Coming off Sunday night’s action during this Memorial Day weekend, the first quarter of the MLB regular season is now in the books, with all 30 teams logging at least 40 games. While some of the preseason favorites have already established a foothold at the top of their division race, there have been a few unexpected results, both on the field and at the betting window.
Using the current moneyline standings on Odds Shark, the following is Doc’s Sports first-quarter report card for a few of the best and worst performers in both the American League and the National League.
American League Winners
The biggest surprise of the early MLB season has to be the play of the Houston Astros in the AL West. Following Sunday’s 10-8 victory against Detroit as a plus-37 road underdog, they are 29-16 on the year with a 6.5-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels in the division. Bettors that have been along for the ride have profited with a positive $1,448 return on the moneyline betting odds. Houston is 13-9 this season as a favorite, and when it does close as an underdog, it has won 16 of 23 games.
Another team that has exceeded expectations both on the field and as a moneyline bet has been the AL Central’s Kansas City Royals. Following a 2-1 weekend series victory against St. Louis in an interleague matchup, they are three games ahead of both the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers in that division-title race with an overall record of 28-15. The Royals’ total return on the moneyline this season stands at a positive $1,183. They have gone 17-7 at home, which has added up to a $768 profit, and their record as an underdog this season is a healthy 11-5.
The Twins actually have a better overall return on the moneyline at a positive $1,231, and they have easily been the top moneymaker at home with a positive $953 return on a record of 14-6. This drops to $278 on the road, where they are slightly below .500 at 11-12.
American League Losers
The most costly team in the AL to wager on this season has been the Oakland Athletics, who are already buried in the AL West race at 13.5 games off the pace. Their unexpected record of 16-30 has been extremely tough on bettors with a minus-$1,485 on the moneyline. The A’s are just 11-22 this season when closing as favorites, and their record at home is a dismal 5-14.
Another costly AL team that has woefully underperformed on the moneyline so far is the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East. They are still in the thick of things in the standings at 4.5 games back behind a record of 20-26, but their current return stands at minus-$721. Most of their issues have come on the road with a record of 8-15. This has equated to a $624 loss on a moneyline wager.
National League Winners
The National League has gone much closer to chalk in the actual standings, with the Washington Nationals in the East, the St. Louis Cardinals in the Central and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the West all holding the lead in their respective divisions. When it comes to betting on these teams, the Cardinals have been the shining star with a positive $646 return. They are especially solid as favorites with a record of 22-11.
The Dodgers’ return on an overall record of 26-17 is just $19 given their 7-11 record on the road, and the Nationals' unexpected slow start has their total return up just $45. Washington has been an excellent team to go with lately, with a 19-5 record in its last 24 games.
The second-best return on the moneyline in the NL belongs to the San Francisco Giants. They are coming off a 2-2 split against Colorado this past weekend that cut into the numbers a bit with two losses as road favorites, but the Giants’ overall return is still a solid $636. They are 12-14 this season as favorites, but they have gone a profitable 13-6 when closing as underdogs.
National League Losers
The costliest team in the NL so far has been the Milwaukee Brewers with a negative $1,057 return on a moneyline bet. They have been almost as costly on the road (minus-$402) as at home (minus-$655), and they are well below .500 as both favorites (5-12) and as underdogs (11-17). The Brewers' overall record stands at 16-29, and they are 12.5 games behind St. Louis at the 45-game mark of the season.
The Miami Marlins had high expectations that they could compete with Washington for the NL East title this season, but that has not been the case with an 18-27 mark that has them 8.5 games off the pace in that division race. This nine-game swing below .500 has led to a costly $794 loss on a moneyline bet. The Marlins are 8-7 as underdogs, but that record drops to 10-20 when they close as favorites.