MLB Futures Odds: Understanding Recent Betting Line Moves

Doug Upstone

Monday, April 20, 2015 6:57 PM GMT

All of us are affected by what goes on around us and that is no different for those placing MLB picks when reviewing the sportsbooks betting odds daily and looking at futures opportunities.

As the baseball season marches on, the early results have dramatically altered the MLB odds for who can win the World Series and we will delve into these changes, both good and bad as we look ahead.

 

MLB Teams on the Rise
The Kansas City Royals are the defending American League champions but honestly, the vast majority of bettors, experts and MLB baseball handicappers thought at least to a certain degree manager Ned Yost’s team got hot at the perfect time to reach this zenith and the off-season departures and a natural regression was imminent.

However, as we noted in spring training in Arizona, it was clear having achieved such success the confidence level from virtually every player we saw in camp was high and they belonged with the elite in the AL. Whether being chosen to be fourth in the AL Central coming off a 89-win season by numerous preseason publications fired them up or a combination of various factors, the Royals have started 9-3 (+5.9 units) and their margin of victory of 2.4 runs a game is second in the majors.

There is not much Kansas City is not doing right, tied for 1st in the big leagues for runs scored, fourth in the AL in ERA , (bullpen ERA is better a than different than No. 2 Houston) and they are tied for the fewest errors in the league. In trying to stay consistent, we found the Royals preseason odds at Bovada where they were 28-1 to win the Series and they have been cut more than half to 12-1.

Detroit was favored to win the AL Central again and based on their April efforts to this point, if you are making sports picks, you have to like their chances to repeat. The Tigers are 10-2 (+8.4) and have the finest run differential in baseball at +33. Most assumed Detroit would still score runs but their starting pitching has been incredible, with the AL’s best ERA and OBP allowed and they have gotten virtually nothing out of Anibal Sanchez (1-2, 7.72 ERA) and Justin Verlander is on the DL. The Tigers opened as 16-1 choice to win the Fall Classic and are down to 15-2. The last time Detroit started this fast was 1984, when they became World Series champions.

Honorable Mention – Yes, Colorado was swept by the Dodgers on the road this past weekend, but that will happen to several different teams this season. The Rockies were initially a real long shot at 150-1 and have tumbled to 50-1.

 

MLB Teams on the Slide
Despite being the defending champions, San Francisco’s starting pitching was iffy coming into the year, Hunter Pence on the sidelines meant a loss of power and it was an odd-numbered year for a squad that three titles in even-numbered seasons.

It looks like the only thing Giants fans will be to claim this season is what they have done in the past, because their 4-10 (-8) start has them buried in the NL West basement. San Fran is 27th in runs scored at 2.6 per game and their starting pitching ERA is 11th in the NL and 12th in OBP. Bruce Boche might be the best manager in the game, but you still have to have players.

Miami was supposed to be club on the rise, but for the second time in three years after spending money to improve their team, they have fallen flat like a Jennifer Aniston movie review at 3-10 (-8.6). The Marlins offense has not particularly good in averaging 3.8 RPG (20th overall), however, their starting pitching has been hideous with a 5.23 ERA (14th in NL). The starters cannot finish off opposing batters, having the fewest strikeout in the NL and when the bullpen is called upon, they have a NL-worst 4.91 ERA. Little wonder Miami has slipped from 33-1 to 50-1 to be the best team in baseball.

Dishonorable Mention – Milwaukee was good-sized MLB pick of 50-1 shot to start the year and they are up to 100-1 after beginning 2-10 (-9), the weakest start in franchise history.