- Midway through the Major League Baseball season four teams have earned double digit profits for their ‘financial backers’.
- Only one team has earned double digit units on the road.
- Understanding ‘profit and loss’ in a moneyline sport like baseball is essential to finding out which teams are overvalued and undervalued.
Most sports bettors understand the concept of a pointspread as well as knowing that teams that win a lot of games don’t necessarily perform well ‘against the number’. What is less well understood is that a similar dichotomy exists in a moneyline sport such as Major League Baseball (MLB). The use of the moneyline combined with the myriad of statistics available to the baseball handicapper creates an abundance of profitable betting concepts. Most of these are based on the concept of certain teams being overvalued or undervalued and to understand this you have to keep track of the ‘profit and loss’ during the MLB season.
In baseball, it’s not always the teams at the top of the standings that make money and the teams at the bottom that lose money. Winning teams are frequently overvalued and they’ll just tread water near breakeven or even lose money despite a record well above .500. Bad teams experience the opposite phenomenon—they’re undervalued and since they’re available at higher prices they can make a profit even with sub .500 record. This dynamic is often lost on the ‘recreational’ baseball player but is well known among ‘sharp’ handicappers.
I’ve always considered the use of profit/loss analysis as the fundamental component of baseball handicapping. It is a good way to understand the tendencies of each team as well as determining which teams are ‘overvalued’ or ‘undervalued’. As every experienced handicapper knows ‘finding value’ is the true goal of a successful sports bettor.
In this article, we’ll look at the Major League Baseball teams that have been the most profitable for bettors through July 1, 2021. We’ll consider overall performance as well as situational performance. In a subsequent article, we’ll look at the biggest money losers in baseball.
MOST PROFITABLE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAMS
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS +20.7 UNITS
For the astute bettor there are few situations more profitable than teams that enter a season with low expectation and defy them by winning. No team exemplifies that better than the San Francisco Giants. The Giants were expected to be a doormat this season. They were priced at 100-1 or higher before the season only to enter July with the best winning percentage in Major League Baseball (.625) at 50-30. Their performance has put +20.7 units in bettors’ pockets though they’re *still * not getting much respect as a legitimate World Series contender. At BetOnline.ag, they’re +1800 to win the World Series which makes them the eleventh overall choice. The Giants are the Majors’ second most profitable team at home (+13.4 units) with a record of 26-11. Their road record is just 24-19 but that’s good for +7.4 units of profit–third best among all MLB teams. At 36-21 against right handed starters they’ve earned +14.8 units–tops in the Majors. Against LHP, they’re just 14-9 but that’s still a profitable situation for the Giants (+5.9).
SEATTLE MARINERS +17.6 UNITS
The Seattle Mariners are another team that entered the season with very low expectations. They were +8000 to win the World Series at DraftKings before the season and looking at the current price at BetOnline.ag they’re just +7500. They haven’t shocked the world a la the San Francisco Giants but they have been a capable team with a 43-39 record. That’s a .524 winning percentage which puts them in third place in the AL West but one that has earned a nice ‘return on investment’ for their financial backers. Overall, the Mariners have earned +17.6 units. At home, they’re 24-16 representing a profit of +11 units–fourth best in baseball. They’ve got the #5 road profit/loss with +6.6 units of profit despite a 19-23 record. They’ve turned a profit against RHP but they’re the most profitable team in the Majors against southpaws–they’re 16-12 against left handed starters good for +9.9 units of profit!
BOSTON RED SOX +16.5
The Red Sox are invariably beloved by the ‘public’ but they limped into the 2021 season with out much hope of it turning out well. DraftKings priced them at +5000 to win the World Series back in February but heading into July they’re neck and neck with the San Francisco Giants for the best winning percentage in the sport (.622). At 51-31, they’re the third most profitable team overall at +16.5 units. They’re 27-17 at Fenway Park but that puts them just +4.4 units into the black. On the road, however, they’re 24-14 +12.1 units which puts them at the top of the Majors in this situation. They’re 17-11 +4.3 units against lefthanded starters and 34-20 +12.2 units against right handers (second best in MLB as of 7/1/21). The Red Sox are now a +1200 choice to win the World Series at BetOnline.ag.
HONORABLE MENTION: COLORADO ROCKIES
Overall, the Colorado Rockies are a ho-hum 35-47 for -5.2 units. DraftKings had them near the bottom of their preseason futures at +8000 to win the World Series and they’ve headed in the wrong direction since priced at +100000 currently. Despite this rampaging mediocrity, the Rockies are the most profitable team in Major League Baseball at home with a +18.4 unit profit from a record of 29-16. Unfortunately, that’s more than negated by the fact that they’re the worst road team in Major League Baseball at 6-31 for -23.6 units. Too bad they can’t play *all* their games at Coors Field.