No matter how high the in-game odds got on the Houston Astros on Tuesday afternoon, it seemed wasteful to bet on them.
The Seattle Mariners were up 4-0, 6-2 and 7-3 during Game 1 of the ALDS. They were in control, seemingly cruising to a huge win. Sure, the Mariners came back from an 8-1 deficit to knock out the Toronto Blue Jays in the wild-card round on Saturday, but comebacks like that are rare in playoff baseball.
And yet, those bettors who never gave up hope for the Astros were rewarded nicely.
The odds on the Astros to win reached a peak of +3400 odds, or 34-to-1, in BetMGM's in-game betting on Game 1 according to BetMGM data analyst John Ewing. That's less than three percent implied odds to win.
Yordan Alvarez apparently doesn't believe in implied odds. His massive three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning completed the Astros' comeback as they won 8-7. Imagine holding a 34-to-1 Astros ticket at that moment. Or any Mariners ticket.
Astros (-225) take game 1 on a walk-off BLAST 👀
— BetMGM 🦁 (@BetMGM) October 11, 2022
For those who aren't too familiar with all forms of sports betting, sites like BetMGM offer in-game betting in which the odds change on practically every play of a game. Before the game, the Astros were -225 favorites, meaning a bettor had to wager $225 to win $100. But when the Mariners scored four runs off Justin Verlander in the first two innings, the Mariners became favorites on the in-game odds.
The Astros chipped away but it was still a long shot all the way until Alvarez's final swing. The Astros had two outs in the bottom of the ninth when Jeremy Pena singled to center to bring Alvarez to the plate as the potential winning run. The Mariners brought on left-hander Robbie Ray to face Alvarez. Lefties hit just .212 off Ray, normally a starting pitcher, in the regular season. Alvarez does hit lefties pretty well, however.
He crushed one off Ray for the win. That had plenty of betting implications, including future World Series bets, which team would win the Houston-Seattle ALDS and other various bets. But the biggest impact was to anyone who had the foresight to bet the Astros after they fell far behind.