2021 Major League Baseball: Worst Teams to Bet On (Part 2/2)

MLB Jul 02, 2021

In the previous article, we looked at which baseball teams have been the best bets this season.  


In today's article, Part 2, we'll examine the opposite side of the gambling ledger and idenitify which teams have been the worst bets.

What follows is a chart listing all the teams in the majors according to their ROI. In other words, had you wagered $100 on every team in each game, how would all of the teams fare according to the overall investment?  This isn't simply about W-L records or standings.  Note that a losing team can actually be a very good ROI for bettors, and a winning team can lose money for its backers.  Profits and losses depend far more on teams either exceeding or falling short of oddsmakers' and public expectations.

Note:  All data is taken from EV ANALYTICS and is current as of 1 July 2021.

So, what does all this data mean?  First, only 13 teams have been profitable.  So, the majority of teams have lost money.  However, some teams have lost much more than others.

Here are some of the highlights, including a few surprises.

Based on odds and results from roughly 82 games completed per team, here are the WORST FIVE TEAMS TO BET ON so far this season:

#1 Worst Team – Arizona Diamondbacks ..... Arizona was expected to stink this season, but nobody thought the Diamondbacks would be this bad.  Rarely are last-place teams huge money losers overall because they're often given extra value by oddsmakers on the moneyline.  Since most bettors don't want to touch these horrid teams, they're sometimes given 10-20-30 cents more as underdogs in order to make them more appealing in hopes of balancing action.  However, this doesn't matter for the woeful D'Backs, who are 23-60, and a unfathomable 29 games out of first place – and it's not even the All-Star Break, yet!  Arizona has cost its backers a staggering -39.27 percent loss.  That's an almost impossible loss percentage to sustain.  Losing 73 percent of their games means Arizona would have to be getting about +225 on every bet in order to break even financially.  In the second half of the season, it will be interesting to see if Arizona becomes a value bet at some point in the season when they're priced at +300 or higher.  This would be the ultimate contrarian target wager.

#2 Worst Team – Minnesota Twins ..... It's a minor surprise to see the Twins listed here among the worst teams to bet on.  Not that Minnesota is a good team – they aren't.  In fact, the Twins are terrible.  They've cost their backers -23.67 percent in losses overall, a distant second to the Diamondbacks, but still worst in the American League.  Once suspects that Minnesota being 13 games under the .500 mark isn't the key reason the Twins have been a horrible bet in so many games.  Rather, it's probably because they play in such a weak division with at least three other dismal teams and thus have a better W-L record than is deserved due to a soft schedule.  Looking forward, the Twins will continue being a good fade, especially versus much better teams.

#3 Worst Team – Baltimore Orioles ..... Here's another team expected to be in the cellar and lived down to projections.  Well done, Orioles!  But even with a certain last-place finish (four teams in the AL East could end up with winning records) Baltimore has somehow managed to be even worse for sports bettors. They've crushed their backers, losing -22.58 percent overall.  Baltimore is a horrific -109 run differential, making them the worst team in the majors against the runline.  So, if and when you bet against the Orioles from now on, consider laying the extra -1.5 because Baltimore isn't even keeping their games close when they lose, which is often.

#4 Worst Team – New York Yankees ..... Here's the baseball bettors' strikeouts in pinstripes – the most overrated, most disappointing, underacheiving franchise, and it's not even open for debate anymore.  Huge payroll.  Monumental expectations.  And here were are a few days from All-Star weekend and the Yankees are 41-39 and lost in the abyss of fourth place.  In some cities, mediocirty is expected.  But when a team harvests its prospects and aggressively acquires free agents and then spends as much as the Yankess, one expects they'll be in contention.  We touted betting against the Yankees to make the playoffs a month ago at +380 and we love our wager right now.  These overpriced moneyburners have cost their sucker betters -15.89 percent overall this season. Keep on betting on New York, and keep on flushing money down the toilet. Whoosh!

#5 Worst Team – Atlanta Braves ..... Atlanta has won the division three consecutive years, but that won't happen in 2021.  In a very soft division, many thuoght Atlanta would overcome their slow start, but they haven't broken the .500 mark the entire season.  The Braves are disappointing in every phase, but noplace more than in sports betting circles, where they've destroyed their supporters to the tune of -15 percent in losses this year.  It Atlanta hasn't made a move by now, they probably won't.  This team will be a good fade the second half of the season since false hope will inflate some of the Atlanta game lines.