MLB Mid-Season Report (July 2008)

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The All-Star Break provided the time needed to create this years MLB Mid-Season Report — see how our sports investing strategies have performed so far this MLB.

Highlights of the 2008 Baseball Season

  • Tampa Bay has been a pleasant surprise for the baseball world.  The D-Rays played .600 ball for most of the first-half until a 7-game losing streak sank them to .585 — and 1/2 game behind the Red Sox at the All-Star Break.  Tampa Bay has a lineup that includes three batters on target to hit around 30 HRs and a solid staff with 4 starting pitchers whose ERA’s are below 4.00 — led by Scott Kazmir’s sparkling 2.69 ERA.
  • New York, New York.  The Yankees and Mets have had eerily similar seasons.  Relatively deep into the season, these highly paid teams had surprisingly sub-par records, with a combined record several games below .500.  First, the Yankees, and then the Mets — got red hot — and ended the first half in the thick of their respective pennant races.  The Mets are 1/2 game behind the first-place Phillies while the Yankees are 6 games behind the Red Sox.
  • NL West = NL Less.  When was the last time that a division winner finished the season below .500?  This year, the NL West pennant winner may accomplish this lowly feat.  Right now, Arizona and the LA Dodgers are fighting it out for 1st place — and both teams are below .500.  Ouch!
  • The Chicago Cubs look like they have a serious shot of ending their World Series drought.  They are playing .600 ball and lead all of baseball with a +106 run differential.  The Cubbies’ may end the season with 6 batters hitting more than 20 HRs and have 4 batters on target for more than 30 HRs.  Their starting staff is led by Zambrano, Dempster and Ted Lilly — all of whom have either 9 or 10 wins.
  • The LA Angels are an interesting story.  They are tied with the Cubs for the best record in baseball, but their +21 run differential hints that they might be overachieving.  Or does solid pitching and a great reliever mean winning most of the close games?
  • Josh Hamilton has an amazing 95 RBIs at the All-Star Break for the Texas Rangers.  The Rangers have baseball’s best offense this season and are projected to score almost 1100 runs.  Too bad they are giving up more runs than they score!

Sports Investing

And now, on to the “important stuff” (at least for SportsInsights and members).  Overall, it’s been a good year in baseball for sports investors.  At, we have earned about +30 units for our subscribers.  Last year at this point in the season, we were at just under +25 units.  Pretty solid consistency.  On Sides, we have won about 47% of our picks, mostly on underdogs.  In Totals, BettingCharts has been successful in almost every sports season since inception.  Below are some other mid-season tidbits for sports investors:

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.