The Detroit Tigers are expected to be one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball this season, if not the worst.
The abbreviated 60-game season kicks off on Thursday, and the Tigers play their first regular season game on Friday against the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds are a contender this year in the NL Central, but the Tigers are only expected to win around a third of their games this year.
Think there’s a chance the Tigers could pull off a miracle in what is arguably the strangest MLB season in history? BetMGM, a product expected to be live in the Michigan online/mobile sports wagering space later this year or in early 2021, is giving bettors +50000 on that outcome.
MGM operates the MGM Grand Detroit Casino in the Motor City, a property that is currently closed but which could reopen in the near future and take in-person sports bets.
While +50000 is quite the long shot, you can actually bet on the Tigers to win the World Series and score an even more absurd payday in terms of ROI. It’s quite mind-boggling.
Tigers against the other worst teams
The other squads expected to compete for the worst record in baseball this year include the Colorado Rockies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins, San Francisco Giants, and Seattle Mariners. At BetMGM, only the Orioles at +100000 have longer odds than the Tigers and a few others (Royals, Marlins, and Mariners) to win the World Series.
At the sportsbook, which is live in neighboring Indiana, you can actually bet on World Series match-ups involving these expected basement dwellers. You can get the Tigers at +2500000 (yes, you read that right) to win against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Rockies, Marlins, Padres, and Giants.
If you bet $100 and the Tigers squared off with one of those teams and won, you’d have $2.5 million.
Fun sweat or lighting money on fire?
Betting on the Tigers in any of those absurd World Series scenarios is like playing the lottery. You’re probably making a massively negative-EV wager, but sometimes that isn’t what matters most if betting is just entertainment. Consider the bragging rights of winning such a wager. If the Tigers won against any team, any bettor who placed a successful futures wager would get a lot of ink in the press.
Imagine if you correctly bet the exact outcome of the World Series involving the Tigers. While it probably wouldn’t land you in the official Sports Betting Hall of Fame, which appears reserved for industry folks, you would become the stuff of betting folklore. You’d be a way cooler story than Mattress Mack.
Of course, you’d be a fool not to hedge before the first World Series game was played.
While the wager is basically the equivalent of burning cash, it can make for a fun sweat through the first chunk of the season. It might not take long for the Tigers to be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, along with any one of the aforementioned rubbish squads, but it could make for some fun chatter during the first few weeks of regular season games.
Let’s say you bet on the Tigers beating the Diamondbacks in October, as the Diamondbacks are expected to be a .500 team this year. Imagine if both teams started off hot and were leading their respective divisions after 10-15 games. What once seemed like a donation to the sportsbook would feel like a slow-motion Powerball drawing with the first couple numbers on your ticket matching.
Lighting money on fire could still make for a fun sweat.