We’re through April in the 2019 baseball season, which means now is a good time for reflection for MLB betting enthusiasts. We took a look back through the numbers to see which squad was the most profitable to bet on, which was the best for over and under, and which was the best to bet against. Here’s a look at stats through April:
Most Profitable Team: Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins were predicted with just 78 wins in this regular season, suggesting to baseball futures betting fans that they’re supposed to finish below .500. That’s what makes their 17-10 start all the more surprising. They’re atop the American League Central division and had you been betting $100 on them each night, you’d be up $820, or 8.2 units.
Their lineup wasn’t expected to have much pop but they are tied for the lead the league in OPS (.820) with four players at .886 or better. They have 50 home runs as a team – fourth-best in the majors – with six players hitting at least five homers.
The Twins have also benefited from a bit of a soft schedule as they are 10-4 versus teams with a losing record. Although they are 7-6 against teams with a winning record, they’ve been sizable underdogs in those wins, producing a healthy 3.8 units in those 11 contests.
Least Profitable Team: Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox have struggled mightily out of the gate. Through the first month of the season, the defending World Series champs were tied for the third-worst record in the American League at 13-17.
The Red Sox were so highly thought of heading into the season. That’s why a lot of those losses are going to sting for bettors who back them. If you’d bet $100 on them each night this season, you’d be down 14.4 units ($1440) already.
Their starting rotation has struggled as Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello all have WHIPs of 1.40 or higher. The Red Sox are paying Sale $30 million this season and have lost every single one of his six starts this season, getting outscored 40-15 in the process. He was 29-12 in his starts for Boston over the last two seasons.
A lot of people are banking on a turnaround and this team is more than capable. They’ve now won seven of their last 11 and appear to be trending in the right direction.
Best Over Bet: Seattle Mariners
The Mariners have been one of the biggest surprises of the season. They started 13-2 and one big reason was their offense. Nobody figured they’d be leading the league in home runs (60) at the end of April while scoring 15 more runs than the second-best team. We’re talking about a team that was 21st in runs last season, averaging just 4.2 per game. Now they’re at 5.9.
What’s also helped push their games over is the fact that their pitching staff has underwhelmed. They’re allowing opponents to bat .265 on the season, which is the fifth-worst mark. They’ve allowed 176 runs in 32 games, or 5.5 runs per game. That means their games have averaged a combined score of 11.4 runs per night -- helping explain their 21 overs, compared to seven unders and three pushes.
Keep a close eye on this team, though, as we could see a slew of upcoming unders. They’ve scored 66 runs in their past 16 games (4.1 per game) but keep in mind that 25 of them came in two contests. That means Seattle is averaging just 2.8 in its other 13 games.
Best Under Bet: Cincinnati Reds
The Reds were the best under bet in the first month of the season and they have a listless offense to thank for that. They’ve scored just 109 runs this season in 29 games but 14 of them came in one contest. That means they’re averaging a paltry 3.4 runs per game in their other 28 contests.
While that side of the team has struggled, the pitching has been on-point. The Reds have the fourth-best ERA in the majors at 3.39. Their starting rotation has two pitches with WHIPs under 1.00 (Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray) and the bullpen has been asked to work just 97 innings, the fifth-fewest in the National League.
Add it all up and that explains why Cincinnati has played plenty of unders -- 21 in all, to seven overs and one push.