We have previously discussed some MLB teams that appear undervalued on the futures odds board, and now it is time to take a look at teams which may be overrated and not worth backing with our MLB picks.
Take a ride with me in my way-back machine, though we're not going way, way back in time. The destination is roughly four months ago in early November, shortly after the San Francisco Giants finished off a surprising sweep of the Detroit Tigers in the 2012 World Series.
It is then we see the Toronto Blue Jays priced at 35/1 in the initial offering of 2013 World Series odds at Bovada. Those numbers had the Jays behind teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates (30/1) and Chicago White Sox (28/1), and only slightly in front of the Miami Marlins (40/1).
Returning to the present, Toronto is currently listed in the 8/1 to 9/1 range at shops like The Greek and Bookmaker. Meanwhile, the Pirates and White Sox have dropped further back in the pack, and the Marlins are preparing to once again occupy the basement of the NL East.
Toronto may still hold some value for bettors at 8/1 to win the World Series, and just because Miami's odds have risen doesn't mean the Marlins have more value. We noted in a recent article discussing undervalued teams that only one club ultimately has value for a World Series bet, and I've never heard anyone complain about a +800 payoff. Each individual bettor has their own definition of value, and if you ask the folks setting the odds, all 30 teams make for value bets right now.
Still, much of the value in the Blue Jays has evaporated since the blockbuster trade with Miami that shifted Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Emilio Bonifacio from South Beach north to Canada. Toronto also added 2012 NL Cy Young winner RA Dickey in a trade from the Mets, plus signed free agent OF Melky Cabrera.
Buehrle and Reyes were two big addition Miami made before last season when the Marlins expected to contend for the Fall Classic. We all know how that ended. The Fish weren't the first team to go on a wild offseason spending spree only to fail in the end, and the Jays, who are attempting to stop a 19-year playoff drought while competing in the tough AL East division, won't be the last if they fall short.
Speaking Of The Blue Jays & The AL East
Toronto is the favorite to end that playoff drought and win the American League East at +170 according to the latest odds at Bookmaker. If early wagering returns are any indication, however, bettors are seeing more value in the New York Yankees.
Nearly 37% of the bets have been on the Yankees at +245, and we can certainly chalk some of that up to the public nature of the Bronx Bombers. It's easy to call the Yankees overvalued most of the time, even at nearly 5/2 to win another division title. New York was a -150 selection last April when the season started, and the Yanks followed through with the crown and their 51st postseason appearance.
The Blue Jays represent 26.3% of the action currently, followed by the Baltimore Orioles (+700, 21.1%), Tampa Bay Rays (+320, 10.5%) and Boston Red Sox (+650, 5.3%).
How Much Value Is There In A Freeway Series?
Outside of the roster overhaul the Blue Jays experienced this past winter, the biggest noise was made on the West Coast where the Tinseltown teams split the two biggest free agent pickups. Both LA teams have made major upgrades in the last two seasons, and there is a lot of buzz for a Freeway Series as we enter the 2013 season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers deepened their rotation by signing Zack Greinke to a new contract, and will get to start the campaign with the big wad of talent acquired in the middle of last summer. Current odds list the Dodgers and Washington Nationals neck-&-neck to win the National League in the 7/2 to 4/1 range. Early betting at Bookmaker has both are a little overvalued as the San Francisco Giants (+770), Cincinnati Reds (+540) and Philadelphia Phillies (+830) are all drawing more individual wagers.
Down I-5 in Anaheim, the Angels added Josh Hamilton to the lineup, a move that not only gives their batting order more pop but also steals a huge piece of lumber from the rival Texas Rangers. The Halos are at the top of the odds to win the American League with a +345 price at Bookmaker, but almost twice as many gamblers are placing their MLB picks on the Tigers at +425.
Join us this weekend when we take a look at ballpark effects with discussions on the best venues for hitters and the friendliest for pitchers.