A’s Betting: How Much Has Oakland Cost MLB Bettors?

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Written By Mo Nuwwarah | Last Updated
A's odds

The Oakland A’s have gotten off to an historically atrocious start in 2023. At 12-46, they have a realistic chance of catching the 1962 Mets for the worst record in history, as detailed by Dan Szymborski at FanGraphs. Looking at this futility through a betting lens, how much has wagering on Oakland A’s odds cost bettors? In the reverse, how much has fading the A’s delivered in profits?

Let’s dive into the numbers. Of note below, we’ll use a grading system that bets the favorite to win 1.00 unit and bets 1.00 unit on the underdog.

Click any of the listed odds below to make a wager on Oakland A’s odds at legal USA sports betting sites.

Betting Oakland A’s Odds Would Net -26 Units (So Far)

Getting right into Oakland’s abysmal results, flat-betting the A’s through June 1 would have netted a bettor -26.3 units. That’s “good” for a staggering ROI of about -45%.

Meanwhile, betting against the A’s would have produced a handsome profit of 22.83 units. That works out to about an 18% ROI.

Here’s a breakdown of how the A’s season has looked from a betting perspective.

Average PriceUnits Won/LostROI
Betting on the A’s+177-26.3-45%
Betting against the A’s-217+22.83+18%

Those numbers looked even worse a few days ago. Earlier this week, the A’s took two of three from the powerhouse Braves, netting roughly +3 units in the process.

The Ugliness By The Metrics

Statistically speaking, the A’s have been about as bad as a baseball team can get. They’re awful at scoring runs and even worse at preventing them. The starting pitching has been wretched, and the bullpen even worse.

Here’s a statistical look at just how bad the A’s have been, with league rank (out of 30 teams) for context.

StatOakland A’sLeague Rank
Weighted Runs Created+ (Batting)8726th
Baserunning-322nd
Outs Above Average (Defense)-823rd
Starting Pitcher ERA6.9730th
Relief Pitcher ERA6.2330th

Even the table above doesn’t do the A’s real justice in terms of the magnitude of pitching ineptitude. The A’s sit more than a full run of ERA worse than the 29th-ranked teams — both from starters and relievers. Now, ERA can be misleading at times, but that isn’t such a case. Rest assured that the team’s park- and league-adjusted numbers all rank dead last or close.

Furthermore, nothing good appears to be on the horizon for Oakland. As the team has in many recent seasons, it may look to sell off solid veterans like Seth Brown and Paul Blackburn prior to the trade deadline.

And they won’t be replaced by any exciting prospects. Jason Martinez’s Roster Resource page shows that the team’s five most promising prospects include two pitchers who have a combined ERA in the majors of roughly seven.

Moreover, three younger players with ETAs of 2024 or later. This could get worse before it gets better.

How I’m Betting The Oakland A’s

Mostly, I’m not. Looks through my betting log, the last time I backed the A’s was April 27. I did note that my numbers recommended a play in one of their wins over the Braves, though. My numbers have mostly agreed with the market prices.

About the only thing Oakland has done well this season is hit left-handed pitching. It rank No. 14 in the majors with a 106 wRC+ in that regard.

If you’re ever inclined to consider a bet on the A’s, I’d try to target some weaker lefties. However, my guess is this angle has been priced in, as I really haven’t found any value in these situations.

Starts by JP Sears would also represent a possible opportunity. I have him rated around league average, as he continues to generate good rates of chases and swinging strikes.

In terms of fading the A’s, the best strategy might be to target them on the rare occasions they grab an early lead. It’s hard to imagine the starting pitching remaining this poor. Most of these guys were solid prospects, and Paul Blackburn just returned from injury. But, this bullpen looks disastrous. Holding leads should prove an adventure all season long.

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