The Oakland Athletics are holding strong atop the American League West while the Houston Astros dwindle at the bottom, after the A’s took two of the first three games of a four-game set this week.
However, if you were betting on Oakland during that span, you’re in the red thanks to the hefty price tags on the home side. The Athletics were tabbed as -275, -270 and “thrifty” -217 favorites during the first three games of the series, and a $100 Oakland bettor would down almost $17 over those three contests.
Moneylines in the -270 and up range are more common this time year, especially when a playoff-bound team plays a basement dweller with no motivation in September. While the odds may look like a sure thing, big MLB favorites have been anything but money in the bank this season.
Favorites of -270 or higher are just 9-7 as of Sunday. If you bet $100 on each of those teams you would be down more than -$388. Moneyline chalk of -300 or higher is a bankroll draining 2-4. The Texas Rangers are 1-2 as -300 or more favorites while Detroit is 1-1 and Tampa Bay lost its lone game as a -320 favorite.
Last year, big MLB favorites lived up to the oddsmakers expectations. Teams priced between -270 and up went a collective 15-2. In 2011, those moneyline monsters were 10-4. Those most consistent winners over the past three years (2011-2013) have been favorites between -270 and -280, which are a combined 12-2.
There was a rash of big favorites between 2009 and 2010, with a total of 77 games having a moneyline favorite of -270 and above. Those high-priced teams went a collective 56-14, which may seem like a respectable record until you size up the return on investment on those massive odds.