It starts April 1. But the homework, and the NJ sports betting starts now.
Let’s look at the team totals that New Jersey bettors may care about most along with the rest of the National League East.
- Philadelphia Phillies, 80.5
- New York Mets, 90.5
- New York Yankees, 95.5
- Atlanta Braves, 91.5
- Washington Nationals, 84.5
- Miami Marlins, 70.5
- Los Angeles Dodgers, 102.5
Phillies show lower expectations
The Phillies’ number of 80.5 games is a projection of just under .500.
And it’s a big drop.
Two years ago, the over-under across the sportsbooks was a whopping 89 games. And despite a shaky bullpen, the Phillies were 33-22 before collapsing. Remember 11 games over .500.? Seems so long ago.
Philadelphia was targeted to exceed 31.5 wins in the 60-game, 2020 season and did not reach it because of an historically bad bullpen that yielded more than seven runs per game.
The Phillies have made a number of changes to the pitching staff, hoping some of these would stick:
Chase Anderson and Matt Moore could see time in he starting rotation.
Archie Bradley, Jose Alvarado, Tony Watson, and Brandon Kintzler are new additions to the bullpen. That’s not a bad group.
Bradley shared the major-league lead in holds, 34, in 2018. One year later, he struck out 87 batters in 71 2/3 innings and saved 18 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Kintzler, who signed a minor-league deal, saved 12 games for the Marlins last season.
These are two pretty good pitchers aiding Philadelphia’s attempt to solve its biggest problem.
They are due for good fortune.
When the Phillies went the free-agent route, they landed David Robertson before the 2019 season. A great move, but a bad break, as he became injured. Robertston would have been an excellent setup man or closer.
Phillies team updates
Catcher J.T. Realmuto is only expected to miss a couple more weeks of spring training and is expected to be ready for Opening Day (April 1 against he Braves) after sustaining a thumb injury.
If there was ever a good time for something bad like this, it’s now.
Rhys Hoskins, who had a productive season last year with 10 homers, has proclaimed himself ready for Opening Day. He had elbow surgery in the offseason, with a recovery period projected between four and six months
The Phillies were 5-12 without him down the stretch last year, missing their first playoff berth since 2011 by one game.
Question Marks for New York Mets and Yankees
Can the Mets, who finished behind the Phillies last year, clear 90 wins with major pickups Carlos Carrasco and Francisco Lindor? There is a lot of pressure coming to New York as a celebrated free agent.
Can the Yankees get Luis Severino, set on the 60-day DL with Tommy John surgery, back in time to make a productive contribution? Can Corey Kluber, a 20-game winner in 2018, find magic in pinstripes?
At the moment, the Yankees odds of winning the World Series are the second highest high behind he Dodgers. Could this be the year.
More on National League East
The Washington Nationals were beset by COVID-19 issues and a World Series hangover last year.
As a result, they did not come close to their 32.5 number. However, they gained steam in the second half by winning seven of their last 10.
Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg anchor the pitching staff, but are one year older. Juan Soto and Trea Turner lead the offense. The Nats added starter Jon Lester in the offseason.
But any conversation regarding NL East win totals is incomplete without mentioning the Braves. We are talking about a team that has won the division three years in a row.
They are solid every year.
Will the Marlins over achieve again in 2021?
Last year, they made the extended postseason field. And it’s hard to forget about how they gave the Phillies fits, winning seven of 10 meetings.
Flip flop that number and the Phillies would have reached the playoffs.
MLB win totals are a grand bet
It gives a bettor action every day of the season and provides individual daily glimpses.
You think a team is playing way above or below projections?
A change back to normal could be coming for the stretch of a few games and one can wager accordingly.
Here is what Johnny Avello, director of race and sports operations for DraftKings, said out of all he props, regular-season wins usually take the most money.
And as far as timing goes, he says “this is a great time for making those bets.”
“The numbers can change, sometimes they fly like the wind,” said Avello. “You know, with the NFL, there are 16 games and there is less room for error. With 162 games, you can put that number up and you won’t be afraid to move it, based on the action.”
Timing remains important.
There are some exceptions to the trend, he noted.
“Historically, the sharp bettors like to take a team with a big number and play the under,” said Avello. “If you wanted to take the under on a team like the Dodgers [102.5], you’d think about doing that now because the big bettors might drive that total down a little bit.
“By the same token, if you wanted to bet “over” on the Dodgers, you could possibly wait and see the total a little lower.”
Special rules regarding win totals
William Hill listed its minimum games played number at 150 games. DraftKings has 160 and an expanded outline.
Avello said that if COVID cancellations reduce the number of games played, here is what bettors need to know:
If the remaining games would not change the verdict, the bet counts. For example, if 155 games were played and the Phillies had won 70 games, the “over 80. 5” bet loses because even a sweep of the remaining games would not bring the Phillies over the total.
If the Phillies had already won 81 games, the bet is a winner.
If the Phillies play 75 games, the ticket would be refunded because they still had a mathematical chance to hit the over.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II