MLB Betting and Handicapping Update - Top Money Line Returns
by Dave Schwab - 5/16/2012
The 2012 MLB regular season is approaching the quarter pole of its 162-game marathon and we have already seen dark horses streak to an early lead out of the gate and we also find a few preseason favorites lagging behind the field.
The following is a look at a few teams that have provided the best return so far on the money line as well as a few that have been an early drain on the bankroll for MLB betting.
MLB Overall Trends
With 545 games in the books as of Tuesday night, the home team has won just 51.2 percent of those games, which does not say much for home-field advantage. When you factor in the money line for each of those games, wagering on the favorite has paid off 55.4 percent of the time.
Home teams that were favored on the money line have won 55.4 percent of their games while road teams that were favored have come through 55.5 percent of the time. So the early returns show no real advantage to playing a favorite at home verses on the road.
The Early Money Makers
It stands to reason that if a team is exceeding expectations on the field, it will also provide a solid return on the money line, especially as an underdog. That is why it is little wonder that the Baltimore Orioles have the best return on the money line at +1435. They are +405 at home and +1030 on the road.
Baltimore is currently tied for the lead in the AL East at 23-14 on the year. It has gone 12-9 at home and 11-5 on the road. The prospect for a continued positive return in the short-term looks good with a team that is fourth in the AL in runs scored and has a team batting average of .251 to go along with a pitching staff that ranked third with a 3.49 team ERA.
The big surprise in the National League so far has been the Los Angeles Dodgers, who currently lead the NL West by six games with an overall record of 24-12, which is currently the best in MLB. They are 16-4 at home and 8-8 on the road. This early success has translated to a total return of +1010 on the money line; +1104 at home and -94 on the road.
The Dodgers are another team that is geared up to remain profitable in the short term at least at home. An injury to Matt Kemp, who is off to a monster season with 28 RBI and 12 home runs, bears watching, but LA’s pitching has been some of the best in the league with a team ERA of 3.20.
The Early Drains
At the opposite end of the spectrum are a couple of teams that have woefully under-performed so far and it has had a major impact on their money line return. The obvious ones are the Philadelphia Phillies at -845 and the Boston Red Sox at -632, but these two teams are still proven winners and have the ability to snap out of their funk in a moment’s notice.
The team that has been the most costly to wager on so far has been the Los Angeles Angels. They have the worst return on the money line at -1290 and are equally as bad no matter where they play with a -518 return at home and a -772 return on the road. Through their first 37 games, the Angels are 16-21 overall; 10-9 at home and 6-12 on the road.
The problem with LA is the betting public has been taken in by the oddsmakers’ expectations for this team as a result of the acquisition of first baseman Albert Pujols and to a much lesser extent starting pitcher C.J. Wilson. Pujols is obviously off to a slow start, but as good as these two players are, it is hard to expect them to single-handedly turn this team’s fortunes around in 37 games. It is going to take some time, possibly the better part of this season, before all this talent comes together and starts to consistently win as a team.
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