Coming into the MLB season most teams and all bettors had and have expectations and it’s those expectations that set the betting market. Nothing more and nothing less in baseball, other than perception and how much you’re willing to pay for it. Baseball is by far the one sport that the money really shouldn’t effect your handicapping.
Believe it or not we’re almost 10% through the season, and the four most profitable teams to date are teams most people would typically have been betting against from the get-go, and none of them had any public expectations, only the ones in the clubhouse.
At the top of that list is Arizona, a team most pegged for last in the NL West. They’re also the highest scoring team in baseball at this point, and now that the public realizes that they’re a viable team to bet on, it’s too late. What will inevitably happen is that they’ll regress to the mean and people will be paying more for it as they slide back down too earth. Here’s the deal – they’ve been a favorite only three times this season, and barely. On Wednesday night that made four with Grienke on the mound, and on the ROAD. That’s a massive swing for a team who’s season win total was 77 games, or under .500. So, if you’re coming to the D-Backs party please be careful, or caveat emptor.
Behind Arizona on that list are the Reds, who nobody picked to win anything after losing Bruce. Their season win total was 70, from memory. Then we get to Colorado who is the third most profitable team and they’ve been pegged as a .500 team in terms of win totals. They started off so well that they went off as -160 favorites to the Padres and lost 6-0. Then we get to Milwaukee, and you can clearly see the pattern. None of these team will be there “later” and jumping on the horse NOW is probably going to be too late.
We can make the reverse argument for teams that have been the most costly to date. In reverse order they are:
Toronto (by a mile)
Los Angeles Dodgers
All of those teams were very public and expected to do well. The Jays always hit (or do they). The Giants always have a great bullpen (until this season). The Dodgers won the NL West last season! Cleveland was in the World Series. The Cubs WON the World Series!
Those are the points! They all do SO well it’s hard to get much better. So, although their W/L records might not indicate it (Toronto’s does) it’s just been very costly to bet ON them. However, now that things are probably settling in a bit, these are going to be the teams you want to get ON before the value is gone, again.
I ask myself almost daily if I am “too late to the party” before jumping on a team that’s been over achieving, or shying away from one that’s been losing more than we thought they would. That’s where the value is, and being late to the party is what the books COUNT on and why they have more money than most bettors.