May 20, 2014
For the next couple of weeks the MLB will be in interleague play. Most bettors will be continuing business as usual when looking at these games, but interleague play brings with it one very profitable trend that most don’t factor into their handicap.
American League home teams have a HUGE advantage during interleague play:
Since interleague play first started the AL has won it’s home games at a 57% rate. That is significantly higher than the NL’s 53% home winning percentage during interleague play and also the 54% average for home field in general. These numbers go back over a decade so it’s no small sample size we’re dealing with here.
National League teams are not built to play by the American league rules. When playing in the American League team’s park NL teams must use the DH position rather than have the pitchers position bat. When you first hear that you may think “well why is that bad? That should mean more productive offense for them.” and that is true, but NL teams are just not built to have the DH position and therefore the DH they throw out there is nowhere near as productive as the AL DH’s. A national league team will be throwing out a backup position player as their DH, not an actual DH who is there to knock in runs and that production disparity is huge between leagues.
Some may argue “well then doesn’t that mean when an AL team goes to an NL teams park and must play by their rules that they have a disadvantage?” and that is a no. American League teams are losing out on the DH position and forced to have the pitcher bat, but there is no actual disadvantage being created by this because both teams are playing by the same rules and unlike when in AL parks the NL rules do not create a greater than usual home field advantage.
Oddsmakers and betting sites don’t seem to factor in this 57% home field advantage that AL teams have and instead factor in the usual 54% therefore offering great value on a lot of home AL teams during this time of year. Of course these numbers do not mean blindly bet at winner bookmaker american league teams during interleague play just because of these things, but just be aware of the advantage that they have at home and pick your spots to take advantage of this.
* American League teams have a fundamental advantage over National League teams when at home.
* Interleague Home field advantage doesn’t increase from the normal when in National League parks.
* This is just a useful tip to help in your handicap, this should by no means be the complete basis of any bet made during interleague play.