Say what you want about MLB interleague play, it could be the best kept baseball betting secret around.
The annual matchups between American and National League teams have produced an incredible return on investment if you simply took the Junior Circuit (AL) to beat the Senior Circuit (NL) each and every time out over the past 13 years.
The American League won the interleague battle every season during that time frame, boasting a collective 1,897-1,571 record versus the National League between 2004 and 2016. Blindly betting $100 on the AL team in these games would have made you $16,935 richer during that span.
This trend continues in 2017, with American League clubs holding a 34-21 edge over National League competition heading into Sunday’s schedule – good for $1,093 (if you bet $100 on all 55 interleague games so far).
The bulk of those long-term profits have come when the American League representative plays host to the National League. American League teams are 1,054-706 at home in interleague action the past 14 seasons, including an impressive 19-7 home record this year ($1,071).
Despite moneyline odds padded toward the home side in those matchups, AL clubs have stacked $12,283 in baseball betting profits in those contests since 2004. They’ve outscored their visiting NL foes by an average final score of 4.91-4.11 in those games, including a 4.46-3.26 average so far in 2017.
On the road, the American League is just 877-886 (.497) in National League parks in that same span – a far cry from its .599 winning clip at home – but has still turned up $5,775 in earnings for $100 bettors thanks to slimmer moneyline prices – many as a plus-money underdog. The American League has won by a slim margin, averaging a 4.28-4.03 final score in those road outings.
The lion’s share of those collective road interleague profits were won in 2012 when AL teams were 72-54 in NL parks ($2,385) and last season, when they went 83-67 on road in interleague ($2,217). Outside of those two years, the American League has won only $1,173 visiting the National League in the remaining 12 campaigns. This season, the AL is just 15-14 visiting the NL for a modest return of $22.
Looking back at the interleague records, the American League has produced a moneyline profit against the National League in all but three of the previous 16 seasons: 2004 (127-125 for -$360), 2011 (131-121 for -$343), and 2013 (167-133 for -$514).
The biggest windfall for American League backers came in 2008 when the AL smashed the NL 149-103 and banked $3,228 for anyone blindly betting $100 on that trend. Last year, interleague play produced a 165-135 edge for the Junior Circuit which panned out to $1,154 in cold hard interleague earnings.
The Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres are wrapping their interleague set on the South side Sunday, with the teams splitting the first two games of the series. Interleague action continues Monday, when the Toronto Blue Jays host the Atlanta Braves for two games before heading to Atlanta for a pair and the Houston Astros visit the Miami Marlins for a three-game set.