Sportsbetting Odds That Paid Off: Underrated MLB Teams That Went All The Way

Odds That Paid Off: Underrated MLB Teams That Went All The Way

Written by on March 6, 2015

Prior to every season in every professional sport, you will always be able to find sportsbetting odds on which team will win the championship that season. Usually, these odds have the previous year’s championship contenders as favorites, unless there are some significant roster changes or season ending injuries. The other side works the same, the teams that ended up on the bottom after regular season is over are usually the ones with the worst odds to win the championship next year. Luckily for sports betting fans, there are times when teams that weren’t given much of a chance to win the championship end up doing so, which usually results in a pretty huge payday. In the spirit of long shots paying off, and the start of the MLB season right around the corner, here are five of the most underrated baseball teams that went all the way.

Sportsbetting Odds That Paid Off: Underrated MLB Teams That Went All The Way

 
 

5. 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks were an expansion team in 1998, but they had immediate success after their inaugural season. The team followed up a 65-97 season by winning 100 games the next year. This was largely due to the team acquiring veteran pitcher Randy Johnson, and signing veterans to the team. The team was eliminated in the NLDS, but there was hope for the future. In 2000, the team won 85 games, and missed out on the playoffs, despite trading for Curt Schilling during the season. In 2001, the Diamondbacks were expected to contend for their division, but they ended up making it to the World Series, where they pulled off one of the biggest upsets in World Series history and defeated the New York Yankees –who had won three straight World Series championships, and four of the last five championships– in a thrilling seven game series.

4. 2004 Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox had been dealing with the “Curse of the Bambino” for 86 years before ending the drought in an unexpected and spectacular fashion. The 2004 team was talented, but as usual, they were expected to lose to the New York Yankees in the playoffs, like they had done in previous years. The Red Sox were down three games to none in the ALCS and 4-3 in the 9th inning of game 4… but they rallied to win the game and went on to win the remaining three, becoming the first team to come back from a 3-0 deficit in a best of seven series in baseball history. After that, they went on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals, effectively ending their 86 year championship drought.

3. 1997 and 2003 Florida Marlins

The Marlins pulled off unprecedented World Series runs, both times winning the pennant, which is why both teams are sharing this spot. In 1997, the Marlins were in their fifth year as a MLB franchise, but they had never had a winning season. The team had been gradually improving their winning percentage every year, and in 1997, they managed to have a 92 wins season. The 92 wins helped them secure the NL Wild Card spot, where the team swept the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS, and defeated the Atlanta Braves –who had the best record– in six games. The Marlins would go on to defeat the Cleveland Indians in a seven game series, making one of the most improbable playoff runs ever. The 2003 Marlins winning the World Series was just as impressive as the 1997 team. After winning the championship in 1997, the team was gutted, and basically started from scratch all over again. The Marlins failed to make the playoffs the next five years, and didn’t win more than 79 games in a season until 2003, when they won 91 games. The team was made up of players from the Marlins’ farm system, and the most recognizable player on the team was 31-year-old Ivan Rodriguez, who was already past his prime. Once again, the Marlins clinched the NL Wild Card, and defeated the defending NL Champions, the San Francisco Giants, in four games. In the NLCS, they faced the Chicago Cubs, who had defeated the Atlanta Braves in five games. The Marlins overcame a 3-1 series deficit to defeat the Cubs in what was one of the most infamous postseasons in MLB history, which involved the now famous Steve Bartman, who many Cubs fans believe cost his team a trip to the World Series. In the World Series, the Marlins shocked the baseball world and the New York Yankees, and won the series in six games, ending one of the most improbable playoff runs in baseball history. The win gave the Marlins their second World Series title in their second post season appearance, making them the only team to win the World Series in their only playoff appearances. Since their victory, the Marlins haven’t made it back to the playoffs, but if they make it back this year, it would be a good idea to put some money on them.

2. 1987 Minnesota Twins

Since their appearance in the 1970 ALCS, the Minnesota Twins struggled and only had four winning seasons in the next 16 years. In 1987, the team had gone seven straight seasons without a winning record, but they found a way to win their division and make the playoffs, despite having a 4.67 ERA and a 29-52 road record during the regular season. For the ALCS title, the Twins had no problem against the Detroit Tigers and won the series in five games. In the World Series, they went up against the St. Louis Cardinals who were dealing with some injuries. Just like they did in the regular season, they lost all three of their road games, but were able to win all four home games, giving them the World Series crown for the first time in 63 years.

1. 1969 New York Mets

Like the 1997 Marlins, the 1969 New York Mets were a franchise that was known only for losing. Since joining Major League Baseball in 1962, the Mets had gone seven straight seasons without a winning record and never had more than 73 wins in a season. In 1969, the Mets shocked the baseball world by winning 100 games and making the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. In the NLCS, the Mets swept the Braves 3-0 to set up a World Series meeting with the Baltimore Orioles, who had the best record in the league. The Orioles won the first game 4-1, and most people expected them to win the series, but the Mets bounced back and won the next four games to become the World Series champions in their first postseason appearance.