The Cubs made history by becoming just the second team to have its entire infield start an All-Star game. Like the voting for the Midsummer Classic, just about everything has gone right for the World Series favorites this year, unless you have been betting on them.
Unlike the Texas Rangers, who have the best record in the American League and are off to a historical gambling start, the Cubbies can’t seem to match the performance on the field with cashing tickets in Vegas. Why is that?
Take a look at Chicago’s money-line range. Notice anything?
The Cubs have been favored in 75 out of 84 games this season. Not just a token -110 favorite either but big money-line favorites. The North Siders have been -200 or greater favorites (bet $200 to win $100) in 34 games. The aforementioned Rangers have only been big money favorites once in 2016.
Using the Bet Labs database, one could find that only four teams since 2005 have finished the year being -200 or greater favorites more times than the Cubs have been thus far in 2016. The Yankees did it in 2005 (42 games), 2007 (39 games), 2009 (38 games) and 2010 (42 games).
The Cubs haven’t been profitable as big money favorites. In fact the team has nearly a third of all the losses (11 out of 36) in baseball of teams that were favored by -200 or greater odds (the implied odds suggest these favorites should win 66.7% of the time or more). Still, the betting market gives us an accurate indication of how a club is perceived and no team has been as feared as the Cubbies in 2016.
Here are all the teams that have been big money-line favorites in 2016. Only 17 of the 30 MLB clubs have been -200 or greater favorites. Three teams with losing records (Rockies, Rays and Diamondbacks) have been big favorites, they are 1-3 in those games.
|San Francisco Giants||7-2||+$114|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||11-3||+$96|
|Toronto Blue Jays||2-0||+$83|
|Chicago White Sox||1-0||+$47|
|Kansas City Royals||1-0||+$46|
|Boston Red Sox||4-2||-$29|
|New York Mets||7-4||-$82|
|Tampa Bay Rays||0-1||-$100|