Can the Oakland Athletics Continue to Profit for Bettors in 2020?

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP

ESPN wrote an article on, “The Top Five Best MLB Franchises to Bet on Over the Past 20 Seasons.” The team that has been the most profitable has been the Oakland Athletics. The money ball machines. Because of course!

If you bet on the Oakland Athletics in every single regular-season game, you’d be up 68.19 units.

The St. Louis Cardinals profited bettors 51.46 units while the Los Angeles Angels wound up profiting bettors 48.36 units in the last 20 years.

The Texas Rangers (34.64 units) and the Atlanta Braves (19.22 units) were fourth and fifth on the list of MLB teams that were the most profitable in the last 20 years.

The question remains, can the Athletics continue this type of streak for bettors this season.

The A’s Will Be Profitable in 2020

Part of the reason why the Athletics are profitable is that they’ve been overlooked throughout the last 20 seasons. The A’s won 97 games last season and had the 5th best run differential in the MLB at +165. Yet, we continue to talk about how great the Yankees, Twins, Dodgers, Astros, and Braves are.

Those teams are so good that they’re often overvalued by some of the best oddsmakers. The A’s always put together a solid roster of players that usually over-perform thanks to their analytical team. The A’s had the best defense in the league last season and have watched the emergence of Jesus Luzardo who was a potential rookie of the year candidate last season. 

Of course, the A’s can’t win 97 games this season due to a shortened schedule. But that shortened schedule could benefit the Athletics more than hurt. The Athletics have a pitching staff that has plenty of upside. These are guys that are promising but haven’t shown their full potential just yet.

The young staff includes Sean Manaea, Luzardo, and A.J. Puk, who might be healthy enough to help the Athletics out this season. These pitchers will absolutely appreciate the defense behind them.

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP

If this team can save runs and stay near the top in runs scored, the Athletics will be dangerous in 2020. The A’s were 8th in the MLB in runs and clobbered home runs at a solid rate. They were fifth in home runs in the MLB last season. There are potentially six bats in the A’s lineup that can hit 10 or more home runs, which would be pretty fantastic.

Players like Matt Chapman and Matt Olson don’t get the love that they’ve deserved. Both hitters smacked 36 homers last season and had 91 RBI’s. Olson’s averaged was a tad better but these two guys in the lineup, plus Kris Davis, who can be a bit streaky, should be enough for bettors to see profit from the A’s. 

It should be noted that in a 60-game season a starter will likely pitch 12 or 13 starts on the season. If they’re able to pitch Luzardo and Puk in 24-26 games, the A’s should be in very good shape. Luzardo and Puk are two of the top prospects in the game and as long as Puk is healthy, the A’s will be in solid position to win games with young studs pitching two of five.

The AL West also features teams like the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers who are likely going to have poor seasons this year. The Athletics will have tough battles against the Angels and Astros but will be able to scrape out multiple games against those teams as well.

Along with their division, the Athletics will likely get a small dose of the NL West which includes the Padres, Rockies, Giants, Diamondbacks, and the Dodgers. The A’s project to be better than all of those teams but the Dodgers this season.

The A’s continue to be undervalued yet they continue to perform. The analytics prove how valuable an MLB pick this team actually is with their superb defense, timely hitting, young pitching studs, and players who play with a chip on their shoulder.