There is arguably no more public team in all of sports than the New York Yankees. The Bronx Bombers are baseball to many. Sports Betting 101 would therefore indicate that systematically fading the Yankees is probably wise from a handicapping perspective, the logic being that the market must overvalue them to due to their uber-public profile. The numbers, however, tell a different story. In fact, blindly betting against the Yankees is a surefire way to eradicate your bankroll.
Over the last decade, the Yankees have won at an impressive clip of 56.2%. Their average moneyline price over that time has been -137.6 — the shortest of any team in Major League Baseball — while their overall ROI over that period is exactly 0.0%. Those blindly betting against the Yanks have dropped 4.5% on their investment.
Another angle that has long been assumed to be dangerous is laying the Yankees on the -1.5 run line market — but they are actually a profitable +1.9% on the run line over the last decade. When favored on the run line, the Yankees are an extremely profitable +4.6%, with a strike rate of 47.9%.
The Yankees also have a positive ROI on the moneyline when favored. Despite an average moneyline of a pricey -164 when favored, the Bombers have a +0.8% ROI. When installed as a favorite of -140 or more, they are a +1.7% ROI. When shorter than -200, they are an impressive +3.6% ROI on the moneyline and a sublime +11.3% on the run line.
The market may (counterintuitively) undervalue the Yankees overall, but that probably balances out when they’re playing at Yankee Stadium and are even more inflated, right? Nope. The Yanks have returned +0.7% on the moneyline and +3.6% on the run line at home over the past decade. As a big home favorite of -200 or shorter, they win 71.9% of the time with a +0.9% ROI.
Contrarian betting as a tool can be profitable. Sharps have built fortunes employing systems that include contrarian strategies, so the idea of fading a public juggernaut like the Yankees seems smart in theory. In reality it’s not, as the Bronx Bombers are actually one of the more profitable teams to bet in baseball.
All statistics taken from the Killer Sports databases (www.killersports.com)