In early June, I took a look at the teams for which Vegas’ projections seemed least accurate. At the time, the Astros and Royals were the two teams that really stuck out. Both were significantly underperforming when Vegas projected them to score four or more runs and exceeding expectations when Vegas had them under four runs. Two months and a trade deadline later, I think now is a great time to revisit baseball’s Vegas trends and see with which teams Vegas has been having the most trouble lately.
Starting with teams that have been underperforming in 2015, I applied the “Vegas Runs is Between 4-6.3” Filter for hitters and looked for teams that are losing value from Plus/Minus.
Compare this to the results from June, 2015:
The Royals and Marlins are both still losing value, but the thing that is really interesting to me is the Plus/Minus values have decreased by a pretty good amount overall. Miami is a team that Vegas has HATED since Giancarlo’s injury, and rightfully so. It’s been over a month since their last game that met the criteria, so we can almost ignore them in this result set.
Over the past two months, Kansas City has improved by 0.38 in Plus/Minus. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but 0.38 more points per player per game in the result set is pretty significant in my eyes. Before setting out to write this article, I had expected that Vegas would get better at figuring out the outliers as time went on, and so far, that seems to be the case.
To that end, Vegas really had trouble with the Astros at the beginning of the season. They got to a few really good pitchers, laid eggs against some really bad pitchers, and it seemed like Vegas just could not get a handle on them. Since then though, Astros have performed EXTREMELY well when projected to score four or more runs – a complete 180 from what we saw in June.
What about teams that Vegas projects to score under four runs? In June, both the Royals and Astros were adding over a point to Plus/Minus when meeting this criteria:
As with the previous query though, we are seeing lower values overall in mid-August. The Astros are down to -0.05 on the season, which shows that Vegas has been on point with them when projecting low totals as well.
That’s not necessarily the whole story though. As I referenced earlier, there have been trades, injuries, and teams just don’t stay the same over the course of an entire season. I think this filter is one where recent results are probably going to be more useful for DFS purposes. So looking just at July and August, a few teams are posting huge numbers when Vegas is projecting fewer than four runs:
The cool thing about the Phillies lately is that they’ve actually been performing best when Vegas thinks they will REALLY do poorly:
Look, if your son plays for the Phillies, go ahead and make Columbus Days plans. We all know they are not going to make the playoffs. But since the All-Star break, they rank smack in the middle of the rankings for total runs scored. Vegas is always picking on them – for proof, just look at the count column in this one (Matches for Games Under 4 Projected Runs), but they actually haven’t been that bad offensively.
Changing the filter to “Vegas Runs Over 4,” the results are a lot less interesting for July/August. Two teams are negative in Plus/Minus, but the values are minimal compared to previous queries:
The team to highlight here is the Boston Red Sox. They have the fourth-most matches in the result set and are adding the most value at +2.39. When Vegas likes the Sox this summer, you should like the Sox.
Knowing where Vegas is most often wrong is valuable, but it’s important to remember that teams change month to month, week to week, sometimes even day to day. Keep running your custom Vegas trends frequently to stay on top of the value shifts as they occur.