MLB betting: Four teams that fight to the finish
The two sides of the MLB schedule are about as opposite as black and white, hot and cold, Guillen and Maddon.
The games that follow the All-Star break are of a different breed. Factor in the grind of the 162-game schedule, scorching temperatures, a sudden rash of injuries, mass panic of the playoff race, and the second half of the MLB season makes April, May and June look like soft toss.
Some clubs crumble under the pressure, while other rise to the challenge.
It’s no surprise top-tier teams like the Philadelphia Phillies (36.61 units won after the All-Star break since 2007), New York Yankees (21.52 units), and Texas Rangers (13.59 units) have been the best bets after the break. However, wagering on these highly-taxed teams can burn you with one bad week (ie: Boston Red Sox -23.95 units after All-Star break since 2007).
Here are some other clubs, not among the World Series favorites, that have consistently made coin in the second half of the schedule:
Toronto Blue Jays (187-170 for 18.78 units after the All-Star break since 2007)
Depending on the Canadian-US exchange rate, the amount on money made on Toronto after the break can differ. But one thing is for sure, the Jays will pack your bankroll in the late summer months. Toronto has been in the black in all but one season following the break, including a solid 10.68 units down the stretch in 2010. The Blue Jays have been hit hard by injuries to their rotation this season but could make another last-minute push if those arms return in time.
Houston Astros (172-184 for 17.43 units after All-Star break since 2007)
How in the world can a team go below .500 and still make a bundle for bettors? Ah, the wonders of baseball betting. The Astros have been bad for a while, consistently giving them beefed up moneylines, especially when the club has nothing to play for in August and September. In 2008, Houston went a silly 42-24 in the back nine of the schedule, earning 23.91 units. Two years ago, it finished 40-33 after the break for 15.94 units. This year’s version limped into the All-Star hiatus with one win in their last 11 games and dealt star Carlos Lee to the Marlins.
Arizona Diamondbacks (186-169 for 14.93 units after the All-Star break since 2007)
The D-backs won the bulk of those units last summer, with a staggering 45-25 record following the break which stole the National League West crown and earned Arizona backers 18.36 units. The Desert Snakes had a similar finish in 2007, going 43-29 in the second part of the slate for 15.23 units. Arizona finished the first half of the 2012 schedule in style by sweeping the Los Angeles Dodgers and are currently five games out of the NL wild card and four back of the Dodgers in the division.
Tampa Bay Rays (194-168 for 11.70 units after the All-Star break since 2007)
Despite winning the American League Pennant in 2008, the Rays remain one of the best under-the-radar clubs in baseball – HT goes to the Yankees and Red Sox for hogging all the headlines in the AL East. Tampa Bay went 42-26 following the break in 2008, bringing in 15.22 units, and was 42-30 in the second half for 10.68 units last summer, sneaking past Boston to snag the AL wild card. The Rays, in classic form, are hanging in the shadows heading into the break. They’re only three out of the wild card and closed the first half with a series win over Cleveland.
Milwaukee Brewers (191-167 for 11.66 units after the All-Star break since 2007)
Cleveland Indians (182-180 for 11.00 units after the All-Star break since 2007)
Chicago Cubs (191-168 for 5.33 units after the All-Star break since 2007)