Best and Worst MLB Teams for Baseball Betting
by Trevor Whenham - 5/8/2012
We’re more than a month into the baseball season, and teams have played within the range of 30 games. That means that it’s a good time to look at the best and the worst of the teams from a betting perspective so far:
You could try as hard as you wanted to convince me that the Orioles would lead the league in wins at this point in the season and I still wouldn’t believe you.
It’s an incredible story — though one that seems destined to end at some point along the way. Right now, though, they are the perfect recipe for betting success — a team that wins a lot, is very strong on the road, and which has no real stars or big names to attract the betting public.
They are the top team in the league for bettors by a wide margin so far. They are also by far the best team in the league on the run line.
Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa has the same record as the Orioles, though they have a losing record on the road. What’s working for them, though, is that they are almost unbeatable at home.
The Rays have been good for several years, but it seemed like they could be in for a step backwards this year. Since that hasn’t happened — not yet, anyway — they have been a strong bet.
The Dodgers are the third of four teams atop the league in wins with 19 as I write. They have the fewest home losses in baseball with just two. With a guy hitting like Matt Kemp is it’s no wonder they have been able to win some games.
Like the Orioles, the Indians are a very unexpected division leader. Like the Orioles they also don’t really seem like they will be in the same spot by September. For now, though, their unexpected fast start and strong 9-3 road record has made it lucrative to bet on them.
Pitching wins in the league, and the Nationals are benefiting from very strong pitching. Strasburg is living up to the hype — even if he can’t seem to get decisions lately — and the rest of the rotation is keeping up. That has made it possible for this team to outpace strong expectations heading into the season.
They have a looming issue, though — only Pittsburgh has scored fewer runs in the National League than Washington, so if the pitching starts to struggle wins will be hard to come by. They have been helped out by slow starts by strong teams in their division as well.
The Twins are simply a terrible team. Just awful. They can’t pitch. They can’t hit. Their defense is spotty. Their leadership is questionable. They just aren’t very good at baseball right now.
While no one could have expected the Twins to contend for the World Series this year it would have been very tough to imagine them losing three of every four games. That means that this team is burning money at a serious rate — more than any other team.
You don’t have to know much to know why the Angels are abusing bettors so badly. When Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson joined the team on the same day this winter the public awarded the World Series title to the team in their minds.
Pujols has been impossibly bad at the plate, though, and his struggles have bled over to the rest of the team. They are four games under .500, and bettors who really want to believe in them have not been rewarded.
San Diego Padres
No real mystery here — the team has lost two-thirds of their games, the offense is struggling, and the pitching isn’t great. It’s hard to cover spreads with that combination of factors.
When you lose a player like Prince Fielder it’s going to hurt. The rotation had some promise, though, and there were still some hitters in the lineup, so bettors seem to have looked at this team as one that could provide some nice value. That hasn’t worked out so far, though.
They have been respectable offensively, but only Colorado has allowed more runs in the NL than the Brewers.
Boston Red Sox
Only the Yankees are more of a public team than the Red Sox, so when they struggle they are inevitably going to cost bettors.
They have certainly struggled this year — they are just 12-16, and while they have outscored every team except Texas and Atlanta they have allowed the most runs in baseball.
To really challenge bettors, the Red Sox put together a solid winning streak after their early struggles to make it seem as they had turned a corner, but then they fell back into their losing ways.
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