The Baltimore Orioles were supposed to report to their spring training facility in Florida this week. However, the labor dispute between the players union and the owners has delayed the start of the 2022 Major League Baseball season.
Even though Maryland’s MLB franchise hasn’t started its preseason routine, I’m still going to try to break down the futures market surrounding their 2022 season.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, the responsible adult in me just wants to get a few things out of the way.
Firstly, I am not a professional sports bettor. This is not financial advice, and you should do your own research before placing a wager. It feels like I’m stealing the line from YouTubers who break down financial markets, but it needs to be said.
Secondly, the longer the lockouts last, the more it will affect betting markets. As more information is made available about when the season will start and how many games will be played, sportsbooks will alter the odds.
As a result of the season’s uncertainty, you may not be able to place a bet yet at the retail sportsbook in Maryland of your choice. My local sportsbook here in Las Vegas isn’t even accepting bets yet on the MLB season because of it. This could very easily be the same case in Maryland since online betting hasn’t been legalized just yet.
The odds and lines I found for these bets were from legal online books, most of which are available in Maryland’s neighboring states. These books tend to release information earlier than their brick-and-mortar counterparts, including the Maryland casinos that currently offer in-person sports betting.
OK, with all those disclaimers out of the way, let’s look at what’s in store for the 2022 Baltimore Orioles futures market.
Baltimore Orioles futures: Win total with over/under 60.5
I wanted to start with this bet so that I could offer my apologies to actual fans of the team that might be reading this. You don’t have much hope heading into the season, and I’m sorry.
However, there is some hope in the team, that’s had five straight losing seasons, going over this win total.
There is a saying in the professional baseball world that is especially relevant for this over/under:
“Every team wins 60 games and loses 60 games. It’s what they do with the other 42 that is the difference in their season.”
Over the course of a grueling, 162-game season, the cream will rise to the top. The Orioles aren’t anything close to the top of the league. But to win the “over” bet, they don’t have to be. They literally just have to be slightly better than terrible.
Sure, last year the Orioles won only 52 games. OK, management didn’t sign anyone notable in the offseason. But that win total is only slightly better than what a team full of replacement-level players (those with a WAR of 0) is projected to do.
If I haven’t made it clear by now, I like the over.
Most sportsbooks will have a minimum number of games played by the team for your bet to be valid, however. Any significant delay to the season will null and void your bet.
Odds to win the AL East: +15000
In my opinion, this is the worst Baltimore Orioles futures bet you could make. Aside from having a serious lack of talent, the Orioles are in one of the toughest divisions in baseball.
They will play the majority of their games against some of the league’s best teams. Just look at the division standings from 2021 to get a feel for how good their division is.
- Tampa Bay Rays: 100-62
- Boston Red Sox: 92-70
- New York Yankees: 92-70
- Toronto Blue Jays: 91-71
- Baltimore Orioles: 52-110
The Orioles are such a longshot to win the division that I should put the comma in the moneyline numbers so you could see just how many zeros there are in the figure (+15,000). Sportsbooks don’t usually have correct punctuation in their listings.
As a refresher, with a moneyline of +15000, the sportsbook is laying you 150-to-1 on your wager. I can certainly understand wanting to get those odds. After all, anything can happen, right?
But let’s look at this bet in the world of expected value (EV). In order for this to be a +EV bet or a wager that is expected to net you money over the long run, the Orioles would need to win the division with their current roster one in 150 times.
Do you think if a computer simulated the 2022 season 150 times, the Orioles would win even once? I just don’t see it.
Ask someone who isn’t a diehard baseball fan to name three starting pitchers on this year’s team. I love baseball, and I still needed to go to the team’s website to answer my own question.
I’d stay far away from this bet.
Winning the American League Pennant: +12500
The postseason futures are by far the most interesting of the bunch.
It seems like there is a close to zero chance the squad wins the division. But let’s not forget about those wild-card spots. And those teams win championships all the time.
Remember when the Boston Red Sox broke the “Curse of the Bambino” in 2004? They finished the regular season three games back of the New York Yankees. Boston made the playoffs only because of the wild card.
As a result of MLB’s playoff expansion in 1995, seven teams won the World Series that wouldn’t have even been playing in October in prior seasons.
Take a second, Orioles fans, and imagine that the longshot comes in. Your favorite team earned one of those spots.
At this point, the Orioles are in a five-team tournament to win this bet. Is any playoff-caliber (yes, in this hypothetical situation, the Orioles are technically playoff-caliber) baseball club really a 125-to-1 shot to win a five-team tournament?
My answer is no. I’d love to take those odds on any team in the playoffs. However, you won’t get them in October.
You get them now. And if you wanted to take a flier on an Orioles playoff bet, this one isn’t terrible.
Furthermore, if you can make the bet now, and the season is shortened by any substantial margin, it moves the bet even more in your favor.
Remember earlier when I said that the cream rises to the top over a 162-game season? The shorter that season gets, the less time the cream has to rise. As a result, there is more variance in the final standings.
Odds on the Baltimore Orioles winning the World Series: +50000
Did you read the entire last section? Good. I don’t want to repeat myself.
All the principles I just talked about also apply to this bet. Except this one is laying you an even better price at +50000 – or 500-t0-1.
As a result of the odds, I like this bet even more than the bet on winning the pennant.
However, I feel like I’ve been too upbeat over the last few sections. I just need to reiterate how much of a longshot these bets are. In fact, these are quite literally the worst odds of any team in baseball to win the World Series.
If you do make one of these bets, and the Orioles do end up shocking the world by making the playoffs, don’t forget that hedging your bet by wagering on other teams to win might be your best move from a financial standpoint.