There are 12 days left in the MLB season and all the action is in the wild card race. Eight teams are vying for the last spots in the postseason. Bookmaker BetOnline is offering odds on each team to make the playoffs. To find value in these bets we compare the sportsbook’s odds to the projected playoff probabilities at FanGraphs.
For example, the Mets are -240 to make the playoffs, in order for us to feel comfortable wagering on New York they would need to reach the postseason 70.6% (which is 240/(100+240)) of the time. The Mets are projected to make the playoffs 68.5% of the time, meaning there is no value in placing a bet at -240 odds.
In fact there is not value to be found in any of these make or miss bets. You might be tempted to wager because you can’t help yourself or your team is in the playoff hunt, but here are three wagers to definitely not place.
Current odds: -240, Implied Probability: 70.5%
Tigers miss the playoffs 66.4% of the time
Don’t bet the Tigers to miss the playoffs. Sure Detroit won’t win the AL Central, they are seven games behind Cleveland, but the club is just 1.5 games out of the second wild card in the American League. Detroit’s schedule is also friendly down the stretch with five games against the Twins and Braves (the worst teams in baseball) and four against the Indians who could be resting players in preparation for the postseason.
Current odds: -135, Implied Probability: 57.4%
Orioles make the playoffs 46.2% of the time
Back-to-back losses to the Red Sox have left Baltimore five games out in the AL East. Toronto’s win over Seattle on Tuesday also dropped the Orioles to second place in the wild card. It’s no sure thing that Baltimore plays past the 162nd game of the season.
Current odds: +700, Implied Probability: 12.5%
Mariners make the playoffs 8.5% of the time
At 7/1 odds the implied probability of Seattle making the playoff is 12.5%. That isn’t great but FanGraphs’ projected playoff probabilities are even worse for the Mariners. The M’s will need to hurdle at least three teams in the AL wild card race to make the playoffs. It could happen but the odds say otherwise.
|Team||Make||Miss||Projected Make Chance|
|New York Mets||-240||+190||68.5%|
|San Francisco Giants||-215||+170||65.8%|
|St. Louis Cardinals||-205||+165||64.4%|
|Toronto Blue Jays||-500||+350||83.3%|