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MLB’s most dramatic odds changes as second half begins

Believe it or not, the Baltimore Orioles — who previously occupied dead last as a moneymaker for bettors — returned major winning potential ahead of the MLB All-Star break.

The same franchise that worked to a 254-455 record, and finished a combined 191 games behind the American League East powers from 2017-2021, would have won bettors the most money at the pause for the Midsummer Classic.

In figures released by Bet Maryland and confirmed by Caesars Sportsbook, a $100-per-game wager on the Orioles (46-46) would have netted a bettor a season-best $1,759 profit. Those number put Baltimore in a position to surpass last year’s Detroit Tigers’ record sum of $2,303.

But few capitalized on the potential jackpot.

Missed opportunity

  • Sportsbooks escaped major payouts when fans shied away from betting on the O’s, who were 2/1 underdogs.
  • Baltimore benefited from a 10-game winning streak that ended just before the Midsummer Classic.
  • The resurgence of Baltimore is aimed at the future with their 2019 and 2022 No. 1 draft selections.

Tipico and Caesars said they skirted taking financial hits on Baltimore because bettors reacted too slowly to the Orioles’ rise, which included a wealth of games when Baltimore was more than 2/1 underdogs.

“Most hop on streaks late and don’t take advantage of the streaks/trends,” Las Vegas SuperBook Vice President Jay Kornegay said. “The O’s were certainly a surprise, but most (missed out).”

Kornegay considered the team’s dismal recent history and added, “Betting on the O’s is not the easiest thing to do.”

Not until now, when Baltimore and its elite relief corps reached the break with an 11-2 surge — including a 10-game winning streak.

And the Orioles could grow stronger thanks to their top farm system, which moved 2019 No. 1 draft pick Adley Rutschman — a switch-hitting catcher — to the big-league roster this season. Coming off a 52-110 season in 2021, the team picked first again in the 2022 draft and landed Jackson Holliday, a high school shortstop who is the son of Matt Holliday.

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At Caesars Sportsbook, lead baseball analyst Eric Biggio said his book has taken some hits by those supporting the Orioles. He also has an eye on what could materialize if the reborn team launches toward a playoff spot. The Orioles were massive future-book underdogs to win the World Series at the start of the season, but their win total of 58 in the preseason climbed dramatically to 76.

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