This article is part of our MLB Betting series.
Now that we know where almost every relevant free agent has signed, it's time to take a look at some team over/under win total bets for the 2021 season over at the FanDuel and Draft Kings sportsbooks. I'll hit on the American League this week and will cover the National League teams next week.
FanDuel's lines appear to be fluid, with every bet coming with a -110 vig, while the lines at Draft Kings seem to have stayed the same, while the vig has shifted (in some cases significantly so) on some lines. The standard vig at DK is -112, so in most cases, the better value is at FD, but there are some cases where it makes more sense to place the bet at DK. I'm staying away on the Orioles, Red Sox, White Sox, Angels, Yankees, Mariners, and Blue Jays at their current lines.
|AMERICAN LEAGUE||DK||FD||Best Bet|
|Kansas City||72.5||73.5||FD Over|
|Tampa Bay||85.5||86||FD Over|
CLEVELAND Over 81.5 wins (-110 on FD)
This line is the same on both sites with standard vig, so we're going with FanDuel at -110. As per usual, Cleveland's lineup looks fairly mediocre, and there's even less star power with Francisco Lindor out of town. This is mostly a bet on the pitching, specifically the rotation. I believe in Shane Bieber as an annual Cy Young contender. I believe in Zach Plesac pitching like a pseudo ace going forward. I think Aaron Civale will pitch like a really solid No. 3 starter and I think Cal Quantrill and Triston McKenzie will form a quality back-of-the-rotation duo. Cleveland has the deepest farm system in the game, so they can easily trade for any type of player they want this summer to fortify any weaknesses down the stretch.
DETROIT Under 68.5 wins (-112 on DK)
It doesn't really matter if the Tigers play their veterans or their prospects — they are going to be bad either way. Detroit might have the worst rotation and the worst bullpen in the league. Wilson Ramos being a bad defensive catcher is another sneaky deficiency that will cost this team games, just ask Mets pitchers. This team will lose a lot of games early with its cast of veterans, and then it will lose a bunch of games in the second half as the youth movement takes over. They will look to trade any veteran who is performing well at the deadline, which will further hurt the overall win total.
HOUSTON Over 87.5 wins (-110 on FD)
Yuli Gurriel and Kyle Tucker might be this team's No. 6 and No. 7 hitters, so they're still loaded even after the departure of George Springer. I'm also a big Myles Straw fan and think he could be a 2-3 win player this year. They've got two good defensive catchers and a slew of young fireballers populating the bullpen and the upper levels of the minors. The rotation lacks experience behind Zack Greinke, but Framber Valdez emerged last year and I'm expecting a huge year from Lance McCullers. Meanwhile, Jose Urquidy and Cristian Javier also have the potential to take a step forward. Houston also gets to beat up on Seattle, and to a larger extent, Texas. I'd wait and see if this line drops following the Valdez injury, as I still like the over even if he were to miss a couple months.
KANSAS CITY Over 73.5 wins (-110 on FD)
I would prefer to get the cushion of an extra win on DK, but it's -125 over there (the secret must be out), and I feel good enough about this to pay a win to get the better value on the bet. The reason I like this line is that the Royals' top half of the lineup is legitimately pretty decent and they are loaded with high-end pitching on the farm that is ready to help out at the big-league level. They go into the year with a competent five-man rotation, but whenever someone gets hurt or doesn't perform, they have Daniel Lynch and Jackson Kowar ready to step in. This is also one of the better defensive groups in the league.
MINNESOTA Over 88.5 (-112 on DK)
All the talk about the Twins in recent years seems to be about how much thump the offense brings to the table, but this rotation, bullpen and defense stacks up with most teams in the league as well. Going from Jorge Polanco to Andrelton Simmons at shortstop is a massive defensive upgrade. I'm not betting on a full season from Josh Donaldson, but other than that, I'm not sure where the weaknesses are. Even though the White Sox's line is higher, the Twins are still my pick to win the division.
OAKLAND Over 86.5 (-110 on FD)
I don't really see any weaknesses here. Like with Houston, Oakland gets to beat up on the Rangers and Mariners while also being favored in most games against the Angels. I think Elvis Andrus is going to have a bit of a renaissance year with the A's, and they might have the best defense in the league. The one area that's a little concerning is bench depth, but they've got some solid under-the-radar options like Ka'ai Tom and Luis Barrera to help out throughout the year.
TAMPA BAY Over 86 (-110 on FD)
If you want the extra half win, the vig is -118 over at DK, which isn't surprising, as this is the most obvious bet on the board. The Rays simply aren't going to show up in the high-90s via a projection system, but this is the most talented organization in the league and they are always one step ahead of the curve. The Yankees' line is almost 10 wins higher, but I'd actually take the Rays to win this division. If they suffer an injury to any player, they've got someone almost as good (or perhaps even better if we're talking about Wander Franco or Josh Lowe) who can step right in. The one big exception there is Tyler Glasnow, the ace of the staff. However, even if Glasnow got hurt early in the season, I think they'd find a way to mix and match and make it work.
TEXAS Under 67.5 (-110 on FD)
The Rangers had been rebuilding on accident in past years, but now they're in a full-on rebuild that needs no sugarcoating. They have a few nice young relievers, but generally speaking, this pitching staff is awful. To make matters worse, Nick Solak, Willie Calhoun, Nate Lowe, David Dahl, Khris Davis and Sam Huff are all terrible defenders, and only of them can DH on a given day. Like with Detroit, any veteran who is having a good year will be trade bait at the deadline.