Sharps often pass on the Major League Baseball All-Star Game (Fox, 7:30 p.m.) because it’s such a crapshoot. VSiN’s Wes Reynolds already covered options and strategies in Tuesday’s special feature, so let’s devote “Bet Smart” to studying teams that were money-making All-Stars in the first half of the 2019 season.
Here are those that have won the most money for their backers according to the standings page at covers.com (based on a $100 bet on that team in every game at prevailing money-line odds).
Twins +$1,633: Many sharps expected the up-and-coming Twins to make a run at an American League wild-card spot. The Over/Under on their regular-season win total was in the range of 84-85 victories. Minnesota was supposed to be better than .500. It wasn’t supposed to be 17 games over .500 at the break. The Twins are priced close to pick ’em so often their straight up record almost matches the money.
Rangers +$1,616: Nobody in the market saw this coming. The consensus of respected influences amounted to an expectation of 71-91 this season. Even bettors who liked the Over weren’t thinking the Rangers were going to be in the thick of the wild-card race this deep into the season.
White Sox +$1,223: There was some offseason buzz about the Sox this spring. They were likely to rise above doormat status (62-100 last year) to show signs of a promising future. How about a promising present? Chicago isn’t likely to be a wild-card contender in 2019, but has turned a 42-44 record into a big profit because too many keep waiting for the balloon to burst.
Yankees +$1,194: VSiN often has discussed how difficult it is to make money backing media darlings in major markets. Money lines typically rise so high that betting value comes from fading the hype. That’s not the case so far with the 2019 Yankees (similar to the profit performance of the 2018 Red Sox). They continue to light up the scoreboard while cashing tickets. Though, it’s worth remembering it took a 57-31 record (26 games over .500) just to make a little less than a dozen units (or $1,200, counting $100 bet per game as the unit).
Let’s stop here to note that the first four money makers are all from the American League. Part of the issue is that the market took so long to realize how bad many AL tankers have been (more on that next time).
Dodgers +$1,128: The Dodgers and Yankees are basically running parallel seasons on different coasts. Los Angeles had to go 60-32 (28 games over .500) to pick up a bit more than 11 units. Sharps have taken notice of the Dodgers’ incredible 37-12 home record, and that they’re dominating the superior league (NL is 89-73 in interleague play this far).
Braves +$1,123: This was supposed to be a regression year after the Braves “lucked” their way to the NL East crown last season. Surprise! Atlanta is now a heavy favorite to repeat. The Braves are up just over 29 units since the start of 2018.
Today we talked riches, tomorrow the rags.