Prior to the 2020 season beginning, Joe Ostrowski joined the Sox Machine Podcast. As a host on 670 the Score and two sports betting shows, Early Odds and Bet Sweats, Ostrowski is an excellent source of knowledge about the industry and often gives good betting advice. When I told him about my experiment to place a $5 bet on the White Sox Money Line for every game in 2020, Ostrowski laughed at me. It was a terrible idea. The gains for a projected .500 team wouldn’t be great, and more than likely I would be landing in the negative.
Ignoring his wise advice, I pressed on in the name of science to track how good of a bet the White Sox would be in 2020. Even though it was a bad idea, the results have been very good as the White Sox currently sit in first place and 11 games above .500.
As shown in the graph above, placing a $5 bet on the White Sox Money Line every game would put you ahead $21.28 for the season. Meaning it would take a five-game losing streak to drop back in the negative.
The process was not off to a hot start. When the White Sox lost four of their first five games, the experiment sat in the red at -$14.60. After having instant regret about the experiment, the White Sox won six games in a row generating a $26.75 revenue gain putting my bankroll back in the black at $12.15. Those gains were not lasting as the White Sox scuffled again, eventually getting swept in a doubleheader to St. Louis, and their record dropped to 10-11. The following day, they hit four straight home runs to get back to .500 but the experiment was at a -$5.97 loss. Ostrowski was right. For a .500 ballclub, this experiment would be costly.
Since then White Sox got on a heater winning 16 of their last 21 games. Only losing back-to-back games once during that stretch allowing the experiment to stack wins. Which is crucial, because facing mostly the Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, and Pittsburgh Pirates during this hot streak, the net winnings have not been large. Only two White Sox victories netted winnings of more than $4 and those came against the Cubs.
In 43 games, the White Sox have been the favorite 30 times with a 20-10 cover record. With a 10 game minimum, that is the best favorite cover rate in MLB this season.
|Team||Run Line Record||Cover %|
With home-field advantage being almost non-existent this 2020 season with no fans attending games, the White Sox are 12-4 covering the run line as the away favorite. That’s something to keep in mind for the remaining games at Cincinnati and Cleveland.
Another betting trend sharps are taking advantage of is the White Sox’s record in the first five innings. If you are unfamiliar with how F5 betting works, it cuts off the result of a game after five innings. It’s great for those who have confidence in a starting pitcher to perform well, but don’t trust the team’s bullpen.
Well, for the White Sox, they have been incredible for F5 bettors, cashing in 13 of their last 15 games.
Even though he struggles to get past the fifth inning of his starts, Dylan Cease is the second most profitable starting pitcher in MLB when it comes to F5 records. Currently, the White Sox are 7-1-1 in F5 bets when Cease starts. Sunday, Sept. 13, against the Detroit Tigers could be Cease’s next start. I am just saying.
As an underdog, the White Sox are 8-5 covering the run line. That’s a pretty good cover rate at 61.5% but nowhere close to the Baltimore Orioles. They lead the league as an underdog with a 28-10 covering the run line (73.7%).
Yes, the White Sox are a good bet, which is why some sportsbooks are beginning to sweat.
Sam Panayotovich hosts the Chicken Dinner Podcast and writes for Rotoworld. In his article, “Vegas Books Loaded with White Sox Future Bets,” he interviewed oddsmaker Dave Sharapan about bets on the White Sox winning the 2020 World Series.
“I’ve been in Vegas doing this for 16 years and I’ve never seen the White Sox have the most tickets to win the World Series,” veteran Vegas oddsmaker Dave Sharapan told NBC Sports. “We’re down to 12-to-1 on them to win it all because we have written the most tickets on their club. It’s insane. And behind the marquee teams like the Yankees and the Dodgers, they’re right there as far as money wagered.
“I was a skeptic when the season started. I thought this is the Browns of last year, the Buccaneers of this year. You know, the flavor of the month. Now I’m watching a lot of their games. I’m watching way more White Sox games because damn it, they’re fun as hell.”
I’ve placed two futures World Series bets on the White Sox. My first was on June 23 when they were +3000 ($10 bet pays out $310), and after their poor start to the season, on Aug. 5, I placed another bet when their odds were +3500. Using DraftKings Sportsbook, the White Sox’s current World Series odds are +1200. So are those of the San Diego Padres, who had +4500 odds to start the season. Those two teams have seen a dramatic shift from when the season began.
Simply put, if the White Sox pull off the unthinkable and wins the 2020 World Series, Vegas will lose a lot of money.
Other MLB futures bets that were fun to place before the season but now have a serious chance of cashing.
- White Sox win AL Central: +300
- Most Home Runs: Eloy Jimenez +3000. (Currently, four home runs behind the leaders)
- Most RBI: Jose Abreu +4000. (leads the league)
- Most Hits: Tim Anderson +2200 / Trea Turner +2000 (leads the league)
- American League MVP: Luis Robert +5500
- American League Cy Young: Shane Bieber +1000 / Lucas Giolito +1800
With 17 games left in 2020, it has already been delightful to watch the White Sox. Their postseason odds are above 98% with a chance to win the division, and that terrible seven consecutive losing seasons streak should snap. Sure, it may not truly matter who wins the divisions because the home-field advantage could be stripped away in favor of a postseason bubble. Some of us have extra juice riding on how well the White Sox fare down the stretch.
Any idea who the most/least profitable teams have been thus far this season?
I’d guess Yankees have been money losers and a team that has outperformed expectations has generated the most profit. Orioles?
I think Baltimore would be a good pick. Using TeamRankings, the Orioles are 20-18 as Underdog ML.
So . . . yeah. The Orioles have been the better ML bet than the White Sox,