MLB Betting Against the Public 2011 Midseason Review Article — MLB Mid-Season Update — July 2011

The Major League Baseball All-Star Break is over — and as a leader in the sports betting information industry, Sports Insights is pleased to present an update on this season’s baseball season.  In this article, we’ll give an update on the performance of Sports Insights’ simple strategy of “Betting Against the Public” — and look at some of the best-performing and worst-performing teams this season.

Another good way of tracking the performance of the contrarian sports investing marketplace is to follow the Sports Insights Sports Investing Index.  The latest performance update for the Sports Investing Index is here.  The information on this site is for entertainment and educational purposes only. Use of this information in violation of any federal, state, or local laws is prohibited.

Betting Against the Public

Before the season started, Sports Insights’ researchers updated MLB results for “betting against the public” to include last season’s results.  This has been a good season for “betting against the public” — as evidenced by Sports Insights Square Plays — which have generated +32 units for this season, at the time of this writing.  Below, we show the results for “betting against the public” for this year’s MLB season, at mid-season:

Table 1: MLB and Betting Against the Public (2011 Season at All-Star Break)

Betting % Total
40 +4.2 units
30 +24.6
25 +18.4
20 +5.1

Some Notes

  • The table highlights the “sweet spot” of the range of “betting against the public” results.  
  • Again, results in the 20%-30% “bet against” range produced good results.
  • At the 20% level, results were profitable, although there were many fewer games.
  • These results match up with Sports Insights Square results , which have enjoyed a positive MLB season.

Best and Worst-Performing Teams at Mid-Season

Below are charts that list the best and worst-performing baseball teams this season.  It is always interesting to see which teams are near the top and bottom of results “against the spread” (ATS) — or in this case, based on “money line odds.”  Some takeaways from the charts:

  • You always need “value” when it comes to betting against the spread or money line odds.
  • The teams that appear on our lists have outperformed — or underperformed — relative to expectations.
  • Interestingly, the Philadelphia Phillies have earned their followers +12 units this season.  Although expectations are high for the Phillies, they have put together the best record in baseball this season.
  • Houston has the worst record in baseball this season — both in terms of winning percentage and ATS.  It will be interesting to see where they wind up by the end of the season.  On one hand, it appears that the Astros cannot be “valued” much lower — but on the other hand — teams still need to win games “outright” to make money in “money line sports.” 

     Table 2: Best-Performing “ATS” MLB Teams at Mid-Season

Team Units
Pittsburgh +14 units
Cleveland +13
Philadelphia +12
Arizona +12
Atlanta +8

     Table 3: Worst-Performing “ATS” MLB Teams at Mid-Season

Team Units
Houston -24 units
Colorado -17
Chicago (NL) -17
Oakland -16
Los Angeles (NL) -15

We do not guarantee that the trends and biases we’ve found will continue to exist. It is impossible to predict the future. Any serious academic research in the field of “market efficiencies” recognizes that inefficiencies may disappear over time. Once inefficiencies are discovered, it is only a matter of time before the market corrects itself. We do not guarantee our data is error-free. However, we’ve tried our best to make sure every score and percentage is correct.