3.5
National League West
Los Angeles Dodgers 91.5 92 92.5 1 0.5
Arizona Diamondbacks 81.5 81 80.5 -1 -0.5
San Diego Padres 74.5 76 78.5 4 2.5
San Francisco Giants 87.5 76 86.5 -1 10.5
Colorado Rockies 70.5 74 76.5 6 2.5

25 of the 30 teams either hit the under last year and have a higher over-under this year or hit the over in 2013 but have a lower over-under this year. In other words, last year’s actual results are generally considered extreme.

It seems like the oddsmakers are not influenced greatly by what happened last season and since. Ignoring the actual wins from 2013, the spring over-unders across the two years are very comparable. The biggest year-to-year spread is eight games, but 23 of the 30 teams have an 2014 over-under within five games of last spring’s over-under.

Looking at the far right column, 20 of the 30 teams have a bigger gap between the actual results from the end of last year to the new over-under than the difference between the two years’ over-unders. Only half the 30 teams have 2014 over-unders within five games of their actual 2013 regular-season finish. Generally, the poorer teams have a higher over-under than their 2013 finish, while the better teams have lower over-unders compared to last year’s results.

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3 Responses to “Oddsmakers weigh in on 2014 MLB regular season”

  1. blingboy says:

    It seems like they basically bunched everybody up to open the book. Once they see how the money is being laid adjustments will be made to even out the wagers. There might be money to be made now, though. Just looking at the AL Central, what did the White Sox do to be 12 games better or the Indians to be 12 games worse?

    • Brian Walton says:

      I agree. It seems like one could take early advantage of that bunching in the middle.

      For example, how about the skepticism about the Pirates? Barely better than .500. Just 84 wins would be a 10-win drop from last season but would still be an over.

  2. [...] season seem very natural. Last week, we reviewed Bovada’s (www.Bovada.lv) 2014 Regular Season Win Odds for all 30 Major League Baseball teams. This time around, we take a first journey into the [...]

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