The anticipated worst team in baseball this season comes from a state that recently legalized sports wagering, including online/mobile sportsbooks.
USA Today projects the Detroit Tigers to finish 20-40 over the abbreviated 60-game season, which was announced this week, slightly worse than the Baltimore Orioles at a 21-39 projection, and the Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates, both at 23-37.
DraftKings Sportsbook, live in a handful of U.S. states, has the Tigers at +75000 to win the World Series. The postseason is expected to have its normal format.
The schedule will be greatly altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the idea being to reduce travel. This is apparently what it will look like for the hapless Tigers:
Detroit Tigers’ shortened 2020 schedule:
10 games against Cleveland
10 games against Minnesota
10 games against CHW
10 games against Kansas City
4 games against Milwaukee
4 games against CHC
4 games against St. Louis
4 games against Cincinnati
4 games against Pittsburgh
— Miguel Cabrera’s Bat (@Miggysbat) June 24, 2020
While the Tigers don’t have to face the New York Yankees this season, the schedule is pretty tough, with the Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, and Milwaukee Brewers all expected to be contending teams.
Ten games against the Kansas City Royals and four against the Pittsburgh Pirates will help, however.
Unfortunately for Michiganders, the state might not have online/mobile sports wagering in 2020, but retail wagering will return to Detroit soon. Tribal casinos in the state are also launching their retail sportsbooks. Sports betting began in Detroit back in March, before the virus shut down the casinos.
MLB is set to return in late July, and the Detroit books should be reopened by then.
Worth a bet?
One thing to consider is that the shortened season theoretically increases the odds for a team like the Tigers to start hot and sneak into the playoffs. From a playoff berth, anything is possible. The odds are extremely long, but conventional betting wisdom says it’s more likely than if there were 162 games.
It doesn’t look like DraftKings altered its odds on the Tigers based on the news of the 60-game season. They could change as the season nears.
This year has been nearly unprecedented due to a pandemic the likes of which hasn’t been seen in over 100 years. The Tigers might get some futures bets based on that kind of lightning-will-eventually-strike-you logic, though chances are it would be detrimental to a betting bankroll.
That said, it can be fun to think about what other absurd scenarios this year could bring us.
If baseball does actually happen, I fully FULLY expect the Baltimore Orioles or Detroit Tigers to walk away with the World Series in this hellish year.
— KA (@mndaisybelle) June 23, 2020
For what it’s worth, the general manager of the team thinks the 60-game season is good news for the team’s chances. Of course, he’s paid to feel that way, but would we be hearing that from him if this was a normal season? Probably not. It’d be another rebuilding year.
Al Avila: "You talk to the staff, you talk to the players, you see how it was going in spring training before it was shut down and yes, we all feel we have a chance to be a playoff team in a shortened season, for sure."
Playoffs are probably a stretch. But this is gonna be weird
— Cody Stavenhagen (@CodyStavenhagen) June 24, 2020