Why has winning at home become so difficult for some teams? We take a look at the struggles some are having and what it’s costing bettors playing them on the MLB odds.
Halfway into the 2017 Major League Baseball campaign, only two teams are really killing it on their home fields (note: all records as of Friday). That would be the Los Angeles Dodgers (33-11) and Arizona Diamondbacks (30-12), who are in a battle at the top of the NL West standings.
Following the Dodgers or D-Backs in their home stadiums is paying off handsomely for baseball bettors, LA up 14.2 units against the MLB odds at Chavez Ravine while Arizona is +15.5 at Chase Field. A few other sides in the AL, such as Boston (25-14), New York (24-13) and Houston (25-17) are also sending their fans home happy more times than not, but in the case of the Astros, they’re making most of their money on the road (29-9, +16.9 units).
Many other teams, including a few contenders for division titles and the playoffs, aren’t getting it done on their home fields.
Could There Be A Geographical Explanation?
If there’s one noticeable trait the biggest offenders share, it’s their location on the Lower 48 map – the three biggest slackers on their home diamonds are located in the north-central section, two of them at the top of the AL Central. Cleveland owns a 1½ game lead over Minnesota, and neither team has been able to win at home with the Indians 18-21 and Twins 16-25. Cleveland and Minnesota recently had a home-&-home series a week apart and promptly pulled off road sweeps, the Indians taking four in Minneapolis and the Twins returning the favor at Progressive Field soon after.
Kansas City has been climbing in the division race, but the Royals themselves haven't had much of an advantage at Kauffman with a 21-18 record. A very crucial weekend series looms for the Royals and Twins in KC, Bookmaker listing the Royals -120 for Friday’s series opener. Got to like the Royals to win this set and for the Twins to begin to fade while the Indians take control of the division.
Homer-Happy Brew Crew Can’t Shake Inconsistent Cubbies
One of the biggest reasons why Milwaukee hasn’t already left the defending champion Chicago Cubs in their dust in the NL Central race is the Brewers can’t win regularly at Miller Park, where they’re 21-22 and practically level in the ROI column. They did post a 4-3 record in their last homestand, however, and have a chance to improve on that overall mark with an upcoming stand against the Marlins and Brewers.
One thing to keep in mind about those games if the Brewers are part of anyone’s free baseball pick is they could be in something of a look-ahead spot. Milwaukee has a quick little 4-game road trip next week leading into the All-Star break, the journey beginning with makeup game at Wrigley against the Cubs before going to New York to face the Yankees.