In-Season Win Totals Offer Massive Value (Fade Astros, Rangers)

May 1, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA;  Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) delivers a
May 1, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) delivers a / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Typically bettors place a preseason bet on a team's season win total, forgets about the bet for five or six months and then starts sweating when September rolls around.

There is another way and one I prefer, because it allows you to actually see the team you're betting on in action first, before you take the leap.

Of course, the totals are theoretically adjusted to what's been shown on the field, but my experience tells me these adjustments are sometimes slow to be made and shaded heavily to the preseason number, unless we're talking about the White Sox or Marlins.

With this in mind, I found three MLB win totals that offer value a month into the season.

Houston Astros 85.5 Wins

The Astros would be a classic case of buyers remorse before the season started when Houston was listed as -115 favorites in the American League West with a win total of 93.5

If it could go wrong, it has for Houston as the starting pitching has been injured and ineffective for the most part, the bullpen has been a disaster and the offense has struggled in clutch situations.

Justin Verlander has returned and the Astros are getting healthier, but this team has a long way to go to get to 86 wins.

They've shown signs of life, winning four of their last five, but the schedule is doing them no favors at the moment.

At 11-20 this team would need to finish 75-56 to reach 86 wins, a .573 pace, which would be better than the .556 pace the defending American League West team played at last season.

If you're a believer in the Fangraphs projections, the current projection for Houston is 83.

PICK: UNDER 85.5 -115

Boston Red Sox 78.5 Wins

There's no way the Red Sox pitching can continue this level of dominance, leading the league by far with a 160 ERA+ and 3.30 FIP.

It's not going to be an easy route through the American League East with the Yankees and Orioles wreaking havoc, but remember we're not asking them to win the division, make the playoffs or even have a winning record.

The 18-14 Red Sox just need to go 61-69 to hit this number and cash the ticket.

Fangraphs projects Boston to easily clear this number with 84 wins.

PICK: Red Sox OVER 78.5 -118

Texas Rangers UNDER 88.5 Wins

The defending World Series Champion Rangers are biding their time until their injuries heal and it is showing. The powerful offense from 2023 has taken a step back and the rotation has been devastated by injuries.

Last season there were very times I would have taken the underdog vs. the Rangers, but this season I felt comfortable enough to take the Washington Nationals as an underdog in Texas' stadium.

At 17-15 Texas would have to go 72-58 to hit 89 and that's a clip they didn't even hit on their way to a World Series title.

Texas lost the season series and American League West to the Astros last season and there's no shame in that, but of the 11 wins the Astros have in 2024, four of them have come against the Rangers. Yikes.

Fangraphs currently projects the Rangers to win 83 games, so I'm pouncing on this discrepancy in the market.

PICK: Texas UNDER 88.5 -114

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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