MLB Betting Tip: Fade Elite Teams During Second Half of Season


Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Minnesota Twins right fielder Max Kepler (26).

  • The Dodgers, Yankees, Astros and Twins have the best records in baseball.
  • Using Bet Labs we explain why it has been profitable to fade elite teams after the MLB All-Star break.

At the All-Star break, the Los Angeles Dodgers (60-32), New York Yankees (57-31), Houston Astros (57-33) and Minnesota Twins (56-33) have the best records in baseball.

Those four are the most likely teams to win the World Series according to a consensus projection and are each listed at +850 or better to be crowned champions.

Recreational gamblers have been cleaning up betting the chalk. A majority of moneyline tickets have been placed on the Dodgers, Yankees, Astros and Twins in 83.8% of their games this season.

A $100 bettor blindly backing these clubs has returned a profit of $3,166. Betting the best teams and making money is the public’s dream.

Unfortunately, the good times won’t last. Oddsmakers will begin inflating the lines for these elite squads. This will create an opportunity for contrarian bettors to wager against the league’s best late in the season.

Historically, it has been profitable to bet against teams that have won 60% or more of their games in a season. The second half of the season, starting in July, is the optimal time.

Notice that the win rate for fading elite MLB teams, 60% or better winning percentage, is better from March-June but the units of profit are dramatically different between the first and second halves. This speaks to the inflated lines that bettors will have to lay to wager on the best teams down the stretch.

Betting against baseball’s best teams in the second half of the season improves if we focus on division matchups. Increased familiarity with an opponent, like we see in division rivalries, can help level the playing field and lead to more competitive games.

In the first series after the All-Star break, the Yankees, Astros and Twins are playing division opponents. When the second half begins these are teams I’m looking to fade.

Game Matches:

  • Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros (Thursday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)
  • Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees (Friday, 7:05 p.m. ET)
  • Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins (Friday, 7:10 p.m. ET)
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