Detroit Tigers Beat Houston Astros in Largest MLB Upset in 15 Years

  • Detroit was +435 underdog, Houston was -560 favorite
  • Mirage/MGM took two five-figure bets on Houston, won big
  • Houston lost as massive road favorite earlier this month
Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros
The Detroit Tigers beat the Houston Astros 2-1 Wednesday night as +435 underdogs, achieving the biggest upset in MLB in the past 15 years. [Image: Shutterstock]

Detroit closed at +435

History was made in Major League Baseball Wednesday night when the Detroit Tigers defeated the Houston Astros, 2-1.

According to BetLabsSports via ESPN.com, Detroit, a whopping +435 underdog at Caesars Sportsbook, managed the biggest upset the league has seen in 15 years. On the favorite side, Houston closed at Caesars as a -560 favorite and -600 at MGM and FanDuel.

This game eclipsed the mark set in 2007 when the Washington Nationals defeated the Minnesota Twins as +395 underdogs. For the Detroit/Houston game on Thursday night, Detroit would have been second-largest underdog to win if it had beaten the 2017 World Series champs again. Detroit was anywhere from +375 to +430, depending on the sportsbook. Houston won 6-3.

Sportsbooks were not upset

According to ESPN.com’s David Bearman, the sportsbooks made out very well because of the upset. Mirage/MGM’s sportsbook shift manager Scott Shelton said that it made a six-figure profit on that single game thanks mainly to two bets.

made a six-figure profit on that single game thanks mainly to two bets

One was a $55,000 bet on the Astros at -550, while the other was a $63,520 bet on the favorites at -575. Those bets would have only won $10,000 and $11,000, respectively.

Caesars director of trading Jeff Davis said: “We took a couple of straight bets on the Astros and a slew of parlays over $500 that had either the Astros money line or run line on them.”

At the Westgate Superbook, that run line was -1.5 for the Astros at more than -200 odds. The book took a “bunch” of those bets, winning them all since Houston lost the game and by default did not cover.

One Westgate bettor had already placed a $50,000 bet on the Astros for Thursday’s game when the team opened at -500.

Houston on wrong end of history twice

It was the 19th time in the last 15 seasons that a team has been at least a +345 underdog; Thursday was the 20th time. The underdogs have won nine of those games. Houston was the biggest favorite in 15 years in Wednesday night’s game.

The Astros also became the largest road favorite in 15 years less than two weeks ago, closing at -460 at Caesars and -550 at Stations Casinos for their August 11 match-up with the Baltimore Orioles. Houston also lost that game.

89% of the bets and 97% of the money was on the underdog

Though there have been some huge bets on Houston, ESPN reported that for the Orioles game, 89 percent of the bets and 97 percent of the money was on the underdog.

Chuck Esposito, Station Casino sportsbook director, told ESPN that there were not many straight bets on that Astros/Orioles game. Where many Houston bets came in was via the parlay, as it was a seemingly easy way for bettors to bring down the price of the game.

The reason Houston was such a massive favorite in both of these historic upsets was because the future Hall of Famer, Justin Verlander, was the team’s starting pitcher in each game. Verlander leads or is second in the American League in most major pitching statistical categories.

Additionally, as one might guess, the Tigers and Orioles are the two worst teams in the league, while the Astros are one of the best.