2019 MLB First Half Betting Recap & Second Half Stories
Well the first half of the 2019 MLB season I just about in the books and the baseball betting world can now spend the All-Star break either counting their profits or licking their wounds. Either way this is a time to take a breath, review results and formulate a strategy for 2nd half betting dominance.
There are no shortage of big names making big news in the league so far, along with many upstart players and teams making noise in 2019. Between Christian Yelich having yet another historically good season, betting favorites letting their backers down and the Yankees succeeding with ⅔ of their team spending time on the IL this year, there is a lot to be excited about so far this season.
With the task of formulating a solid betting strategy for the 2nd half, let’s take a look at some of the major takeaways from the first half of the MLB season and look forward at somehow some big stories will end in 2019.
Favorites (777-522) vs. Underdogs (522-840)
Taking a leap of faith and blind betting either favorite or underdogs in 2019 would have been a mistake on either side. Favorites went 777-522 (59.82%) for a net loss of 21.68 units (-1.3% ROI) with the underdogs not faring any better at 522-840 (38.32%) for a sickly -38.26 units (-2.9% ROI).
Take this as a lesson if you are one of the unfortunate ‘blind bettors’ who got burned this year. Last year’s results were no different for those thinking they just had bad luck. In the first half of 2018 favorites were 845-597 for a loss of -22.77 units and dogs were 597-845 for -36.82 units.
This just goes to show that you need to do daily matchup-based research and bet accordingly or you are just firing off shots in the dark.
Home Field Advantage Leads Bettors Astray
It’s no secret that public bettors severely overvalue home-field advantage, especially in baseball when compared to other sports. Surprisingly, the MLB has proven that home-field advantage actually accounts for very little when it comes to the outcome of a baseball game. Oddsmakers of course are aware of this and in turn shade the odds for home teams knowing full well that the public doesn’t care and will still bet these teams on the regular. Bad news for those public bettors as home teams got rolled over so far in the first half going 687-577 (50.43%), losing a gut wrenching -64.23 units for blind backers.
First Half Unders Dominated the MLB
The best side that bettors could have been on in 2019 so far have been wager on the under totals. On a whole under betting has a bit extra value because of the public’s infatuation with betting for big points, this creates heightened contrarian value on the under.
Blind betting every first half under would have returned at 51.40%-win rate for a profit of +24.78 units, which any sports bettor would be happy to take to the bank. Also, under bets seeing 42% or less of wagers with a closing line of 8 or up went a very strong (57.1%) and a massive betting overs, which creates some inflated contrarian value to go the other way.
Betting every first-half under produced a 720-658 record (52.2%) for a profit of almost 60 units.
Will Christain Yelich be a Back-to-Back MVP & Finally win the Triple Crown?
Yelich continues to be the best hitter in baseball this season and is truly showing no sign of slowing down. Sure, making the move to Milwaukee has helped him immensely, after only reaching double digit home runs twice in 5 years he has already smacked 46 in a season and a half with the Brewers. While he is currently the favorite to win the MVP again, can he become the first Triple Crown winner since Miguel Cabrera in 2012 and only the 2nd since 1967 when Carl Yastrzemski accomplished the mighty feat?
Well he currently sits 4th in BA (.328), 3rd in RBIs (67) and 1st in HR’s (31). There is plenty of time for the players above him in BA & RBIs to revert back to career averages and give Yelich a chance to make history. One thing to note if you are looking at betting futures this week. Yelich says that he will be participating in this year’s MLB Home Run Derby in Cleveland this upcoming Monday. Maybe wait a week after to place those bets, just in case, as the Home Run derby has been known to mess up a hitter’s swing midseason and lead to a bit of a July slump.
Can the Yankees Continue to win with Injuries still Piling up?
As of the writing of this article the Yankees (57-29) are 8.5 games up in the division on Tampa Bay and 3 games ahead of the Twins and Astros in the American League. While this might not be all that surprising given the Yankees winning tradition and stacked lineup, they have been struck by the injury bug harder than anyone else in the league this year. Currently there are 9 Yankees on the IL with Luke Voigt the latest Vitim after suffering an ab strain in London. The other IL members are
Miguel Andújar Out for season
Jake Barrett, Return TBD
Dellin Betances, Return in August
Jacoby Ellsbury, Return TBD (has not played since Nov 2017)
Ben Heller, Return in July
Jonathan Loaisiga, Return in July
Cameron Maybin, Return in July/August
Jordan Montgomery, Return TBD
Luis Severino, Return TBD
Troy Tulowitzki, Return TBD
Giancarlo Stanton. Return TBD
As bad as that all looks it really only tells half the story. See Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge, Jonathan Loaisiga, Gary Sanchez, Clint Frazier, James Paxton, CC Sabathia, Aaron Hicks, and Luke Voit have also all spend time on the IL this season. So pretty much every impact player aside from Brett Gardner and Aroldis Chapman has taken at least a 10-day break from the active roster in 2019.
And despite all of this, the Yankees continue to win, continue to hit and continue to get quality starts from their rotation. They recently broke the record for most consecutive games with a HR (28) and also hit a staggering 29 runs in their 2-game series vs the Red Sox in London. The Bombers sport a .663 winning percentage and sit an impressive 28 games above the .500 mark. One has to consider them World Series favorites at this point due to their thrilling performance with a Frankenstein lineup. The league best watch their asses when the Yankees finally get back to full strength just in time for the playoffs.
There is still plenty of time left in the 2019 MLB season with of betting left to be done. Be it game by game wagers, player or team props, or season specials we’ve got a lot of action yet ahead of us. Be sure to take advantage of our current promotion for new agents, refer your friends, and get started making money on the MLB and more. And keep an eye on this blog for weekly articles pointing you and your money in the right direction.