The Orioles close their series strong

MLB Series Opener And Closer Betting Trends: O's Close Strong

When handicapping baseball games, we often dig deep into splits such as home/road records and how teams perform vs right- and left-handed pitching. But something you should add to your list is how teams perform in series openers and in the last game of a series.

For whatever reason, this trend sticks. Maybe they’re just damn good, they’re motivated to start or finish strong, or they mentally check out when a series is coming to an end — a handful of teams stand out as excellent or awful bets at different spots in a series.

As we navigate baseball season, we’re equipping you with all the betting information you need to win your MLB bets. Below, we have 2023 series opening and closing betting trends so far, and we’ll update these records with MLB betting trends throughout the season. You can use these betting nuggets to help nail your baseball wagers.

If you’re looking for other tools to inform your MLB bets, check out our free MLB computer picks page and our MLB futures breakdown.

Team Records When Opening A Series

Best Teams When Opening A Series
  • Rays 29-13 (69.0%)
  • Dodgers 29-13 (69.0%)
  • Braves 29-13 (69.0%)
  • Orioles 28-14 (66.7%)
  • Mariners 26-16 (61.9%)
  • Cubs 25-17 (59.5%)
  • Reds 24-17 (58.5%)
Worst Teams When Opening A Series
  • Cardinals 12-30 (28.6%)
  • Royals 12-30 (28.6%)
  • White Sox 12-30 (28.6%)
  • Athletics 15-27 (35.7%)
  • Yankees 15-27 (35.7%)
  • Marlins 16-26 (38.1%)
  • Nationals 16-26 (38.1%)

The best teams in baseball, like the Dodgers and Braves, unsurprisingly dominate series openers. There are, however, teams like the Reds (68-64) who outperform their overall record in series-opening games. While a team like Atlanta is often a sizeable favorite, there is value to be found in betting worse units like Cincinnati in its series openers.

The Yankees stand out among a crop of bottom feeders as the most disappointing team on this list. They currently sit 11 games back of the third AL Wild Card spot, and a 35.7% win rate in series openers is simply not good enough for a team that entered the season with playoff aspirations.

Team Records When Closing A Series

Best Teams When Closing A Series
  • Orioles 30-12 (71.4%)
  • Rays 27-15 (64.3%)
  • Cardinals 26-16 (61.9%)
  • Angels 25-17 (59.5%)
  • Braves 25-17 (59.5%)
  • Brewers 24-17 (58.5%)
  • Phillies 24-18 (57.1%)
Worst Teams When Closing A Series
  • Athletics 7-35 (16.7%)
  • Royals 13-29 (31.0%)
  • Rockies 15-27 (35.7%)
  • White Sox 16-26 (38.1%)
  • Pirates 17-25 (40.5%)
  • Cubs 17-25 (40.5%)
  • Yankees 19-23 (45.2%)

This year's young breakout team, Baltimore, has joined the playoff picture on the back of an impressive series-closing record. This exciting squad has put its youth on display as it has outlasted opponents as series go on.

On the other side, Oakland stands out with just seven close-out wins on the year. While the Athletics are not exactly World Series contenders in any situation, this 135-loss pace in close-out games would be the most losses in MLB history. 

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