MLB betting: The 5 best and worst teams to bet on during the 2021 season

·7-min read

We’re a quarter of the way through the MLB season, and there hasn’t been much separation in the standings.

From a betting perspective, though, there have been a handful of teams that have begun to separate themselves as the most — and least — reliable teams to put your money behind.

Below are the five best and worst teams to bet on so far during the 2021 season. 

The 5 best MLB teams to bet on

San Francisco Giants (26-15)

The Giants have been one of the league’s most-surprising teams and are currently tied with four others with an MLB-best 25 wins.

The Giants opened the year with +4000 odds to win the National League West at BetMGM, but are currently atop the division standings at 25-16. They are a half-game up on the San Diego Padres and two games ahead of the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers are still an overwhelming favorite to win the West at -300 with the Padres sitting at +225.

But the Giants haven’t cooled off and continue playing a winning brand of baseball. They currently have +1400 odds to win the division and, as of Tuesday morning, have been the best vs. the run line of any MLB team at 26-15 overall.

The Giants have been especially strong as an underdog, posting a remarkable 15-3 mark. On top of that, the Giants have covered in 12 of the 14 games they’ve played as road underdogs.

San Francisco Giants' Brandon Belt, left, celebrates with Evan Longoria (10) after hitting a solo home run against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Monday, May 10, 2021. (AP Photo/John Hefti)
The San Francisco Giants have the best run line record in Major League Baseball. (AP Photo/John Hefti)

Seattle Mariners (26-16)

While the run line record of the Giants closely resembles their overall record, there’s more of a disparity for the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners are currently 21-21, four games back of first place in the AL West. Against the run line, though, they have an impressive 26-16 record.

The Mariners have been an underdog in 36 of their 42 games and have posted a 24-12 run line record as a dog, including a 13-4 mark as a home underdog.

St. Louis Cardinals (25-16)

The NL Central-leading Cardinals have done very well for baseball bettors — especially over a two-week span from late April to early May.

The Cardinals had a 15-game stretch from April 19 to May 5 where they went 13-2 against the run line. Included during that run was a streak of eight consecutive covers. The Cardinals have cooled off a bit since, but still boast a 25-16 overall record vs. the run line. They have done especially well as an underdog, covering in 15 of 22 games.

Tampa Bay Rays (24-18)

The Tampa Bay Rays are right in the mix in the highly competitive AL East and have been playing quite well during the month of May, posting a 10-5 record thus far in the month. The Rays have covered in 11 of those 15 games to improve to 24-18 against the run line so far in 2021.

Like some of the other teams listed here, Tampa Bay has been extremely consistent as an underdog. Overall, the Rays are 19-5 vs. the run line as an underdog with a sparkling 11-1 record as a road underdog.

Boston Red Sox (24-18)

This was expected to be a down year for the Boston Red Sox. Entering the season, Boston had +2500 odds to win the AL East at BetMGM. Now those odds have skyrocketed to +325 as the Red Sox sit atop the division standings with a 25-17 record.

The Red Sox have been good to bettors too, especially on the road. The Red Sox are 12-5 vs. the run line on the road, including a perfect 6-0 as a road underdog. Overall, the Red Sox are 11-1 as an underdog.

(Yahoo Sports)
(Yahoo Sports)

The 5 worst MLB teams to bet on

Minnesota Twins (10-29)

The Twins have been an absolute disaster so far this season. They were expected to compete for an AL Central title and maybe even more. Instead, they have MLB’s worst record at 13-26.

They’ve been even worse from a gambling perspective, posting a horrendous 10-29 record vs. the run line. That means they’ve covered only 25.6% of the time. At home, the Twins are a measly 4-17 vs. the run line. Yes, 4-17.

The Twins opened the season with the second-best odds to win the AL Central at +140. Now they have +1500 odds to win the division at BetMGM.

The Twins are one of the worst pitching teams in the league and that has materialized with plenty of overs. The over is 24-14-1 in Twins games.

Cincinnati Reds (14-25)

While they’ve been far more competitive than the Twins, the Reds have been nearly as unreliable for bettors. The Reds are 19-20 straight-up, but have been the second-worst team vs. the run line in the league at 14-25. The month of May has been particularly brutal for the Reds, who have covered in just three of their 14 games this month.

The Reds have really struggled against competition outside of the NL Central, posting just a 6-18 run line record outside of the division. They’re also just 8-17 when favored. Not good.

From an over/under point of view, the Reds have been prolific at going over the total. The over is 26-11-2 in Reds games, a 70.3% clip.

Atlanta Braves (15-26)

The Braves have been pretty disappointing so far in 2021, unless you’ve been fading them with your money. Any time the Braves have been favored entering a ballgame, you’ve won your bet nearly 80% of the time if you sided with the underdog on the run line. That’s because the Braves are just 7-23 vs. the run line when favored.

They’ve been even worse at home. The Braves are 9-12 straight-up as the home team, but have covered in just four of those 21 games. Yes, the Braves have a 4-17 record vs. the run line at home.

Overall, the Braves are 15-26 vs. the run line this season.

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 09: Freddie Freeman #5 of the Atlanta Braves looks on in the sixth inning of an MLB game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Truist Park on May 9, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
The Atlanta Braves have a 4-17 record vs. the run line at home during the 2021 season. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

New York Yankees (17-24)

The Yankees have been the betting favorite in 38 of their 41 games this season. Based on the way they’ve been performing, that hasn’t always been warranted.

The Yankees are 22-19 overall but just 17-24 vs. the run line this season and are currently in the midst of a 2-9 stretch. It’s been tough sledding for the Yankees against AL East competition. They have just a 9-16 run line record vs. divisional foes.

Despite the slow start, the Yankees are still the betting favorite to win the division at BetMGM. They currently are listed at -115, a good distance ahead of the Red Sox (+325), Toronto Blue Jays (+400) and Rays (+525).

Detroit Tigers (17-24)

Unlike the Yankees, Braves, Twins and Reds, there were no legitimate postseason expectations for the Tigers when the season began. It’s easy to see why.

The Tigers are 15-26 overall and 17-24 against the run line. They’ve been the underdog in 36 of their 41 games and have actually performed pretty well as a home underdog, posting a 9-7 run line record. As a road underdog, though, the Tigers are 7-13 vs. the run line.

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