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Monday, February 17, 2014

2014 MLB over/unders: Picking the best bet

C’mon, baby, Grant Brisbee needs a new pair of shoes!

...last year, there was a 60-option poll, asking you which bet would have been your kidney bet for the 2013 season. As in, if you needed a few bucks for a new kidney, and that bet was the only way to get it, which over/under would you choose?

There were 665 votes cast. As you suspected, gambling is almost evil, but not quite. Let’s pretend that instead of votes, those were actual $100 bets. How did the readers of SB Nation do?

Winnings: $30,795
Losses: $29,500

Take that, Vegas. The power of nerdsourcing got us a net profit of $1,295. If we all pooled our money—say, $10,000 each—we would have won $129,500! That would have been $194 each after splitting it 665 ways. Not a bad return on $10,000. It’s almost the same profit you could make with $10,000 on low-risk bonds or a standard savings account, but that’s nitpicking.

Brian White Posted: February 17, 2014 at 03:57 PM | 38 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: gambling

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Davo Dozier Posted: February 17, 2014 at 06:13 PM (#4658188)
The bets I would take, in order of how confident I am I’d be right:

TWINS 65.5: I would take the OVER.
MARINERS 81.5: I would take the UNDER.
ASTROS 57.5: I would take the OVER.
METS 71.5: I would take the OVER.
YANKEES 83.5: I would take the UNDER.

Those are the only ones I could even imagining me putting money on.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: February 17, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4658194)
Last year I though ARI under 81.5 was the best bet. I think they won 81 games.
   3. Dale Sams Posted: February 17, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4658197)
Under on Yankees Davo? We can use that same line for a $25 BRef bet if you want.Ill take over
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 17, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4658198)

MARINERS 81.5: I would take the UNDER.


Is this for 2014-2015 combined? There is no way the Mariners are close to 81 wins.

Royals at 85.5 strikes me as high. I'd take the under there.
   5. Davo Dozier Posted: February 17, 2014 at 06:41 PM (#4658204)
I am only betting hypothetical dollars.
   6. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 17, 2014 at 06:51 PM (#4658207)
I like the over on the Twins, and the under on the White Sox (76.5 wins).

   7. Davo Dozier Posted: February 17, 2014 at 06:58 PM (#4658209)
I am 100% sure the White Sox will go either 70-92 or 92-70. Nowhere in between.
   8. Jim Wisinski Posted: February 17, 2014 at 07:03 PM (#4658210)
The over on the Twins at 65.5 seems far and away the most obvious play.
   9. madvillain Posted: February 17, 2014 at 07:14 PM (#4658212)
I am 100% sure the White Sox will go either 70-92 or 92-70. Nowhere in between.


I thought they'd be decent last year, so what do I know. This year I all I can say for certain is they will be entertaining. With so many new, young, talented faces even if they win 75 games, if the right guys produce (and say it's not from Adam Dunn turning into 6 WAR player) it will be a fun, solid season.

Take the under on Tigers at 91.5. With the division better and the Tigers worse, I'd be pretty surprised if they win more than 91. I'd say 88 or 89 is much more likely. They under performed their Pythag last year, and the defense will be better, but losing Fister and Fielder hurts them.

Take that under on the M's, they are riddled with injuries already.
   10. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: February 17, 2014 at 07:17 PM (#4658213)
i'd go:
cardinals - over
marlins - over
rays - under
diamondbacks - under
padres - under
   11. depletion Posted: February 17, 2014 at 07:17 PM (#4658214)
Over/under for minutes SBNation takes to load on my browser: 15.3
   12. Davo Dozier Posted: February 17, 2014 at 07:18 PM (#4658215)
The over on the Twins at 65.5 seems far and away the most obvious play.


Yep, agree. I mean, they won 66 last year, and they've significantly improved their rotation (they had to give way way way too many innings to guys who had no business pitching in the Major Leagues--4 of their top 9 starters had ERAs over 6.50.)
   13. Transmission Posted: February 17, 2014 at 07:21 PM (#4658218)
Looking at the poll results on the page, not a single team has more people "betting" the under than the over. Gotta love internet homerism. Go team! If I cared at all about gambling, there probably would be some obvious way to make money off of this fact...
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 17, 2014 at 07:24 PM (#4658221)
I'd take Royals under 85.5, Yankees over 83.5, Mariners under 81.5, Mets over 71.5.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 17, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4658222)
The over on the Twins at 65.5 seems far and away the most obvious play.

That's a good one too.....
   16. Brian Posted: February 17, 2014 at 07:34 PM (#4658225)
Under on the Reds. 87.5 ?? That seems out of line.
   17. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 17, 2014 at 08:07 PM (#4658234)
Dodgers - Under 92.5
Tigers - Over 91.5
Cardinals - Over 90.5
Nationals - Over 90.5
Rays - Under 88.5
Red Sox - Under 87.5
Reds - Under 87.5
Braves - Over 86.5
Athletics - Over 86.5
Giants - Over 86.5
Rangers - Over 86.5
Royals - Under 85.5
Pirates - Over 85.5
Angels - Over 84.5
Yankees - Over 83.5
Indians - Under 82.5
Mariners - Under 81.5
D-Backs - Over 81
Orioles - Over 80.5
Brewers - Under 78.5
Phillies - Under 78.5
Blue Jays - Over 77.5
White Sox - Under 76.5
Rockies - Under 76.5
Padres - Over 76.5
Mets - Over 71.5
Marlins - Over 66.5
Cubs - Over 65.5
Twins - Over 65.5
Astros - Over 57.5

Snap judgements, all.
   18. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 17, 2014 at 08:10 PM (#4658236)
Edit: Nevermind, you apparently noticed.
   19. Brian White Posted: February 17, 2014 at 09:09 PM (#4658258)
I'll take the over on: Braves, Brewers, Diamondbacks, Mets, Twins, Astros

I'll take the under on: Reds, Royals, Pirates, Angels, Mariners
   20. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: February 17, 2014 at 09:14 PM (#4658260)
Phillies - 78

Holy ####### shitt, they have got to be kidding. Not just under, but WAY under!
   21. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 17, 2014 at 09:33 PM (#4658270)
In addition to the over on the Twins (which I agree is an obvious bet):

Over on Red Sox
Under on Rays
Under on Orioles
Under on Pirates

I think that one of the Rockies or Padres will go over, but I'm not comfortable on which one, so I can't really take either.

-- MWE
   22. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 17, 2014 at 09:59 PM (#4658286)
Hang on a sec: baseballnation.com is no more but sbnation.com/mlb is alive and well? I hadn't known there was a difference between the two.
   23. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 17, 2014 at 10:25 PM (#4658296)
Under on the Phillies' 78, with a backup of an under on the Rays at 88.5.

And dammit, I wish I'd seen this last year, since I would've won on the Yankees going under 86.5, and the Orioles easily going over their 76.5.
   24. AJMcCringleberry Posted: February 17, 2014 at 11:34 PM (#4658319)
Over on Texas, Oakland, Toronto, and the Mets. Under on Philly.
   25. Guapo Posted: February 18, 2014 at 12:34 AM (#4658327)
I think the call here is over on the Astros. First of all... it's really hard to lose 105 games (putting aside the fact that they've done it three years in a row). But their pythag win totals over the past 3 years have been 62, 59, and 57, and they should be better this year.
   26. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: February 18, 2014 at 12:36 AM (#4658328)
I like the over on the Mets and the under on the Phillies. I think they tie at 76-86.
   27. cardsfanboy Posted: February 18, 2014 at 03:43 AM (#4658347)
Since other people are doing it...
I'll take the over on the Cardinals 90.5 (that is about as obvious as you can get)

Take the Over on Braves 86.5 ...seriously in that division, how could you not?
Take the Under on the reds 87.5..again the division is a lot tougher than people think. (how could any legit system rate the Reds ahead of the Braves?)
Take the Under on the Royals 85.5...regression to the mean and all.
Take the Over on the Brewers 78.5.... I have overrated them for 3+ years...let's add a fourth to that.


there are a few others....but those are...to me the obvious ones. (instictively I want to say over for Phillies, Padres and Cubs and Under for Mariners, Indians, and Athletics but I haven't done anything remotely related to serious analysis on it.)
   28. Dan Posted: February 18, 2014 at 04:10 AM (#4658348)
Cardinals - Over 90.5
Nationals - Over 90.5
Rays - Over 88.5
Red Sox - Over 87.5
Braves - Over 86.5
Athletics - Over 86.5
Royals - Under 85.5
Pirates - Over 85.5
Yankees - Under 83.5
Orioles - Under 80.5
Phillies - Under 78.5
Rockies - Under 76.5
Mets - Over 71.5
Twins - Over 65.5
Astros - Over 57.5
   29. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 18, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4658373)
Dodgers Under 92.5
Pirates Under 85.5
Yankees Over 83.5
Astros Over 57.5

and just because they're my team Red Sox Under 87.5 but I don't think that's certain. That number feels right for them.
   30. zonk Posted: February 18, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4658381)
Since we're talking sports betting/baseball gambling generally...

Has anyone ever tried one of those high stakes fantasy leagues? I'm talking the sort that do big money entry fees, $500-$1000 a pop, with smallish leagues (standard roto size - i.e., you're legitimately auctioning/drafting against the league so the players are unique to each team).

I've been toying with doing one for a few years now... I still love my 'friendly' league that's about to start it's 20th year, but I fantasize about winning a big chunk of change doing what I already spend an hour or two a day doing in-season...
   31. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: February 18, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4658396)
Strange to see the Phillies listed at 7 games better than the Mets, given their respective seasons last year and the offseason moves. I mean the Phillies were the second worst team in baseball by run differential in 2013. Defense at 3B, the big upgrade in RF, and getting rid of Halladay's awful starts for Burnett will help, but hard to see where else the Phils improve.
   32. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 18, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4658531)
Has anyone ever tried one of those high stakes fantasy leagues? I'm talking the sort that do big money entry fees, $500-$1000 a pop, with smallish leagues (standard roto size - i.e., you're legitimately auctioning/drafting against the league so the players are unique to each team).
I used to go in on a team with a couple of friends, in a league where everyone else was a lawyer or surgeon. Nothing like pulling in the driveway for draft day and being the only Toyota in a sea of BMWs.
   33. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 18, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4658546)
Has anyone ever tried one of those high stakes fantasy leagues? I'm talking the sort that do big money entry fees, $500-$1000 a pop, with smallish leagues (standard roto size - i.e., you're legitimately auctioning/drafting against the league so the players are unique to each team).


I suppose high stakes isn't quite what I'd describe it as but the one I'm in is about $200 a pop. It's with friends or friends of friends so it's amiable but it's expensive enough that people take it seriously while not being so expensive as to cause problems. It is the type you say where we draft unique teams and it is a lot of fun.
   34. Davo Dozier Posted: February 18, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4658560)
Strange to see the Phillies listed at 7 games better than the Mets, given their respective seasons last year and the offseason moves. I mean the Phillies were the second worst team in baseball by run differential in 2013. Defense at 3B, the big upgrade in RF, and getting rid of Halladay's awful starts for Burnett will help, but hard to see where else the Phils improve.

You have to keep in mind, Vegas knows how difficult it is to get anyone to bet any money on the Mets. I'm surprised they didn't set the over/under at 17.
   35. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 18, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4658588)

I suppose high stakes isn't quite what I'd describe it as but the one I'm in is about $200 a pop.


High stakes? In the one I'm in, the last place finisher is burned at the stake.
   36. Poster Nutbag Posted: February 18, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4658685)
Zonk - The highest I ever found that I trusted enough to play was one of the Yahoo $100 leagues last season. My preference these days leans towards a place like DraftStreet, where there are high and low stakes. It really is a lot of fun and you can make good money playing. IF anyone wants to check it out, try this link so I get credit! ;-)

Draft Street: Daily Fantasy Sports
   37. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 18, 2014 at 05:47 PM (#4658689)
Man, the NL Central teams are all free money: Cardinals over 90.5, Reds under 87.5, Pirates under 85.5, Brewers under 78.5 and Cubs over 65.5.

In particular the Cardinals are far, far better than the rest of their division and are likely to win 100 or damn close to it, and the Brewers are a contender for the #1 pick in 2015. The only one of those four teams whose over/under I don't feel extremely confident about is the Pirates. I merely feel pretty confident about that one.

I'd have those teams ranked something like:

Cardinals, 99
Pirates, 83
Reds, 80
Cubs, 72
Brewers, 67

Edit: I see the Pirates, Reds and Brewers' unders have all already been juiced, so I'm not the first to notice that whole division looks overrated.
   38. Dan Posted: February 18, 2014 at 06:01 PM (#4658703)
I'm a bit surprised to see that so many people are here are taking the over on the Yankees. This is a team that won 85 games last year with a pythagorean record of 79-83 and a 3rd order record of 71-91. Do people really think this team was closer in talent to its W/L record than the underlying component statistics? Add in an offseason that mostly amounts to treading water when you account for losing Cano, Pettitte and Rivera, and I don't see much reason to be high on the Yankees. I do think they are a very high variance team with how many guys are coming back from injuries or down years, but you need to basically see a huge number of those propositions breaking perfectly for the Yankees to think they'll be an 84+ win team.

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