Betting on MLB isn't the same as betting on the NFL or the NBA. Sure, there's the run-line, but those odds vary greatly on a game-by-game basis. For the most part, baseball is a moneyline sport rather than a spread sport. All you need to do is pick the winning team, though the moneyline odds will vary dependent on the matchup. In other team sports, all you need to do is look at a team's record against the spread to see if they're a good bet or not. It's not that simple when betting baseball.
With the All-Star break now in the rearview mirror, let's take a look at which teams have been the most profitable bets on the moneyline up to this point. We're assuming that bettors risked a unit when a team was an underdog, and bettors bet to win a unit when a team was favored.
MLB profitability standings
Baltimore Orioles (+17.6 units): Despite sitting at just .500 in the real standings, no team has surpassed oddsmakers' expectations more than the Baltimore Orioles. Coming off a 110-loss season, the Orioles were expected to be bad again. Instead, they've been surprisingly competitive. If you've bet $100 on Baltimore in every game this season, you'd be nearing $1,800 in profit.
New York Mets (+12.1 units): Expectations were high for the Mets after their active offseason that saw them bring in the likes of Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Chris Bassitt, Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar. They've surpassed those expectations despite not yet getting a single pitch from Jacob deGrom.
New York Yankees (+11.9 units): The Yankees have been the best team in baseball so far. They're massive favorites most nights, but it's been worth it to lay the juice with the Bronx Bombers.
Houston Astros (+11.2 units): Despite losing Carlos Correa, the Astros are once again one of the best teams in baseball and have been a very profitable bet so far.
Seattle Mariners (+7.8 units): Here's the trick to becoming a profitable bet; start off extremely mediocre, get the sportsbooks to downgrade you, and then rattle off 14 straight wins.
Pittsburgh Pirates (+3.7 units): I think Pittsburgh's high placement in these standings is more a reflection of how little respect oddsmakers have for them. The Pirates are 15 games under .500 and are on pace for just 68 wins. Somehow, they've been the sixth most profitable bet in baseball.
San Diego Padres (+2.9 units): The Padres got off to a great start, but they're just 7-14 over their last 21 games. Manny Machado is keeping them afloat, but they need Fernando Tatis Jr. back soon.
Los Angeles Dodgers (+2.5 units): The Dodgers were a losing bet for most of the first half, but a 15-2 stretch before the All-Star break has lifted them to being a profitable bet. They are huge favorites most nights, but they're extremely good at winning by multiple runs and covering run lines.
Colorado Rockies (+1.5 units): The Rockies have been a bit better than most people expected, and they're 7-3 in their last ten games. While not a great team, they've exceeded expectations enough to be profitable.
Philadelphia Phillies (+1.4 units): The Phillies have been much better since firing Joe Girardi, thanks in large part to trusting their starters more. Despite being without Bryce Harper, the Phillies are in the playoff race and have been profitable to bettors.
Cleveland Guardians (+1.2 units): Cleveland is two games back of Minnesota in the AL Central and 2.5 games behind Toronto for the final AL wild-card spot. They've been competitive.
Minnesota Twins (+0.4 units): The Twins currently lead the AL Central, but have just barely cracked the profitable part of these standings.
St. Louis Cardinals (+0.0 units): If you've bet $100 on the Cardinals in every game this season, you'd be up one dollar. Better than being down a dollar.
Tampa Bay Rays (-0.8 units): We now enter the "non profitable" part of these standings. The Rays haven't been as good as they have been in recent years, but they're still likely to make the playoffs.
Atlanta Braves (-1.9 units): The Braves got off to a slow start, and that's the reason they haven't been profitable on the season. However, the last few weeks is a different story.
Boston Red Sox (-2.3 units): Boston sits two games out of the wild card in the AL. They've been average, and average for a big market usually means failing to be profitable.
Texas Rangers (-3.1 units): Of the five teams under .500 in the AL, Texas is the best. That's got to be good for something, right?
Chicago White Sox (-3.1 units): The White Sox might be the most disappointing team in baseball so far, though their division is still winnable and they showed signs of life before the break.
Arizona Diamondbacks (-3.5 units): Entering the season, Arizona had the second lowest win total behind Baltimore. They've been slightly better than that, but not enough to be a profitable bet.
San Francisco Giants (-4.1 units): They were the best team in baseball last year. This year, they're currently an underdog to make the playoffs at BetMGM.
Milwaukee Brewers (-5.4 units): Milwaukee has been inconsistent and pretty mediocre. They still lead the Cardinals by half a game in the NL Central, but it's been disappointing for the Brewers.
Toronto Blue Jays (-6.2 units): A preseason darling, Toronto is up there with the White Sox in terms of first half disappointments. They haven't come close to matching the hype, and are a losing bet because of it.
Detroit Tigers (-6.8 units): Some had raised expectations for Detroit entering the season. Those were quickly lowered.
Miami Marlins (-6.8 units): The Marlins are five games under .500, but they are rarely big underdogs because their pitching is very good. Unfortunately, they don't score enough runs for said pitchers.
Cincinnati Reds (-9.6 units): If we just forget about their 3-22 start, their record is a surprisingly competent 31-35. Unfortunately for them, that first month counts.
Kansas City Royals (-10.4 units): The Royals are a bottom-five team both in the real standings and these standings.
Chicago Cubs (-14.5 units): The Cubs snapped a nine game losing streak in their finale before the break.
Washington Nationals (-17.7 units): The worst team in baseball, according to the real standings.
Oakland Athletics (-18.5 units): This is what happens when you trade almost every single above average player on your roster.
Los Angeles Angels (-20.8 units): The Angels should be tried for crimes against humanity for wasting the careers of arguably the two best players in baseball.
Data courtesy of Covers.com