Best MLB Betting Teams for Profit
by Trevor Whenham - 7/14/2010
Teams have played just over half of their games and we’re at the all-star break, so this is an ideal time to look at which teams have distinguished themselves so far from a betting perspective. Here are the four best teams in baseball so far in terms of the profit they have provided to bettors:
San Diego Padres - Did you imagine coming into this season that the Padres would be leading both the NL West and the profit tables? If you answer ‘yes’ then you’re either psychic or a liar. The Padres have been a big surprise in any and every way this year. Their offense looked to lack depth heading into the season, but Adrian Gonzalez has been brilliant, and enough other guys are doing their jobs. They are still in the bottom third of the league in terms of run production, but they are doing enough - for now, at least.
Their pitching staff had been gutted by the departure of Jake Peavy, and any success required a miraculous performance from some new, young arms. That is just what they have had. Clayton Richard has been very good, but the real story is Mat Latos. He came into this season having only started 10 games in his career, but the 22 year old with the 2.45 ERA and 10-4 record would be in the heart of the Cy Young race if Ubaldo Jimenez weren’t off to such an impossibly good start. The Padres have been very solid at home, but what has really made them stars for bettors is their play on the road. They are 24-18 while traveling, and only the Rays have been more profitable when batting first.
Atlanta Braves - Bobby Cox is in the twilight of his career, but he can still make a team play with the toughness and relentlessness that has been his trademark throughout his career. This is a team that was floundering at the end of April - they lost nine straight, and just didn’t look like a good team. Fast forward two and a half months, though, and the Braves have the second biggest lead of any division leader.
The story here is really the resurgence of two guys who had been thrown on the scrap heap in the minds of many. Tim Hudson has looked pretty average for the last few years, but he’s far from that this year - 9-4 with a stellar 2.30 ERA. He’s the captain of a very solid rotation. His comeback is nothing compared to Troy Glaus, though. Glaus was a very marginal addition to this team, but he has rewarded their faith with 14 home runs and 58 RBI. Add in the emergence of Martin Prado as a top level player, and the impressive rookie turn of Jason Heyward and you have a team that has been fun both to watch and to bet on.
The lone problem here has been the road play. They are the second most profitable team in the league at home, but you’d have lost money if you bet every game on the road.
Chicago White Sox - The AL Central has been a revolving door at the top, and the White Sox are the third of the three real contenders to take a shot at the lead. Unlike the first two teams that have shown an obvious preference for either home or away, the White Sox have been competent on both fronts. They are more profitable on the road, but reasonably balanced.
While they are profitable over the whole season, the real profits have been realized by those who have been backing them loyally for the last month. It looked like Ozzie Guillen might get fired in early June, but they have won 25 of their last 30 games, so Guillen obviously isn’t going anywhere. Eight of those 25 wins have come at better than even money, so they have definitely been kind to bankrolls.
Detroit Tigers - Two AL Central teams in the top four - that’s pretty good performance for an oft-maligned division. The Tigers gave up the lead in the division on the last day before the break, but they are just a half game back and looking reasonably strong, so they are in it for the long haul.
In order to succeed this team needed strong play from Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera to drive the offense. Ordonez has been very good and Cabrera has been absolutely brilliant, so the team can’t help but win some games. They have definitely won some games at home - their 32-13 record in Detroit is the best in the league, and it follows that they are the most profitable home team in the league as well. If this team has long-term ambitions, though, they’ll definitely need to learn to play on the road. Their 16-25 road record is ugly, and it makes sense that you would be a pretty sizable loser if you had bet on them consistently in those games.
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