Big Baseball Favorites on a Roll

With the 2020 baseball season still down the road, until at least May if not later, there is plenty of time to do research. A bit too much time, perhaps, but you will be rewarded later on for the time you put in now.

When I first began to get serious about sports betting, I read everything I could get my hands on about the subject. Some of the best sports betting books ever written came out in the 1980s and 1990s. While quite a bit of the material is now outdated, the general premises can still be used. There are a few exceptions. One of them is in regards to large baseball favorites.

As a rule, betting favorites of -200 and greater were considered ‘sucker bets’ and a sure path to ruin for any sports bettor. There were even tales of a Las Vegas dishwasher named Leroy who turned a borrowed $50 into tens of thousands by backing the marquee pitchers at the time, such as Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax and Juan Marichal. He layed the huge odds, only to see it all come crashing down and our hero ended up washing dishes again.

But that hasn’t been the case in a number of years, as those -200 favorites have been a great wager recently, although it definitely stings when one goes against you.

Let’s take a look at how they have fared lately:


As you can see, there have been many more large favorites the past couple of seasons. This is likely due to a greater disparity in teams, as well as pitchers, as some teams send guys to the mound on a regular basis who have no business being there.

But the one thing the chart does show, is that large favorites are no longer sucker bets.