As we enter the final weekend of the MLB regular season there are still some scores to settle in a couple of divisions, but the American League is mostly set. One October matchup will be the Houston Astros taking home-field advantage in an ALDS series with the Cleveland Indians.
These teams have never met in the postseason so we are entering uncharted waters by trying to handicap this clash. Fortunately for us, these teams basically played a 7-game series earlier this year.
From May 18-20, these two teams did battle in Houston for a 3-game weekend series before travelling to Cleveland for a 4-game series the following weekend.
Here is a neat little chart of the results from earlier this season.
|May 18, 2018||4-1 Astros||@ Houston||Morton v Clevinger|
|May 19, 2018||5-4 Indians||@ Houston||Keuchel v Kluber|
|May 20, 2018||3-1 Astros||@ Houston||McCullers v Carrasco|
|May 24, 2018||8-2 Astros||@ Cleveland||Morton v Clevinger|
|May 25, 2018||11-2 Astros||@ Cleveland||Keuchel v Kluber|
|May 26, 2018||8-6 Indians||@ Cleveland||McCullers v Carrasco|
|May 27, 2018||10-9 Indians||@ Cleveland||Cole v Bauer|
Betting the Astros-Indians Over/Under Total
My initial reaction has nothing to do with who won the games but rather how high-scoring they were. The over was 5-2 this season when the Astros and Indians played.
Compare this to the stretch from 2012-2017 in which the under was an incredible 26-8 between these two sides.
You have heard that the public loves to bet overs, right? Well in the playoffs that tendency is even stronger. The average over/under line between these teams from 2016-2017 was 8.45. This year it fell to 7.7.
When the over-happy public begins to make their playoff bets, you can be sure that the value will be found in the under. This is the side I want to be on, considering the under is 28-13 over the past 7 seasons when these two meet.
Don’t Bet on a Repeat
The last team to win back-to-back World Series titles was the Yankees in 1998, 1999, and 2000. That was 18 years ago.
Since the turn of the century, every single defending champion has fallen the following year. Here is what the champions of this decade have managed to do the year after their big win.
|Team (Year they Won)||Result the Following Year|
|Cubs (2016)||Lost 4-1 in NLCS|
|Royals (2015)||Failed to make playoffs|
|Giants (2014)||Failed to make playoffs|
|Red Sox (2013)||Failed to make playoffs|
|Giants (2012)||Failed to make playoffs|
|Cardinals (2011)||Lost 4-3 in NLCS|
|Giants (2010)||Failed to make playoffs|
Ouch! Pretty ugly. It seems that when a team wins, they fall pretty hard. Using this information, I will derive an optimal betting strategy for this series.
Best Betting Strategy for Astros-Indians Series
My game-to-game bets will be unders. I will not touch the moneylines or run-spreads.
I will place a small wager on the series moneyline in favor of the Indians. This will be the first bet of a Martingale system against the Astros this postseason.
A Martingale is when you simply double your bet after a loss. Since I have complete faith the Astros will not repeat as World Series champs, I am prepared to double my bet in the ALCS should the Astros advance.
Good luck to you as the calendar turns to October!