MLB 2023 postseason betting trends and systems
The MLB postseason is a 12-team tournament made up of four rounds, with each round being played as a series with progressively more games the deeper you get. Perhaps unlike any other sport, because of the huge 162-game regular season schedule, the stakes of each and every MLB postseason game are enhanced tremendously, and as such, some different or additional handicapping strategies should be employed.
With that in mind, one of the key factors in getting ready for these games is to know the history and the trends/systems that have developed in recent years. Let’s dig into the key betting results from recent MLB playoff seasons to see if we can’t uncover nuggets that will help make these playoffs a profitable one.
Note that all of these trends and systems will be tracked & qualified on a daily basis for VSiN Pro Subscribers over the next month on our popular MLB Analytics Reports.
Overall MLB Postseason Trends
- ROAD FAVORITES are on a 5-11 SU skid (-8.5 units, ROI: -53.1%)
- HOME FAVORITES of -190 or higher are on a run of 23-8 SU (+6.9 units, ROI: 22.3%)
- The most vulnerable HOME FAVORITES in the MLB playoffs dating back to ’00 have been those in the -120 to -144 money line range, as they are just 87-101 SU (-45.1 units, ROI: -24%)
Coming off wins/losses
- HOME TEAMS coming off a LOSS in a series game have been good bounce-back options, going 14-8 SU (4.75 units, ROI: 21.6%) and 16-6 on run lines (13.7 units, ROI: 62.3%) in their last 22 tries.
Series wins status
- For teams leading in a series, HOME FIELD advantage has meant quite a lot, as these hosts are 58-35 SU (19.85 units, ROI: 21.3%) and 50-43 on run lines (14.7 units, ROI: 15.8%) since 2013.
- HOME FIELD has proven advantageous in series’ that are even, as hosts in this situation have gone 70-48 SU (6.25 units, ROI: 5.3%) and 64-54 on run lines (19.45 units, ROI: 16.5%) since 2015.
- HOME FIELD has not meant nearly as much to teams that are trailing in a series and are favored at home, as they are just 33-31 SU (-14.2 units, ROI: -22.2%) since 2013.
Stats from last game trends
- Teams that are favored in an MLB postseason game after having lost the last outing while scoring two runs or fewer are just 38-40 SU (-18.05 units, ROI: -23.1%) and 27-51 on run lines (-14.55 units, ROI: -18.7%) since 2012.
- Teams that won a same-series MLB postseason game after having scored just one or two runs are on a 16-5 SU (11.05 units, ROI: 52.6%) surge since 2016.
- MLB postseason teams coming off a same-series game in which they scored eight or more runs are on a 17-24 SU (-10.4 units, ROI: -25.4%) and 16-25 on run lines (-11.3 units, ROI: -27.6%) skid since 2019.
- Power surges don’t tend to last in for underdogs in the MLB postseason, as teams playing as dogs of +110 or more coming off a game in which they hit 3 home runs or more are just 7-34 SU (-24.8 units, ROI: -60.5%) and 11-30 on run lines (-33.2 units, ROI: -81%) in the follow-up game since 2009.
- Teams playing as UNDERDOGS in an MLB postseason series after their bullpen was used for 5+ innings in the same series prior game are just 21-43 SU (-15.4 units, ROI: -24.1%) since 2016.
Trends based upon regular season records
- In the last 94 MLB playoff games matching teams with 7+ regular season win differential between them, the supposed better team is just 46-48 SU (-19.3 units, ROI: -20.5%) since ’19.
- In the last three playoff seasons following a full regular season (excluding 2020), MLB teams that won 100 games or more are on a slide of 15-19 SU (-10.7 units, ROI: -31.5%) and 12-22 on run lines (-11.6 units, ROI: -34.1%) in playoff games.
- In the last three playoff seasons following a full regular season (excluding 2020), MLB teams that won less than 90 games are on a surge of 28-20 SU (13.2 units, ROI: 27.5%) and 33-15 on run lines (14.8 units, ROI: 30.8%) in playoff games.
- The last two MLB postseasons have been amazing for OVER bettors, as although the outright record on totals is split 37-37, OVERS have produced a return of +21.4 units, an ROI of 28.9%. Total vig’s have been heavily shaded towards UNDERS. In particular, games with totals set at 7.5 or higher have gone OVER at a 25-18 rate, +15.5 units for an ROI of 36.0%.
Wild Card Round Angles
- 2022 was the first season in which the wild card round expanded to a 3-game series
- Wild Card hosts priced at -135 or higher are on a 17-10 SU (1.05 units, ROI: 3.9%) and 15-12 (6.55 units, ROI: 24.3%) surge since 2013.
- Wild Card hosts priced at less than -135 favorites or as underdogs have struggled to the tune of a 5-11 SU (-6.25 units, ROI: -39.1%) & 4-12 on run lines (-11.5 units, ROI: -71.9%) record since 2013.
-Wildcard totals have gone 24-15 UNDER since 2015, with UNDER bettors gaining a return of 7.4 units, or an ROI of 19%.
Divisional Round Angles
- Home-field advantage has been significant in the divisional round since 2017, as hosts are on a surge of 52-30 SU (14.2 units, ROI: 17.3%) and 48-34 on run lines (19.9 units, ROI: 24.3%) in that span.
- Home-field advantage has been particularly prevalent in the divisional series when the host has been trailing or was even in the series. Those teams are on a surge of 17-5 SU (9.95 units, ROI: 45.2%) and 17-5 on run lines (14.75 units, ROI: 67%).
- Since 2013, the number 7 has been key in terms of run scored for teams. In divisional round games following a same series game in which they scored 7 runs or more, teams are 33-22 SU (13.85 units, ROI: 25.2%).
- Since 2014, teams have bounced back well from a divisional round game in which their bullpen blew a save, going 29-17 SU (+12.7 units, ROI: 27.6%). These follow-up games also tend to go UNDER on totals, 26-18 (+6.25 units, ROI: 14.2%)
- Game 1 home favorites in the divisional round are on a 29-14 SU (+11.55 units, ROI: 26.9%) surge
- There have been 28 divisional round Game 5’s since 2002, 26 of them had favorites (-110 or higher) and those teams have gone just 11-15 SU (-10.4 units. ROI: -40%) & 8-18 (-8.55 units, ROI: -32.9%) on run lines
- Of those 26 Game 5 divisional round favorites, 20 of them have been home favorites, and those teams are just 7-13 SU (-11.9 units, ROI: -59.5%).
LCS Round Angles
- There has been a -52.6% ROI on betting favorites of -190 or higher in the LCS round, as they are just 10-9 for -9.3 units since 2000.
- If you’re a “chalk bettor” and looking for the best line range in which to back LCS favorites, it has been in the -145 to -185 range, as they are 54-21 (72%) for +19.9 units since 2000, an ROI of 26.5%!
- Game-by-game underdogs have proven to be a profitable bet overall lately, going 28-27 (+9.5 units, ROI: 17.3%) since 2018.
- Teams losing while failing to score more than two runs in an LCS game have struggled, and going back to 2007, in the follow-up game, their record has been 36-53 SU (-20.3 units, ROI: -22.8%).
- The divisional round showed a trend in which teams scoring 7 runs or more in a game were a solid bet in the next outing. For the LCS, beware of teams following up a same series WIN in which they scored six runs or more, as those teams are just 20-30 SU (-14.2 units, ROI: -28.4%) since 2015.
- Game 1 home teams in the LCS round are on a 10-4 SU (+5.05 units, ROI: 36.1%) surge since 2015.
- Game 1 road/neutral favorites are just 2-7 SU (-6.75 units, ROI: -75%) & 0-9 RL (-9 units, ROI: -100%) since 2002
- LCS Game 1 teams that won 100 or more games in the regular season are on a 7-1 SU (+6.25 units, ROI: 78.1%) run since 2004 when matched against a team that didn’t win 100 games.
- UNDERS hold a huge edge on game 1 totals of 8 or more dating back to the year 2000, 15-7 (+6.3 units, ROI: 28.6%)
- Over the last nine non-neutral LCS series, home teams in Game 2 are on a run of 13-5 SU (+9.4 units, ROI: 52.2%).
- Game 2 teams that lost in Game 1 are just 7-12 SU (-7.3 units, ROI: -38.4%) and 5-14 (-10.15, ROI: -53.4%) on run lines since 2013
- Road/neutral teams down 0-1 in an LCS series have gone just 4-11 SU (-8.85 units, ROI: -59%) since ’08.
- All but one of 12 LCS Game 2 favorites of -150 or more have won their games since 2000 (+9.35 units, ROI: 77.9%).
- Game 2 favorites of -110 to -145 are on a brutal skid of 6-25 (-16.4 units, ROI: -52.9%) on run lines.
- Road teams in LCS Game 3 that are down 0-2 in the series have lost all five tries since 2006 (-5.05 units, ROI: -101%), scoring four total runs.
- Game 4 underdogs are on a big run of 23-15 SU (+14.5 units, ROI: -38.2%) & 27-11 RL (+8.45 units, ROI: -22.2%) run since 2003 in the LCS round.
- Game 4 teams trailing in their LCS series have really struggled of late, going 9-26 SU (-22.75 units, ROI: -65%) & 10-25 (-18.9 units, ROI: -54%) on run lines since 2005.
- On Game 4 totals, OVERS have been HUGE since 2006, going 26-7-1 for +18.3 units, a ROI of 53.8%.
- Big favorites of -140 or more in LCS Game 5 have been practically automatic since 2000, going 17-3 SU (+11.95 units, ROI: 59.8%).
- Teams looking to close out series in Game 5 have typically failed to do so, going 5-10 SU (-5 units, ROI: -33.3%) and 4-11 (-9.2 units, ROI: -61.3%) on run lines in their last 15 tries
- Game 6’s have belonged to home teams since 2012, as they have won 10 straight games both outright (+11.1 units, ROI: 111%) and on run lines (+12.35 units, ROI: 124%)
- Game 6 favorites have gone just 9-15 SU (-13.05 units, ROI: -54.4%) since ’03 in the LCS round
- Game 7 home teams have won four of the last 5 tries since ’07 (+3.05 units, ROI: 61%), adding a 4-1 (+3.45 units. ROI: 69%) record on run lines
Not surprisingly, UNDERS have been the total of choice in Game 7 recently, with that option on totals going 7-2 (+4.75 units, ROI: 52.8%) in the last 9.
Nine Top MLB World Series Betting Systems
Over the last 20+ years of World Series action, several nice betting systems have emerged. You know you’re going to bet the games, so why not arm yourself with key data that has won recently?
WORLD SERIES system #1:
Home field advantage hasn’t meant a lot in recent World Series action, with hosts on a 15-23 slide in the last 38 opportunities dating back to 2016 (-14.85 Units, -39.1% R.O.I.)
Analysis: Home-field advantage was a much bigger deal in earlier rounds of the playoffs, particularly the divisional round, so be careful not to over-value this factor when it comes to the World Series, as the best teams in the league know how to win on the road as well. Obviously, these numbers don’t include the 2020 series, which was played in a neutral environment.
WORLD SERIES system #2:
Dating back to ’07, WORLD SERIES HOME UNDERDOGS of +120 or more have gone just 1-8 (-6.45 Units, -71.7%)
Analysis: Teams become large road favorites in the World Series when they are dominant or have an elite starting pitcher going. In games with the biggest stakes, it hasn’t been fruitful to fade either.
WORLD SERIES system #3:
Strangely, the most profitable HOME TEAMS in the WORLD SERIES recently have been those in the -110 to -125 range, or the very short favorites, as those teams are on an 18-10 run since 2000 (+6.07 Units, 21.7% R.O.I.)
Analysis: It seems that home-field advantage has been the deciding factor in games that are expected to be tight.
WORLD SERIES system #4:
Overall, on totals, there has been a very slight lean to the OVER in WORLD SERIES games over the last 14 years, however in games with totals of 8 or higher, UNDER holds an edge of 16-10 in that span (+4.3 Units, 16.5% R.O.I.)
Analysis: Typically, pitching, especially deep in games, takes center stage in the World Series. Both of these teams have solid bullpens to bolster above-average starting rotations. For as well as the teams’ lineups might hit, both on paper and in playoff action to date, higher totaled World Series games have leaned UNDER of late.
WORLD SERIES system #5:
WORLD SERIES teams have struggled to put back-to-back wins together recently, going 6-19 in the game following up a WS win (-17.15 Units, -68.6% R.O.I.,)
Analysis: There has been a lot of back-and-forth in the World Series recently, and teams that are able to string wins together wind up having a huge advantage in the series.
WORLD SERIES system #6:
WORLD SERIES Game 1 HOME TEAMS are on an 8-4 run (80%, +2.8 Units, 23.3% R.O.I.)
Analysis: In the system above, we showed that it’s hard to string back-to-back wins together in the World Series. Well, for Game 1, the advantage has gone definitively to the hosts recently. Naturally, the Game 2 play is usually the road team.
WORLD SERIES system #7:
WORLD SERIES Game 4 has been clearly dominated by the ROAD TEAMS, 13-5 since 2004 (+8.9 Units, 49.4% R.O.I.)
Analysis: Game 4 is usually a definitive contest, as the better team, or the one with the home-field advantage in the series, is playing on the road, and the lesser host often has its fourth starter going.
WORLD SERIES system #8:
Incredibly, since the start of the 2014 WS, TEAMS that scored two or fewer runs in the prior game are on an incredible 22-8 surge. (+16.45 Units, 54.8% R.O.I.)
Analysis: These teams that didn’t score well in the prior outing would tend to be the least attractive wagers in the betting public’s eyes, however, they have proven to be quality teams highly capable of bouncing back. In fact, they have averaged 5.0 RPG in the follow-up game.
WORLD SERIES system #9:
Washington’s improbable Game 7 win in the 2019 WORLD SERIES snapped a streak of nine straight ROAD UNDERDOGS losing after hitting three or more home runs in the prior WS game (-7.7 Units, 77% R.O.I.)
Analysis: This is a strange one when you consider that power surges can be big momentum builders in other postseason or regular season stretches. Perhaps the Nationals’ big win will also mark a key turning point for this system.