MLB Season Props Betting: Individual Totals Predictions for Baseball Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 4/3/2012
Bovada has listed a huge number of individual player totals for the impending Major League Baseball season. Whole many bettors do not like to tie up their money for a whole season, these MLB props odds offer a lot of value because of the low volume. Bookies just don’t spend a lot of time on these. Here are 10 of the most interesting with some betting predictions:
Ian Kennedy ‘over/under’ 14.5 wins
Kennedy had perhaps the most shocking results of any pitcher in the league last year. After going 9-10 the year before he was a stellar 21-4 last year. He is an obvious candidate for a regression this year. The question is how much of one. I lean towards the under. He had more luck than you would expect on balls in play last year, and people are going to be much more familiar with that two-seam fastball that was so deadly for him last season. I expect a solid year, but about 12 or 13 wins seems about right.
Trevor Cahill o/u 12.5 wins
Cahill had the type of season last year that new teammate Kennedy might have this year. After a nice 18-8 season two years ago, little went right last year for Cahill and he was just 12-14. Now he is in the National League. Arizona is a hitter’s park, but Cahill is a ground-ball pitcher, so that should be minimized. He also has the luxury of only having to be the third starter, so pressure will be minimal. I could see him taking a small step forward from last year, so the over makes sense.
Jair Jurrjens o/u 12.5 wins
The Atlanta hurler was 13-6 last year despite only making 23 starts. When he is right he is as good as almost any pitcher out there. Unfortunately, though, I have to be negative here. He has struggled to stay healthy two years in a row and he is not very strong against lefties, so he’s a candidate for a regression. I’ll take the under.
Ryan Dempster o/u 10.5 wins
I have to include Dempster because my one athletic claim to fame is that I pitched against him a couple of times way back in little league. That was a long, long time ago, though, and both of us are getting old. He was just 10-14 last year. I don’t have a good reason to expect him to be significantly better, and the Cubs should be pretty lousy again. He has been incredibly durable, but sooner or later that’s going to catch up to him. The under is the smart bet, and that’s not just because I’m still bitter he beat me.
Adam Dunn o/u 175.5 strikeouts
Dunn has gone over this total the last three years and five times in the last eight years. Last year he did it despite only appearing in 122 games. He should hit better than he did last year — he can’t really hit any worse. That should lead to more plate appearances, though — especially because the White Sox intend to use him in the field more this year. The over seems like a solid pick.
Joey Votto o/u 30.5 home runs
Votto is a very, very rich man. He deserves a hefty contract, though maybe not quite this large. I expect big things out of him again, but relying on him for big home run numbers doesn’t seem smart. In four full seasons he has only gone over this total once. Last year he had 29 home runs. The under would be the right play, but there isn’t a whole lot of value to be had.
Jamie Moyer o/u 4.90 ERA
Moyer is unquestionably the most incredible story of the year so far. He’s 49, he’s back from Tommy John surgery last year, and he won a pretty tough training camp fight to earn a roster spot. He feels good, and we have seen how well pitchers come back from this surgery. It’s not like he needs much velocity, either — my two-year-old son throws as hard as he does. Moyer’s ERA has been 4.84 and 4.94 the last two years, so this number is pretty close — especially because he’s playing in a pitcher’s nightmare of a ballpark. There isn’t much value here. The smart bet is probably on the over, but I’m a sentimentalist so I’d take the under if I was going to play it.
Josh Johnson o/u 13 wins
This is a tough one. Johnson is one of the best pitchers in baseball. He’s also fragile and coming off a shoulder issue that limited him to just nine games last year. If he pitches all year with the team he has behind him then he should easily go over this total. I’m not willing to bet on his health, though, so I’ll take the under.
Yu Darvish o/u 12.5 wins
Darvish is a tough one to figure out. He put up impressive numbers last year in Japan, but it’s hard to know how that game will translate to the majors. It’s also hard to be hugely excited about Japanese pitchers right now given recent history. The hype is massive, though, and he has a strong team behind him. He has to adjust to a new league, a new style of playing and dealing with pitchers, and a whole new culture. I expect a solid year, but there will be growing pains. I’ll take the under.
Stephen Strasburg o/u 13 wins
This one would be very easy if it weren’t for one thing — he’ll almost certainly be limited to 160 innings this year. That means that he’ll have to be really freakish to get over this number before he hits the bench for the season. Luckily, he’s very freakish. I expect a breakout year for the most hyped pitcher of our time — he’s that good. I’ll take the over.
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