The Baltimore Orioles are coming off one of the worst seasons in baseball history, a 115-loss debacle that left them 61 games out of first place in the American League East.
Since 1900, only three teams — the 1916 Athletics, 1962 Mets and 2003 Tigers — lost more games in a single season than the 2018 Orioles.
Expectations for the O’s are low again this year. In fact, in Las Vegas, they’ve never been lower. Yet, with odds as long as 2,000-1, there are still a few risk-takers willing to back the Orioles to win the World Series.
At William Hill sportsbooks in Nevada, New Jersey and West Virginia, there have been more bets on the Orioles to win the World Series than 10 other teams, including a $500 wager on Baltimore placed Monday at 1,000-1 odds.
“I went in and expected to find two, maybe three of them,” Erich Zimny, vice president of race and sports at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia, told ESPN. “I see 39 futures bets on the Orioles to win the World Series in amounts ranging from $2 to $50.”
The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas had taken 32 bets on the Orioles to win the World Series and another $25 bet on Baltimore to have the most wins in baseball at 2,000-1.
“People will always bet the super long shots,” SuperBook oddsmaker Randy Blum said.
The SuperBook opened the over/under on the Orioles’ season win total at 59.5. It’s the lowest season win total that SuperBook oddsmakers have ever opened on any team, and it may not have been low enough. The number had been bet down to 58.5 as of Wednesday.
“Even though we’ve taken a lot of money [on the under], we’ve only moved it down one,” Blum said. “We just think anything lower than that is kind of silly. To lose 100-plus games, it’s hard, even if you’re really bad.”
According to ESPN Stats & Information, since 1961, when MLB instituted a 162-game schedule, teams have won fewer than 59 games only 2.1 percent of the time.
The Orioles are even money at the SuperBook to lose the most games this season. Sixty percent of the money wagered on the odds for the most losses is on Baltimore, which opens its campaign Thursday against the New York Yankees, the World Series favorites.
Last season, if you bet $100 on the Orioles in each game, you ended up down $5,188. It was the worst money-line result for any team in the past 14 years, according to sports betting database BetLabSports.com.
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