Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Bad Dogs Roll Over

I teased poor Rufus yesterday after he confessed to being a Baltimore Orioles fan:

Although he didn't take the bait, in all seriousness, the Orioles are not traditionally one of baseball's stronger teams. 

They're in a tough division, grouped with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, and in the 16 season history of the MLB database, only the Kansas City Royals have been priced at 3.00 or longer in more matches (and the Royals did manage to win a World Series in 2015).

As I've written before, baseball is a game where few teams are priced at -300 (1.33) or shorter, to be precise 192 times in the past ten seasons, and backing these short priced favourites is a profitable strategy, at least on the Money Line.

The public bias in play here is that they balk at the thought of laying 300+ units to win 100, but the evidence shows that these are value bets.

In a similar way, the market seems to have a bias which fails to accept that bad teams really are that bad.

Before the All-Star Break, this season's Orioles were far and away the longshot leaders, but does this translate into an edge? 

Last season, six teams were in double figures for games priced at +200 or longer before the All-Star Break, and the return on opposing them at these prices for the rest of the season was 8.2% (16.2% at home). In Divisional Home games, the returns were 16.8% and a massive 40.3% on the Run Line. 

Will this repeat in 2019? 

It's early days, but this season's qualifiers are again six teams, including the Orioles of course, and so far the ROIs on opposing these teams when +200 or longer is 18.3% (Money Line) 18.6% (Run Line). Too few selections yet in Divisional games to get excited about, but we're off to a good start.

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