Why the Moneyline Works Best for Baseball

As of this writing, the start to the 2020 MLB season is set to begin in late July. And when the action resumes, we’re going to be in for quite a treat!

The offseason provided us with a whole lot of drama in the form of the Astros sign stealing scandal, while player movement made a couple of the big dogs in the league all the more intriguing. With Mookie Betts’ trade to the Dodgers and Gerrit Cole signing with the Yankees, fans in Los Angeles and New York have good reason to believe that this might just be their year.

Here at Sports Trading Systems, we’ve got you covered big time for the upcoming season. Our baseball portfolio has seen incredible returns in recent years, and you can soon sign up for an exclusive VIP membership to make sure your MLB investments will deliver in 2020.

The core investment method in baseball is the moneyline play. In this article, we’ll help you understand why.

Moneyline investments in baseball

The moneyline is a very simple concept to understand – you pick a straight up winner for a game. Unlike in run line (or ATS) plays, no runs are given to either team. 

The odds you’ll be getting for each team’s moneyline depends on how bookmakers favor them in a matchup, representing the chance of winning each team has according to bookmakers. 

Favorites are marked with a minus sign, while underdogs have a plus sign in front of their odds. For example, let’s say that the New York Yankees have a game against the Baltimore Orioles, and the bookmakers have the Yankees listed at -200 and the Orioles at +175. From this, you can tell that the Yankees are favored to win the game. That -200 line translates to an implied win probability of 66.7% for New York, while +175 means a 36.4% win probability for Baltimore.

With these odds, you would need to bet $200 on the Yankees to win $100, while a bet of $100 on the Orioles would win you $175.

For more, read our full overview of investment methods that are available in the sports betting market.

Finding value in the underdogs

So how should a sports investor utilize moneyline opportunities in baseball? 

We’ve talked about contrarian approaches earlier in many of our articles, referring to the public often making losing plays in the long run while betting on the favorites.

One simple way of looking at how to find value in the market is this: You need to be right much less often if you’re investing in plus-money underdogs compared to favorites.

Now, we’re not saying that there aren’t good opportunities out there for investing in even-money situations or in favorites. A sports trading system can definitely work under those conditions as well.

But the fact is that the general public likes to wager their money on the favorites and especially the popular teams. Bookmakers know very well which teams are going to receive the most action, so they often end up overinflating their odds. That means that in the long run, the extra juice they add on top of the favorites makes it really hard to win against them. 

On the contrary, some of the underdogs end up being too much out of favor and offer nice value opportunities. Betting blindly on plus-money underdogs obviously won’t give you great results, but finding the right historical patterns to spot the right situations to invest in will. 

We mentioned earlier that betting on plus-money underdogs means that you don’t need to win as many single trades to generate profits as you would when investing in even-money situations. To further illustrate that point, the table below lists what percentage of trades you’d need to get right to break even for various plus-money underdog situations. 

 

Line

Break even %Win 

+109 

48%

+118 

46%

+127 

44%

+138 

42%

+150 

40%

 +163

38%

 +178 

36%

+194 

34%

+212

32%

 

You can see, for example, that it would be valuable to find a system that gets +212 or bigger underdog trades right just over one third of the time. On the other hand, investing in -200 favorites requires you to win 67% of your trades just to break even. 

This table also reminds us of how important it is to shop for the most favorable odds available. In the long run, seemingly small differences in odds can have a big impact. This is true in all types of sports investing, but it’s especially impactful in baseball, where a huge number of games are played each season, and the trading volumes for investment systems are generally higher compared to other sports. 

Every +5 difference in the odds in your favor means that you’ve secured 5 free cents per dollar. 

Conclusion

Having a high volume of trades means that investing in baseball can generate nice profits with lower ROI percentages compared to other sports. 

But ScoreMetrics baseball systems certainly do not settle for small gains. So stay tuned for the launch of our systems for this season, and in the meantime, don’t forget to check out our head trader John Todora’s new book – “Zero Correlation Investing – The Score Metrics Secret”. It’s currently on sale for a limited time, so go get yours now!

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