On July 14th, 2020, Major League Baseball (MLB) made the unprecedented decision to play the entire season from home. In response, the league shifted their strategy to embrace technology and innovation, and use data to optimize every aspect of the game. The first major shift was in scheduling, where each game became a virtual exhibition, with fans able to engage with their favorite teams via video calls, web meetings, and text chats. The second major shift was in strategy, where all 30 MLB franchises implemented a “no-contact” policy, limited interactions between players and personnel, and minimized group gatherings. For instance, in place of a team dinner, managers held virtual roundtables, while players held individual workouts.
These are unchartered waters, and while MLB has been through a lot over the last eight months, odds are they have never encountered a circumstance quite like this one. Since the start of the season, many analysts, sportsbooks, and bettors have tried to decipher what the 2020 MLB season means for wagering, knowing that the entertainment factor alone could prove to be more compelling than ever before. Below, we will explore where we can look for value and how to capitalize on the current climate.
Thanks to the pandemic, we have witnessed an unprecedented amount of volatility in the markets, especially in sportsbooks. In fact, many books were forced to close their doors due to the financial uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. As a result, a lot of value has presented itself, and none of it has been more apparent than in MLB. Between the shift to the all-virtual season, and the “no-contact” policy, MLB has gone from a team you could place a decent wager on, to a completely different animal. As a result, many questions arise, ranging from “What does the betting atl -110 mean for the MLB season?” to “Is it still worth betting on the home team?”.
From a betting perspective, the last two months on the home team completely reshaped how we look at MLB and its individual games. Even before the pandemic, betting on the home team was always a risky move, as 71% of the time you would lose money. Now, thanks to the spreadsheets and formulas programmed by the sports intelligentsia, the lines can predict the outcome of each game with uncanny accuracy.
For example, on May 18, 2020, the Boston Red Sox were hosting the Toronto Blue jays at Fenway Park. Toronto opened as 10.5-point favorites, according to online betting sites, with some books agreeing that the Jays would even win in Vegas before the game was played. As the game got underway, bettors and sportsbooks alike wondered how the underdogs would pull off an upset victory. In the end, however, it was more than worth it, as the Red Sox won by a score of 3-1, proving to be the home team’s first victory of the season.
Over the last month and a half, the Red Sox are 7-2 against the spread, proving that all those losing bets from earlier in the season were probably on the right team. In fact, since the start of July, the Red Sox are 33-9 against the spread, winning 88.89% of their wagers. Even more impressively, the Red Sox have gone from a -110- to a +110-money-maker over that time frame, boasting a profit of more than $700,000. This is mainly due to the fact that the baseball world has changed, and the Red Sox have taken full advantage.
Besides the betting odds, another place we can look for insight into the betting atl -110 is the no-contact policy. Thanks to the pandemic, the game has gone from being played on a field, to being played entirely online. As a result, we have seen a drastic decrease in the amount of people attending games, as well as interactions between players and fans. According to one report, only 40% of fans say they watch or listen to games that involve their favorite team, compared to 56% who claim the same about games between teams they don’t care about.
Even the way players dress has changed. Instead of wearing blue, the players now wear white. Instead of showing their emotions through gestures and colorful costumes, they show them through video calls, social media posts, and chats with coaches and family members.
Based on all this, it’s fair to say that the game itself hasn’t changed as much as we’ve all changed. And that’s a good thing.
Tricky Park Factors
In addition to all the changes in strategy and game day logistics, the betting atl -110 for the 2020 MLB season is also affected by the fact that some stadiums are simply better suited for betting than others. For instance, consider the 2020 Detroit Tigers versus the 2020 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim playoff game, which was played on October 12th at Comerica Park in Detroit. The game ended in a 6-6 tie, with the fans in attendance leaving the stadium no wiser as to whether they would have won or lost the game.
While both teams are even in win-loss record, the Tigers are 2.5-point favorites over the Angels, which means that some books would have you bet on the underdogs, while others would have you bet on the favorites. It’s important to keep in mind that the odds will change frequently, as the games have been decided by scores of 6-6, and 7-5, with the average game going the distance. This is what makes sports betting so appealing, as it allows you to get in on the action even when you have no idea who will win.
One of the most recognizable changes between seasons is the reduction in the amount of night games. Even before the pandemic, major sports leagues around the world were reducing the amount of games that are played during the dark hours, as it compromises a team’s ability to perform at their best. In fact, the MLB has canceled 15% of their games, including June 20, 2020’s game between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, as well as various interleague games. On top of that, Major League Baseball is one of the few sports leagues to still allow night games.
To put this in perspective, consider the 2019 Chicago Cubs, who won the World Series that year. Chicago plays roughly a third of its home games during the day, which makes them a day game wagering option. According to sportsbook operators, the Cubs are 11-1 against the spread since the start of the season, proving that day games are still very much in demand. This is especially true since teams like the Chicago Cubs have proven to be value bets, with 90% of bets placed on them going over the spread. If you’re looking for an upset pick, consider the underdogs, as they are 12-4 against the spread since the start of the season, giving them an edge in the betting atl -110 as well.
Changes In Player Value
Another major factor that influences the betting atl -110 for the 2020 MLB season is the change in player value. In the early stages of the pandemic, many franchises began to re-evaluate their depth charts, determining which players were worth keeping and which ones they should let go. As a result, many undervalued players have had a chance to catch on with another franchise, while other overvalued players have seen their prices skyrocket, making them less attractive options for other teams. In the end, we might not see as many stellar performances as we did in previous seasons, because teams can no longer afford to spend big money on superstar players.
Just consider how much the Houston Astros paid for Carlos Beltran in 2007. With a winning record and a +150-money-maker, bookmakers didn’t have to guess at which team he would end up joining. Instead, they knew exactly which club they was dealing with, as the Astros were known for paying top dollar for their players. Since the pandemic, the Astros have won just four games against the spread, losing 14 with a lifetime mark of 18-47. While Beltran was certainly a key reason for their early season success, it’s been all downhill since then.
According to MoneyLine.com, which tracks the daily verifiable NFL stats, comparing players at the end of April to the beginning of April, we can see that players are gaining value, with 42% of their total value increase being from plays in the first quarter of the season. This trend will likely continue throughout the year, as players have a better chance of performing well in the early going, thus increasing their value.