Top Ten (Gambling) Takeaways from Baseball's Opening Weekend

Baseball Jul 27, 2020

Here's an incredible stat:  Through just three games, no major league baseball team is undefeated.  Also, every team has won at least one game.

That's right.  

All 30 teams are either 2-1 or 1-2 (except for the Dodgers and Giants which have played four games and are both 2-2).

Early on, this shortened MLB season looks to be a giant pool of parity and unpredictability.

Here are ten takeaways from opening weekend:

[10]  The Texas Rangers have a terrible offense – The Rangers have been a perennial scoring powerhouse for years, and explosive team capable of posting lots of runs, especially at home.  Combined with weak pitching, this makes them a popular OVER wager for many bettors, often with 10s and 11s as the game total. Yet, in their opening series in Arlington against Colorado, Texas put up just four total run in three games.  All three games went easily under the total.

[9]  Minnesota Twins scoring machine – The Twins have scored 27 runs in three games, the most of any team in baseball.  The Twins were expected to be a contender and if they get some pitching help, this could be a darkhorse pick in the AL to knock off the mighty Astros and Yankeees.

[8]  The Boston Red Sox leading the majors in hitting, but are just 1-2 – The Red Sox are hitting .298 as a team, which is a scorching percentage.  But they have lost 2/3 games.  Reason:  Bad pitching.  In their last two games, "outmatched" Baltimore scored 20 runs in Boston and stole both games as heavy underdogs.  

[7]  Baltimore Orioles starting off the season 2-1 – No one expected the Orioles to be competitive.  Every forecast had Baltimore at the last-place team in the stacked AL East (considered by many as the best division in baseball).  Now, Baltimore is in first place, alongside the Yankees and Rays.  It might not last, but for now, give the Orioles their due.

[6]  Miami Marlins starting off the season 2-1 – The Marlins were the second-worst team in baseball last year, and didn't do much in the off-season that would lead anyone to believe they'd be a winning team.  Yes, it's early.  But Miami not only took 2/3 games on the road at Philadelphia, they also scored plenty of runs.  Miami might be better than we figured and could be a solid live dog as the season progresses.  Note:  Breaking News--Miami has been hit by the COVID crisis and things are now less certain.

[5]  Lack of spectators may be giving road teams some value – Road teams have won slightly more than home teams, so far.  Usually, road teams are priced with some extra value.  So, this has been a nice payoff for bettors who has recognized the lack of fans might create "an even playing field" for the players.  We will see if this trend continues, but at least for now, home field isn't giving the host team any advantages.

[4]  Indians' Carlos Carrasco wins 1st start since leukemia diagnosis Okay, so this isn't team-related nor a gambling tidbit.  But let's give props to Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco, who not only won his first start since being diagnosed with cancer a year ago.  He also pitched a gem, striking out ten batters in six innings.  Wow!

[3]  Detroit Tigers starting off the season 2-1 – The Tigers were the worst team in the majors by a wide margin last year, and were expected to be just as bad in this shortened season.  The Tigers are outmatched in every phase of their roster.  Yet, they somehow took 2/3 games from the Reds in Cincinnati.  It's hard to foresee Detroit being competitive.  Nonetheless, this ranks as a big surprise.  

[2]  San Francisco Giants, as huge underdogs, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers twice – Most fans and gamblers have the LA Dodgers as the prohibitive favorite in the NL.  With four games at home versus the struggling rival Giants, this series was tailor-made for an early statement.  Credit the Dodgers for winning the first two games.  Then, LA's bats went silent.  Their base-running was laughable.  And, their pitching collapsed.  San Francisco, priced at more than +300 in both of the final two games of the series, won two in a row, shocking the Dodgers, and everyone.  Perhaps the Dodgers aren't as good as we thought.

[1] No undefeated or winless teams – It bears repeating.  Through just three games, no major league baseball team is undefeated.  Also, every team has won at least one game.  At least through opening weekend, this abbreviated major league baseball season looks to be a total crap shoot.


Headline Photo Credit:  Miami Herald