MLB Betting and Handicapping: Totals Trends Report
by Aaron Smith - 5/28/2013
The Memorial Day holiday is in the past, and the weather is quickly heating up. This is generally the time of the year where the ball starts flying a little better at many parks, and we start to see higher totals. It isn’t as easy as just betting the “over,” though, because the oddsmakers will definitely take into account the warmer weather when setting the lines for each game.
Baseball is such a data-driven sport that keeping track of the numbers is a wise idea for bettors. Totals are a great way to bet on baseball, and if you can catch teams in the middle of a run, the trends can really help you have a profitable baseball season. It isn’t uncommon to see a team string together some impressive totals trends. Due to the length of the season, baseball betting is even more about trends and recent play than most sports.
Doc’s Sports did an NBA totals trends report this year, and we will be doing an MLB totals trends report every other week all season as well. Please note the statistics used in this article are for games played between May 14 and May 27.
Top Five Over Teams (Over listed first then under)
--Toronto Blue Jays (9-3) The Blue Jays have been one of the most disappointing teams in baseball this year, but they are showing signs of life. Toronto’s offense has slowly been getting more consistent. Jose Bautista has been heating up, and Edwin Encarnacion is turning into an RBI machine. If the bottom of the order would ever get going, this Blue Jays offense would really be tough to slow down.
--Baltimore Orioles (9-4) There are two reasons why Baltimore is so high on this side of the report. First of all, the Baltimore offense is light years better than it was just a couple seasons ago. Chris Davis has been one of baseball’s best surprises this year. He is hitting .341 with 16 home runs. Manny Machado is hitting .335, and Adam Jones is hitting .324. Baltimore is averaging 5.08 runs per game. Second, the Orioles bullpen, led by Jim Johnson, has been unbelievably bad of late. This was previously a major strength for the team.
--Philadelphia Phillies (8-4) The Phillies offense has shown small signs of life lately, but you have to wonder how long that is going to last. Chase Utley just went on the disabled list with a right oblique strain, so the team’s best hitter is out of the lineup for an extended period of time. The Phillies starters have been great, but the bullpen has been one of the worst in baseball.
--San Diego Padres (8-4-1) The Padres are benefiting a bit from the smaller dimensions at Petco Park this year. The over is 13-10-2 in their 25 home games this year. In the last couple years, the under has been a big winner at Petco. The Padres used to have one of the better pitching staffs in baseball, but they are now in the Bottom 5 in almost every pitching category.
--Boston Red Sox (8-4-2) David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia continue to lead the way for a Red Sox offense that keeps piling up the runs. If Jacoby Ellsbury and Will Middlebrooks ever join the party, this offense could really do some major damage. The starting rotation is great at the top, but there are plenty of questions after the Top 2.
Top Five “Under” Teams (Under listed first then over)
--New York Mets (9-4) The Mets are here because they simply haven’t been able to hit the ball of late. Ike Davis is the poster child for the Mets offensive struggles, but he definitely doesn’t deserve all the blame. The entire lineup has been struggling in a big way of late. John Buck has predictably come back down to earth. The Mets don’t have much going for them other than Matt Harvey right now.
--Oakland Athletics (8-4) Through the first couple installments of this report, the Athletics were an over machine. I continually said I expected the A’s offense to cool off and that the under would become a good value. That has finally happened over the last few weeks. The Athletics have a team batting average of just .245. I think the under run still has plenty of steam left.
--Pittsburgh Pirates (8-4-1) Pittsburgh continues to turn heads with how well they are playing so far in 2013. The biggest surprise has been the amazing work of their bullpen. Mark Melancon, Justin Grilli, and Justin Wilson have all been virtually untouchable. Wandy Rodriguez and youngster Jeff Locke give the team two very good lefties in the starting rotation. The under is 18-8-1 in the Pirates 27 home games this year
--Arizona Diamondbacks (8-4-1) The under is now 31-19-2 in the Diamondbacks 52 games this season. It really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Arizona has some good young pitching talent, and the Diamondbacks lineup isn’t very impressive. Arizona is second in baseball with 32 quality starts out of their rotation so far this season. Patrick Corbin is the real deal, and Tyler Skaggs might be the next Arizona youngster to dominate the big leagues later this year.
--Kansas City Royals (8-5) Kansas City was battling with Detroit for the lead in the AL Central a month ago, and now they are fighting to stay out of the cellar. The Royals expected to have one of the best offenses in baseball, but they are averaging only 4.06 runs per game. Mike Moustakas has had a season to forget, and Jeff Francoeur hasn’t been much better. This offense should get better, but it probably won’t be enough for the team to get back in contention in 2013.
Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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