MLB Handicapping: Big Unit Winners and Losers from 2009
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 4/7/2010
Unlike football and basketball, in baseball there are no against the spread records find out how a team stacks up in the terms of wagering. Baseball’s rebuttal to the ATS records is measuring units won or lost by a team over a season.
These numbers can be greatly revealing after examining them and looking back on an entire 162-game season. For this story the profit won or lost will be based on a $100 wager on that team for the entire regular season no matter if they are an underdog or favorite.
For example, one team who in the middle of the pack was the Oakland Athletics. If you wagered $100 on them every game last season you would have finished the season with a $195 profit. They were +$600 on the road and -$405 at home. That comes out to the +$195. Or you can break it down by favorite and underdog. As the favorite they were -$365 and in the underdog role they were $560.
Finding winners with this system is hard. It is much easier to find the resounding losers. For example, six teams lost more than $2000 last season while no team won $2000.
Here are the five biggest winners and losers from last season and what to expect from them this season.
1) Los Angeles Angels +$1909
For as much as the Angels won last season (more than $700 more than the next best team), there is not much that their performance last year means in terms of this season. For one, the team made the playoffs and could be a little overvalued this year and, more importantly, the team is pretty much dismantled. Gone are Vladimir Guerrero, Chone Figgins, John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar, among others, and in their place are a slew of journeyman veterans.
2) Colorado Rockies +$1185
Much of the profit won by the Rockies was done in the last few months of the season when interim manager Jim Tracy resurrected his managerial career and the Rockies playoff hopes with an unprecedented late-season push. Do not shy away from the Rockies this year, fearing that the luck will run out. They started off slow last season but with Tracy in place and the big pieces all back, plus the addition of a healthy Jeff Francis as staff ace, the Rockies could lead the way in the profit department again.
3) Seattle Mariners +$1160
The Mariners not only made a decent profit for their backers but they were mildly successful too, going 85-77. The team is in for a big boost this season after offseason coups with the signing of Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee. If Chone Figgins does what he did in Los Angeles, Milton Bradley does what he did not do in Chicago and Ichiro is Ichiro then the Mariners defensive-minded mentality will pay dividends once again.
4) Texas Rangers +$1136
The Rangers followed the trend of most of the other top money teams from last year. They spent the offseason making deals to improve on their 87-75 record from last season. Vladimir Guerrero joins the team, and while Rich Harden has a tough role to fill as staff ace, he is still a big time acquisition. The Rangers are another team who figure to be a top money team by the time the 2010 campaign is over.
5. New York Yankees +$957
Usually the Yankees would be on the other end of the spectrum. Their prices almost always come with a couple extra cents tacked on as they are one of the most wagered on teams in baseball. But after a breakout 103-win season last year and some healthy pitching and a Curtis Granderson signing, the Yankees could turn a profit again this year. However, do not expect to come anywhere near the $900+ dollars from last season.
1) Cleveland Indians -$3344
It cannot get much worse for Indian backers this year. After losing an astronomical $3344 dollars last season for $100-per game players, the Indians turn to new manager Manny Acta and a depleted lineup to turn things around from a 65-97 season. The oddsmakers set the ‘over/under’ for 74.5 wins this season, meaning they are expecting some improvement, but not much. Cleveland was just as bad on the road (-$1550) as they were at home (-$1794) and just as bad as favorites (-$1429) as they were underdogs (-$1915). They will not lose as much this year, mostly because the prices on them will drop considerably, but it is hard to imagine them winning, either.
2) Washington Nationals -$2779
Even with the juicy payouts the Nationals produce when they actually win, they still managed to lose more money for bettors than any team in the National League. They were the opposite of the New York Yankees, who won 103 games -- the Nationals lost 103 games. There is little hope that things could turn around in the win column but there is hope that the Nats can get their backers out of the red this year. Stephen Strasburg has enormous expectations surrounding him and Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn bring plenty of pop to the lineup. Add in veterans Pudge Rodriguez, Jason Marquis and Nyjer Morgan and the Nationals actually resemble a somewhat respectable team.
3) Kansas City Royals -$2731
The Royals avoided losing 100 games but they also joined the other group of cellar dwellers in the -$2000 range. No denying that Zack Greinke is nearly untouchable, but the cast of characters around him is as suspect as any. Management brought it some aging veterans who probably will do very little in turning this ship around.
4) Pittsburgh Pirates -$2680
The Pirates lost bettors almost as much as their 2010 opening day payroll amount to. After setting the North American professional sports record for consecutive losing seasons with 17, the Pirates actually lowered payroll. After a 99-loss season, the Pirates made very few free agent overtures and remained incredibly complacent for a team who would have lost 100 games if Major League Baseball allowed them to make up their games that were rained out. With the group of outcasts on their squad and no proven major leaguers the Pirates could shatter the Indians’ mark for worst money team this year. Two particular instances to bet against the Pirates include when they are underdogs (which is most of the time) and when they are on the road. As an underdog they were -$2050 and on the road they were -$2550.
5) Arizona Diamondbacks -$2615
The Diamondbacks had plenty of firepower last season and this year is no different, but the results just were not there. On paper they are not a 70-92 team, but that is exactly what they were last season. Improvement has to be expected this year both in wins and in a turning a profit for bettors. Mark Reynolds, Stephen Drew and Chris Young are solid and capable of carrying an offense and Brandon Webb and Dan Haren give Arizona a one-two punch unrivaled in the desert since Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling.
Most Recent Baseball Handicapping
- 2021 AL Central Predictions and Expert Betting Advice
- 2021 NL West Predictions and Expert Betting Advice
- 2021 NL East Predictions and Expert Betting Advice
- 2021 AL West Predictions and Expert Betting Advice
- 2021 NL Central Predictions and Expert Betting Advice
- 2021 AL East Predictions and Expert Betting Advice
- 2021 Minnesota Twins Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
- 2021 Chicago White Sox Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
- 2021 Detroit Tigers Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
- 2021 Kansas City Royals Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series