It’s almost that time of the season in Major League Baseball. What time is that? The dog days, when teams that are in the race are trying to do anything that they can to win and those that are out of it are having a hard time making it to the end of their 162-game season.
This is the time when sports bettors can find real value in betting against certain teams such as those that lack the resources to win, those that have no reason to win, and those that don’t seem to care if they win. Those teams that are in a miserable downward spiral can put a smile on any sports bettor’s face as they lose series after series, going 2-4, 1-5 or even 0-6 for the week.
The Basics of Picking Late Season Losers
Here are some fundamentals when it comes to choosing which teams you’re going to bet against as the last 60 or so games play out.
- They should have a win percentage of .480 or below
- The team’s RF/RA needs to be -50 or worse
- Look for weak and worn down pitching staffs, especially tired starters
- Also, starters with high ERAs are preferred
- The more work that middle relievers have seen, the better for you
- Find teams whose closers have had few save chances
- If a team is moving talent to make way for youth, this is a very good thing
- If they are bringing guys up from the minors to get some innings in, that’s also good
2015 MLB Teams to Bet Against
There are various MLB clubs in both leagues that fit these criteria. Your best teams to bet against in the AL are the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, and Seattle Mariners. Teams that you may think are worth considering due to their winning percentage include the Oakland A’s (.454), Texas Rangers (.479), and Cleveland Indians (.479). However, all three have RF/RA differentials that are better than -50. Still, they are worth considering.
The Philadelphia Phillies are certainly the top pick in not only the NL, but all of MLB as far as losers are concerned. Their win percentage is .351 and their RF/RA is -152. You can probably blindly bet against them in every game and come out ahead, although this tactic is not recommended. The San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies also make the grade. Two teams worth considering due to their losing percentages are the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers, although their run deficits are no quite where you want them to be.
Do Your Research and Handicapping
This article is not intended to give you carte blanche in betting against the teams that we’ve determined are severely faltering. The teams that have been picked will, generally speaking, lose more games than they will win. With about 60 more games left in the season, they are likely to lose anywhere from 35 to 40 games each. Your best-case scenario for any team will have you winning 40 bets and losing 20, while your worst should yield you 35 wins and 25 losses.
The trick for you is in knowing how to make sure that you have the best edge possible when wagering, and the surest way to do that is to carefully handicap each game. Let’s face it there will be times when even the worst team sweeps another or wins eight to 10 straight. So focus on these MLB clubs that are struggling, but do so in a judicious manner by keeping up-to-date on each team.
Teams Crumble at This Points
Many MLB teams implode around this time of the season. That’s because they lack depth, especially when it comes to pitching, and no matter how much hitting they have they simply find it very tough to win. When betting on games, try to play the runline if possible. If that line seems too tight, then go with the moneyline.
Finally, look for times when these teams that are desperate for a win have a chance to take a game or two or to win within the runline. Being able to capitalize on those few wins, will really give your winning percentage a big boost. Whatever you do, do not simply wager against these clubs automatically. Even the Phillies will win about 15 of their final 60 games. One other important note, as the season goes on, the teams designated above will probably win an even lower percentage of their games than they did in the first part of the season. These are clubs in decline.