When Albert Pujols signed a ten-year deal with the Angels this offseason worth a whopping $254 million, fans and analysts alike forecasted that Los Angeles would cruise to the top of the AL West standings. Ditto for Prince Fielder who, after signing a nine-year, $214 contract with Detroit, figured to team with Miguel Cabrera for the best one-two punch in baseball.
Pujols has hit just two home runs, and the Angels are already seven games back of the Rangers with a 17-21 record. On the flip side, the Tigers are a game below .500 despite respectable production from their new first baseman (.293, 5 HR, 20 RBI). In fact, both of these teams have been amongst the best teams in baseball to bet against.
We’re now over a month into the season and five teams’ early-season struggles have provided significant value for contrarian bettors.