Now that we are at the midpoint of the MLB season, this is a great time to review the first half from a betting perspective.
Let’s dive into betting trends so far this season and more, including the best and worst teams against the spread.
While any mid-season summary needs to mention a hot New York Yankees first half, the soaring Seattle Mariners, the usual efforts of the Chicago White Sox, and, despite the fact that they have two MVP candidates, the bewildering futility of the Los Angeles Angels; Gambling recap analysis is sure to reveal some surprises.
The first surprise comes when you see the best team against the spread (ATS). FOX Sports Research found that the top five ATS teams are:
- Baltimore Orioles: 61-31 ATS
- Los Angeles Dodgers: 53-37 ATS
- Texas Rangers: 51-39 ATS
- Arizona Diamondbacks: 52-40 ATS
- Boston Red Sox: 51-42 ATS
Even though they are in last place in the toughest division in baseball and have a history of recent defeats, the Orioles are the most profitable ATS team this season with a 20.6% return on investment (ROI). They started the year with low expectations having won just 49 games last season, and at FOX Bet, their expected number of wins heading into the season is just 62.5 games. O already has 46 wins, sitting at .500 and just 3.5 games from wild cards.
The books clearly underestimate Baltimore’s young pitching talent, sensational Tyler Wells, and they’ve paid for it all season long. As we progress, expect these opportunities to shrink as everyone adjusts, but keep an eye on the future of the Orioles. If they can develop their bats, we could witness a turnaround in Enchantment City. For now, ride the underdog wave while you can as they are 8-2 straight up (SU) over their last 10 games.
On the other hand, we have the worst ATS team:
- Toronto Blue Jays: 40-52 ATS
- Washington Citizen: 41-53 ATS
- Kansas City Royals: 40-51 ATS
- Milwaukee Brewers: 41-52 ATS
- Minnesota Twins: 42-52 ATS
So to recap, AL East has the best team in baseball, the best team against the spread and also the worst team against the spread. Yes, the Blue Jays have the worst ATS record in MLB and are the third most unprofitable ATS team this season with an ROI of -14.3%.
Unlike the Orioles, the Blue Jays had high hopes this season, going into the year with an expected 92.5 win count (tied with the Houston Astros and Yankees for the most part in AL). They have 50 wins, sit 14.5 games behind the Yanks and have just sacked manager Charlie Montoyo a few months after signing him for an extension.
In this case, the books, and the fans, clearly overestimate Toronto’s ability on the pitch. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Teoscar Hernandez were disappointing. And beyond Kevin Gausman and Alex Manoah, the rotation has struggled with control and injury while the bullpen haven’t been at their peak.
All of this has led to a miserable ATS record as Toronto’s high expectations led to a laying run that the team couldn’t cope with. With Montoyo sacked, keep an eye on this front line as adjustments to the books could lead to a values game if interim manager John Schneider can restore confidence in this talented group. If that happens, don’t expect the Blue Jays to make the worst ATS list at the end of the season. Adjust your bet.
As for the totals, several teams stand out in terms of overs and unders.
Per FOX Sports Research, the top three teams in MLB this season are:
- Cincinnati Reds: Over 56% of games (51 of 91 games)
- Toronto Blue Jays: Over 55.9% games (52 of 93 games)
- San Francisco Giants: Over 54.9% games (50 of 91 games)
The Reds are the third worst team in baseball and will not sniff out the playoffs. However, the whole season was worth it, especially for the bettors. Cincy has the best percentage at hitting a baseball. How did this happen?
Injuries and poor bullpen.
Cincinnati has used more than 50 different players this season, while it has over 30 injured players. All these moves seem to create a low run estimate from the books due to lineup uncertainty.
When this is combined with the worst bullpen in the majors (ERA 5.43), you can find yourself with an artificially low run total hammered in. The Reds have hit 497 runs this season, the second most in the league. Keep getting paid for excess Reds while the book tries to adjust.
On the other hand, the top three teams below are:
- Houston Astros: Under in 61.5% games (56 of 91 games)
- Detroit Tigers: Under in 59.8% games (55 of 92 games)
- Los Angeles Dodgers: Under in 57.8% of games (52 of 90)
The Astros have hit rock bottom in 61.5% of their play. With Justin Verlander and the rotation they have, is this any surprise? The Astros are expecting another World Series trophy this season, so we anticipate the lead at the mound to get better as the season goes on. Keep pressing under Astros for profit.
As the second half of the season progresses, are there betting trends you’ve been aiming for? If so, be sure to place your bet on FOX Bet!
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MLB odds: The best and worst teams against the spread in the All-Star break
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