Which MLB Divisional Futures Are Offering Value?

Earlier this month, the offshore sportsbook BetOnline posted odds for all six division winners. The Chicago Cubs opened as the odds-on favorite (-500) to win the NL Central, while the Cleveland Indians opened as massive chalk (-350) to win the AL Central.

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These are obviously two of the best teams in baseball, but Cleveland’s short odds also speak to the lack of competition in their division. For comparison, the Red Sox have shorter odds of winning the World Series than the Indians, but Boston’s only listed at -145 to win their division. In fact, the odds of either the Twins (+2000) or White Sox (+4000) winning the AL Central are extremely low.

Several weeks ago, FanGraphs released their projected standings for the entire league. This contained the expected win-loss record, playoff probabilities and divisional probabilities for all 30 teams. These forecasts utilize several different systems such as Steamer, ZiPS, and staff playing time estimates to project the 2017 MLB season. By comparing these projections with the divisional odds from BetOnline, we’re able to see which teams are being overvalued and which are being undervalued according to the FanGraphs projections.

The table below compares the latest divisional odds from BetOnline and the divisional probabilities from FanGraphs.

AL East

Team Odds Implied FanGraphs
Boston Red Sox -145 59.2% 59.7%
Toronto Blue Jays +350 22.2% 21.9%
New York Yankees +650 13.3% 5.0%
Baltimore Orioles +800 11.1% 5.6%
Tampa Bay Rays +1000 9.1% 8.1%

AL Central

Team Odds Implied FanGraphs
Cleveland Indians -350 77.8% 86.0%
Detroit Tigers +450 18.2% 10.2%
Kansas City Royals +900 10.0% 2.0%
Minnesota Twins +2000 4.8% 1.6%
Chicago White Sox +4000 2.4% 0.1%

AL West

Team Odds Implied FanGraphs
Houston Astros +105 48.8% 61.0%
Seattle Mariners +300 25.0% 11.3%
Texas Rangers +325 23.5% 11.5%
Los Angeles Angels +900 10.0% 13.2%
Oakland Athletics +2500 3.8% 3.0%

NL East

Team Odds Implied FanGraphs
Washington Nationals -150 60.0% 67.9%
New York Mets +170 37.0% 27.8%
Miami Marlins +1600 5.9% 3.7%
Atlanta Braves +2000 4.8% 0.4%
Philadelphia Phillies +3300 2.9% 0.3%

NL Central

Team Odds Implied FanGraphs
Chicago Cubs -500 83.3% 85.3%
St. Louis Cardinals +700 12.5% 11.4%
Pittsburgh Pirates +850 10.5% 3.1%
Milwaukee Brewers +8000 1.2% 0.1%
Cincinnati Reds +10000 1.0% 0.0%

NL West

Team Odds Implied FanGraphs
Los Angeles Dodgers -185 64.9% 79.0%
San Francisco Giants +225 30.8% 19.3%
Colorado Rockies +1000 9.1% 0.9%
Arizona Diamondbacks +1800 5.3% 0.8%
San Diego Padres +15000 0.7% 0.0%

Interestingly, there are two favorites that are still being undervalued by oddsmakers; the Houston Astros (+105) and Los Angeles Dodgers (-185). Based on the latest odds, there’s a 48.8% implied probability that the Astros will win the AL West and a 64.9% implied probability that the Dodgers will win the NL West. Based on FanGraphs projections, those odds should be -156 and -376, respectively.

It’s also important to note that these props take fairly low limits, and bettors would need to wait nearly six months to get paid out. For that reason, I would not recommend placing a wager on this prop bet — especially given the small payout on these divisional favorites.

Looking for real-time odds, public betting trends, futures and injury updates throughout the upcoming season? Make sure to bookmark our free MLB odds page.

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David Solar

David Solar is the Content Manager at Sports Insights. He specializes in sports betting analytics and creating data-driven betting systems. He can be reached directly at david@sportsinsights.com or on twitter at @TheDavidSolar.

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