MLB’s league championship series begin Friday with Red Sox-Astros in the American League then the NLCS getting underway on Saturday as Braves face the winner of Thursday’s Dodgers-Giants Game 5. Let’s analyze the key betting results from recent LCS rounds to see if we can uncover anything to help us cash tickets this year.
Series results since 2000
There have been 42 championship series since 2000, and better seeds are just 24-18 (58 percent). For the division series, this percentage was 51.2 percent.
Just like last round, there is a decent break in success level for the better seeds when they won at least eight games more than their opponents in the regular season. Their record in those series is 7-4 for 64 percent.
Game results since 2000
In the 20 years of LCS games before last season’s neutral-site contests, home teams had gone 130-95 for 58 percent. The unit edge for bettors on home teams over road teams has been +9.95 to -20.85.
Unders have held a decent edge on Overs in terms of LCS totals, with Unders going 236-214 for 53 percent since 2000. However, neither side of the total has been profitable on units in that time, with Unders producing -3.1 units and Overs -41 units.
Betting favorites of -190 or higher in the LCS round have given a -48 percent return on investment, as they are just 9-8 for -8.1 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. They are 52-18 (75 percent) for +23.45 units since 2000, a ROI of 34 percent.
Game-by-game underdogs have proven to be a profitable bet overall, though, going 104-124 (46 percent) for +9.15 units since 2000.
In-series betting systems
Winning provides momentum and is a key ingredient to handicapping a series on a game-by-game basis. Teams coming off wins in that same series went 103-96 outright for +6.4 units. However, they have been a losing wager on run lines at 102-97 for -3.7 units.
LCS teams that collect seven or fewer hits in a game bounce back well in the next game, with a record of 95-81 SU (+10.85 units) and 96-80 (+12.55 units) on the run line. When you consider that both teams fit the criteria in many of those games, the 14 games over .500 represents an even better winning percentage and ROI.
In same-series games after an LCS contest in which teams struck out six times or fewer since 2015, they are 15-9 SU (+6.2 units) and 13-11 (+1.55 units) on run lines.
Game-by-game historical trends
Game 1: Home teams in the LCS round are on a 7-3 SU (+3.25 units) and 6-4 RL (+3.15 units) surge since 2015, though they did lose the two most recent games in 2019. … Road and neutral-site favorites are just 2-7 SU (-6.75 units) and 0-9 on run lines (-9 units) since 2002. … Game 1 teams that won 100 or more games in the regular season are on a 7-0 SU (+7.3 units) and 6-1 (+5.35 units) run-line surge since ’04 when matched against a team that didn’t win 100 games. … Unders hold a huge edge on Game 1 totals of eight or more dating back to 2000 at 14-6 (+7.4 units).
Game 2: Over the past seven non-neutral league championship series, home teams in Game 2 are on a run of 10-4 SU (+7 units) and 8-6 run line (+1.8 units). … Teams that lost in Game 1 are just 5-10 SU (-6.7 units) and 2-13 (-12.7) on run lines since 2013. … Road and neutral-site teams down 0-1 in an LCS have gone just 3-9 SU (-7.25 units) and 3-9 (-6.95 units) on run lines since ’08. … All 10 LCS Game 2 favorites of -150 or more have won since 2000 (+10 units), going 7-3 (+4.9 units on run lines). … Game 2 favorites of -110 to -145 are on a brutal skid of 5-24 (-17.1 units on run lines) but have gone 14-15 (-5.3 units) outright. … Nine of the past 11 Game 2s have gone Under (+6.95 units).
Game 3: Favorites in the LCS boast a record of 19-9 SU (+6.4 units) and 15-13 (+8.05) units on run lines since ’06. … Road teams in Game 3s that are down 0-2 in the series have lost all five tries since ’06 (-5.05 units), scoring four total runs.
Game 4: Underdogs are on a big run of 20-14 SU (+11.2 units) and 24-10 RL (+7.45 units) run since ’03 in the LCS. … Teams trailing in their series have really struggled of late, going 8-23 SU (-19.55 units) and 9-22 (-15.8 units) on run lines since ’05. … On Game 4 totals, Overs have been huge since ’06, going 22-7-1 for +14.3 units.
Game 5: Big favorites of -140 or more in LCS Game 5s have been practically automatic since 2000, going 16-3 SU (+10.95 units) and 13-6 (+9.85 units) on run lines. … Teams looking to close out series in Game 5s have typically failed to do so, going 4-10 SU (-6 units) and 4-10 (-8.2 units) on run lines in their past 14 tries.
Game 6: These have belonged to home teams since 2012, as they have won eight straight games outright (+8.75 units) and on run lines (+9.6 units). … Game 6 favorites have gone just 8-14 SU (-12.6 units) and 8-14 (-3.55) on run lines since ’03. … Teams looking to force a Game 7 have done so in four of their past five tries (+3.3 units), adding a 4-1 (+2.8 units) record on run lines.
Game 7: Home teams have won four of their past five tries since ’07 (+3.05 units), adding a 4-1 (+3.45 units) record on run lines. … After losing four straight between 2003-06, favorites in Game 7 have since picked it up, going 5-1 SU (+3.8 units) and 4-2 (+3.8 units) on run lines. … Unsurprisingly, Unders are 7-2 (+4.75 units) in the past nine Game 7s.