The Baltimore Orioles have been one of the better stories across MLB in the first half of the regular season. After losing 110 games in 2021, the Orioles currently sit at 46-46 and are legitimately in the picture for a wild card spot. Baltimore has been red hot in July, going 11-2 in their 13 games before the all-star break. No team has been better to bettors on a game-by-game basis than the Orioles, as they're the most profitable team in the league currently.
With the expanded playoffs, there are now more teams fighting for a playoff spot. At the all-star break, the Orioles are just 3.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays, who occupy the final wild card spot in the AL. Despite their recent strong play and the relatively small gap they need to make up, Baltimore is still an extreme long shot to make the playoffs. Currently at BetMGM, Baltimore is 14-to-1 to make the playoffs, odds than an imply a probability of under 7%.
The Orioles have some nice pieces with players like Trey Mancini, Cedric Mullins, Ryan Mountcastle, Austin Hays and Anthony Santander. However, overall, their offense rates out as below average, ranking 23rd in wOBA and 21st in WRC. Their rotation features a bunch of unknown names, but their pitching has held up pretty well. The staff has has a 3.94 ERA on the year, which ranks middle of the pack. By the metrics, this is an average baseball team. Their .500 record would support that. Last year's 110 loss season is still fresh in the minds of baseball fans. It's no surprise that oddsmakers don't believe in Baltimore being a legitimate threat in the AL Wild Card picture. But if you think this team can continue to make some noise, good odds are there for the taking.
The AL wild card picture
The Baltimore Orioles aren't the only AL team in the wild card picture. In fact, there are a whole bunch of teams in the mix. Oddsmakers have posted odds on eight AL teams to make the playoffs. It appears that they've decided the Yankees and Astros are in, and the Rangers, Angels, Tigers, Royals and Athletics are out. Here's how the oddsmakers at BetMGM view the other eight teams:
Toronto Blue Jays (-500, 83.3% chance): It's been a disappointing first half for the Blue Jays, who entered as the favorites to win the AL East. That won't be happening. They currently hold the final wild card spot. The talent is certainly there, but firing their manager right before the all-star break highlights that things aren't all peachy in Toronto. It appears oddsmakers expect them to turn it up in the second half and cruise into the playoffs.
Tampa Bay Rays (-225, 69.2% chance): The AL East might send three or four teams to the playoffs, and it appears the Rays have a good chance of being one of those teams. The pesky Rays are in the mix, just like they always are.
Seattle Mariners (-175, 63.6% chance): Fourteen-game win streaks do a lot to improve your odds of making the playoffs, it seems. They likely won't be catching Houston though, so their path is the wild card.
Chicago White Sox (-140, 58.3% chance): Much like Toronto, it's been a disappointing first half for the White Sox. The AL Central might send just one team to the playoffs, and the Minnesota Twins are favored to win the division. However, much like Toronto, Chicago has the talent to go on a tear in the second half.
Boston Red Sox (-120, 54.6% chance): Boston limped into the all-star break, getting thrashed by the Yankees in their final two games. Boston is currently the first team on the outside looking in, two games behind Toronto.
Minnesota Twins (-105, 51.2% chance): According to the oddsmakers, it's basically a coin flip as to whether the Twins will be playing baseball into October.
Cleveland Guardians (+220, 31.3% chance): Oddsmakers haven't shown the Guardians much love all season, and that's not changing now. Cleveland is just two games behind Minnesota and 2.5 games behind Toronto, but the oddsmakers don't love their chances.
Baltimore Orioles (14-to-1, 6.7% chance): Poor Baltimore. At least they're on the list.
NL playoff race
The oddsmakers at BetMGM won't take action on the Dodgers or Mets, suggesting that they think those teams are in. They also don't want to waste their time with the Rockies, Diamondbacks, Pirates, Cubs, Reds or Nationals, it seems. However, here's how the other seven teams in the NL shape up:
Atlanta Braves (-10000, 99% chance): The Braves have been on fire after a slow start, and they're just 2.5 games behind the Mets in the NL East. They are +135 to win their division, and it seems like that's their goal rather than simply making the playoffs. Last year's champion is a near lock to make the postseason, according to the betting odds.
San Diego Padres (-400, 80% chance): The Padres have had a solid start to the season and they should be getting Fernando Tatis Jr. back in the coming weeks. San Diego is just two games clear of St. Louis, but reinforcements are coming.
Milwaukee Brewers (-400, 80% chance): Oddsmakers have been stubborn in their support of the Brewers this year. Milwaukee's been inconsistent and maddeningly average. It's just half a game ahead of the Cardinals, and there's no guarantee the NL Central sends more than one team to the postseason. Will Milwaukee make the playoffs? There's a good chance, but these odds seem a little too certain.
St. Louis Cardinals (-140, 58.3% chance): The Cardinals are currently on the outside looking in, but they have two viable paths. They're just half a game behind Milwaukee in the NL Central, and they're basically tied with Philadelphia for the final wild card spot.
Philadelphia Phillies (-115, 53.5% chance): The Phillies aren't likely to compete with the Mets and Braves atop the NL East, but a wild card spot is a realistic goal. Bryce Harper's injury hurts, but they have hung around.
San Francisco Giants (+135, 42.6% chance): The Giants had the best record in baseball last season, but it's been a lot more of a bumpy ride this season. They'll be competing with the Phillies, Padres and the second-place team in the NL Central for a wild card spot. Only two of those teams will get in. Oddsmakers think the Giants have the lowest chance of those four teams.
Miami Marlins: (14-to-1, 6.7% chance): Pitching has kept the Marlins afloat, but it's hard to trust this team and their lack of ability to score runs.