The baseball landscape is about to change in a big way, as we near September and the usual September call-ups that take place. Some of the minor league players who get called up when rosters expand will get a good, long look to see what they do at the Major League level. Those called up by teams in hunt for a playoff berth are more likely to see pinch-hitting duty or enter the game late as a defensive replacement if that’s there forte.
It’s also a time bettors need to pay attention, since no matter how bad the big league team is, it’s still going to be better than the AAA squad and a team that is playing a number of its kids doesn’t figure to be a very good wager.
There are several situations bettors should be looking for and we’ll cover a few of them.
September Large Favorites
This is one of those trends that I’ve talked about for several years, but still have a tough time pulling the trigger on personally – and that’s the large favorite. Andy by large favorite I’m not referring to a -160 favorite, which I can’t even pull the trigger on, but the really big favorites of -250 or more. Between 2014 and 2018 September favorites of -250 or greater have gone 90-19 (82.6%) good for an RIO of 10.9%. But why stop there?
Favorites of -280 and greater are 51-9 (85%) and show an 11.4% ROI and favorites of -350 and higher have gone 14-1 (93%) and yielded an ROI of 18.8%.
Away favorites aren’t going to be nearly as profitable as our large favorite category, naturally, as there are many more plays, but September away favorites the last five years have shown a 418-290 record and a modest .9% ROI. That’s nothing to get excited about, but it is one of those trends you don’t want to buck, as playing all the September home underdogs the past five years would have yielded an ROI of -5.8%.
Away favorites off a win have done a little better with an ROI of +1.9% and those road favorites who have at least two wins have done even better with an ROI of 2.9%, while the ROI in going against these teams is -8.5%.
Fading Really Bad Teams
When you reach September, teams have played more than 130 games and even the bad teams, such as Pittsburgh and Seattle have won 56 games. But the really bad team, such as Baltimore, Detroit and Miami are likely to enter September with less than 50 wins. Betting against teams with fewer than 55 wins in September has yielded a 92-57 record and an ROI or 3%, while betting against these teams when they’re home underdogs has led to a 39-22 record and an ROI of 8%.