Posted on July 21, 2019, by Travis Pulver
Expectations were pretty low for the San Francisco Giants coming into the 2019 season. Their win total was set at around 73 games at most sportsbooks, and they were not given a chance to win the World Series (+11400 on April 1). Their NL pennant odds were not much better (+7700), and they were, of course, not favored to win the division (+1400).
For much of the season, their performance has mirrored the expectations. So, how on Earth could it actually be time even to consider putting some money on such a lousy team?
Easy—because maybe they aren’t so bad after all. Maybe, after a bad start, they got things figured. Maybe they have won enough games in recent weeks that they should be taken more seriously—because they have.
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Heading into July, they were 36-47, 11 games below .500 and miles behind the Dodgers in the NL West. But then they went 5-1 before the break and have gone 8-2. Friday’s win brought their record to .500 (49-49) for the first time this season.
Of course, Saturday’s loss dropped their record back below .500, but it is clear—the San Francisco Giants are definitely a team trending in the right direction.
Oddsmakers certainly seem to think so. Their odds to win the division have gone from a high of +75000 on June 26 to +9000 a few weeks later (July 18). Their NL Pennant odds and World Series odds have taken a similar turn. As of July 4, their odds to win the NL were +56300 and +150000 to win the World Series (as of July 3).
But they are now down to +6900 and +10000, respectively. At 888sports.com, their odds to win the division, NL, and World Series are as follows (as of July 21):
• Division: +6600
• NL: +6600
• World Series: +12500
So—should you bet on them? Do they actually have even a remote chance of winning anything this season?
One of the joys of a 162-game season is that teams do have the opportunity to figure out what isn’t working and come up with a solution. If they do so quick enough, they may get their season back on track in time to be considered a legitimate contender.
The Houston Astros certainly did it back in 2005. They got off to a dreadful start that season going 15-30 in the first 45 games. But then they finished the season 74-43 and earned a wild card spot. While they eventually lost the World Series to the Chicago White Sox—they still made it.
While it may seem improbable for them to emulate the ’05 Astros, 60+ games left to be played, anything can happen.
But does that mean you should bet on them? It seems unlikely that the Dodgers are going to go in the tank and lose the division. However, their odds to earn a wild card spot are +1100 at Draft Kings. That is definitely a bet worth considering.
Taking them to win the World Series may be pushing your luck a little too much. But it might not hurt to put a few bucks on them to win the NL (just a few)—especially if they end up holding onto Madison Bumgarner.