When it comes to MLB handicapping for a particular matchup, there are a number of key factors that you have to take into consideration, including each team’s starting pitcher, weather and field conditions, a team’s current form, the home-plate umpire, etc. Another important and sometimes overlooked factor is the betting trends for a particular matchup.
A betting trend is a look at past results that can help provide the necessary insight towards predicting a future outcome. Turning to this Wednesday’s slate of games for the Fourth of July Holiday, the betting trend we want to focus on is the home plate umpire’s past performance in relation to the matchup.
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Phil Cuzzi will be calling the balls and strikes in Wednesday afternoon’s game between the Houston Astros and the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 15 previous called games this season the total has gone ‘over’ nine times and it has also gone over in his last four games on a Wednesday. Pittsburgh is 5-1 in its last six games with Cuzzi behind the plate and the home team is 16-5 in his last 21 called games involving the Pirates.
The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays will play Game 3 of this week’s AL East showdown this Wednesday afternoon with Mike Estabrook as the home plate umpire. This could really favor a low-scoring game given that the total has stayed ‘under’ in 10 of his last 12 called Tampa Bay games and in six of his last eight games involving the Yankees. It could also favor the Rays considering that they are 9-3 in their last 12 games with Estabrook behind home plate while New York is 1-6 in its last seven with him calling balls and strikes.
The Fourth of July features a late afternoon start between the Los Angeles Angels and the Cleveland Indians with Jim Wolf scheduled as the home plate umpire. This is another game that sets up well for the under and the home team. The total has stayed under in seven of the Angels last nine games with Wolf behind home plate and in 15 of the Indians last 21 games with him back there. Cleveland is also 5-2 in its last seven games with Wolf as the home plate umpire while the home team has won 15 of the last 21 games that Wolf has called for Los Angeles.
Doug Eddings will be behind home plate for a Wednesday night’s AL Central clash between the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers in Detroit. Staying true to form for this holiday slate, it may make sense to once again take a hard look at the under and home team in this one. The total has stayed under in 11 of Eddings last 16 games behind home plate on a Wednesday and in 15 of his last 22 games involving Detroit. The Tigers are 5-1 in their last six games with Eddings calling balls and strikes while the Twins are 1-4 in their last five with him calling the game. The home team has gone 15-6 in Eddings last 21 called games.
The final matchup of interest this Wednesday night will have Jim Reynolds calling the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. This should automatically favor the hitters given that 12 of his first 17 called games this season have gone over the total with the average total number of runs scored coming in at 9.8, which is well above the NL game average of 8.4. His presence behind home plate has also heavily favored the home team. The home team is 4-1 in his last five games overall, but when you add in the fact that it is 5-1 in his last six Chicago games and 6-1 in his last seven games with Atlanta, this game has homer written all over it.