What's Going on with Baseball Underdogs?

MLB May 07, 2021

What's going on with underdogs in Major League Baseball this season?

So far, they're killing it.

Or perhaps we should say, they're killing bettors who wager on the favourites.  Or translated another way, the dog bettors have been getting rich.

Look at the numbers since April 1st, which was the start of the 2021 season.  To date, betting every single underdog team across the board in every game would have produced a whopping +56.20 unit profit (flat betting $100 per play on every dog = plus $5,620.).  That's unbelievable, but true.

These pups have even gone 207-228 outright.  That's close to a break even record on dog prices that range from +105 all the way up as high as +340.

Yesterday, was yet another winner for the dogs.  The biggest barker on the board was the Houston Astros, which upset the heavily-favoured New York Yankees and won outright, 7-4.  Okay, so that's just one game of many.  But it illustrates what's been happening far more than was expected this season.

Why are Dogs Barking? A Few Theories:

What accounts to these crazy return-on-investment numbers on dogs?

Some possibilities and/or a combination of thereof include:

-- pure random chance

-- popular teams projected to do well this season (NY Yankees, LA Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, and Atlanta Braves – each forecasted at 89+ wins) aren't winning as much as expected

-- disrespected teams projected to do poorly this season (Kansas City, Seatle, San Francisco, and even Baltimore) are playing much better than their odds indicate

-- odds values baked into underdogs...keep in mind that even the worst teams in baseball are going to win 35 to 40 percent of games so when they are heavy dogs, they could be overlays in terms of actual chances to win

Will this Trend Continue?

Who knows?

So far, the dogs show no signs of letting up.  Certainly, oddmakers haven't made many adjustments as six teams on Friday are priced at -150 or higher.  At worst, it seems betting on dogs will return to the mean, which will slowly evaporate profits betting them across the board.  But there's no indication this is going to happen overnight, unless one things the first six weeks and the results have simply been a statistical abberration (in other words, an accident, or random chance).

Grand Salami for Dogs

Accordingly, we'll stay on this party train for one more day and pick every underdog for Friday's MLB schedule – a sort of Grand Salami for dogs.  That will be the "Bet of the Day," (YTD: 43 wins/27 losses/2 pushes) wagering one unit on each of the following puppies:

GRAND SALAMI FOR DOGS (play 1 unit on every underdog)