Texas Rangers Globe Life Field view from home plate
Every summer, Major League baseball’s all-star break provides the perfect opportunity to take stock of the first half of the season. Bettors should do that too. Here are the most and least profitable teams in betting units so far in 2019, according to the standings page at sports betting website covers.com.
▪ Minnesota +16.33
Many sharps expected the up-and-coming Twins to make a run at an American League wildcard spot. The Over/Under on their regular season win total was in the range of 84-85 victories. Minnesota was supposed to be better than .500. They weren’t supposed to be 17 games over .500 at the break.
▪ Texas +16.16 units
Nobody in the market saw this coming. The consensus of respected influences amounted to an expectation of 71-91 this season. Even bettors who liked the Over weren’t thinking the Rangers were going to be in the thick of the wildcard race this deep into the season.
▪ Chicago White Sox +12.23 units
There was some offseason buzz about the Sox this spring. They were likely to rise above doormat status (62-100 last year) to show signs of a promising future. How about a promising present? Chicago isn’t likely to be a wildcard contender in 2019, but has turned a 42-44 record into a big profit.
▪ NY Yankees +11.94 units
It’s often tough for media darlings in major markets to make money. Lines typically rise so high that betting value comes from fading the hype. That’s not the case so far with the 2019 Yanks (similar to the profit performance of the 2018 Red Sox). They continue to light up the scoreboard while cashing tickets. Though, it’s worth remembering that it took a 57-31 record (26 games over .500) just to make a dozen units.
▪ LA Dodgers +11.28 units
The Dodgers and Yankees are basically running parallel seasons on different coasts. Los Angeles had to go 60-32 (28 games over .500) to pick up a bit more than 11 units.
▪ Atlanta +11.23 units
This was supposed to be a regression year after the Braves “lucked” their way to the NL East crown last season. Surprise! Atlanta is now a heavy favorite to repeat. The Braves are up just over 29 units since the start of 2018.
▪ Kansas City -20.00
It’s no surprise that the Royals are bad. Their “Regular Season Win Total” back in March was a low 69.5 victories. What was supposed to be about a 70-92 team has instead posted a win percentage that would yield a 53-109 record through 162 games. The market hasn’t “caught down” to this sinking rock.
▪ New York Mets -18.71
The Mets are the only National League team on our list, as a group that was supposed to contend for a wildcard enters the all-star break 10 games below .500. Too many bettors (sharps and squares) base their bets on the starting pitcher, ignoring bullpen weaknesses. Big mistake with this team.
▪ Detroit -18.17
Detroit is a clone of Kansas City in terms of market dynamics. Though, the same can be said for all the American League tankers. You’ve heard through the years that point spreads or money lines are the great equalizer when good teams play bad teams. Just not the case in baseball right now.
▪ Baltimore -17.41
In the A.L., same song, third verse. Though, in a lower key. Here Baltimore was only expected to win 59 games before the season began. The Orioles are currently on pace for a final record of 49-113 as a glorified minor league team. Amazingly, Baltimore is down 70.13 units since the beginning of 2018 after dropping 53.72 last season.
▪ Toronto -17.32
The Blue Jays were supposed to be a losing team, but not a tanker this season. Their Regular Season Win estimate was 75. They’re currently on pace to finish 15 victories below that.
▪ Boston -15.18
A World Championship hangover didn’t surprise. Though, it took the Red Sox much longer to clear their heads than the market expected. And, even now, their position in the wildcard race has been keyed by the ability to crush losers. Boston enters the break 17-25 vs. teams with records of .500 or better.
Boston is the first “winning” team on the “money burner” list. The most “overrated” teams so far in 2019 are projected losers who turned out much worse than expected.