MLB Betting and Handicapping: Totals Trends Report
by Aaron Smith - 5/1/2013
It’s time for the second installment of the MLB Totals Trends Report. We’re now a month into the new baseball season. Some strange things have happened early in the year. Mike Scosia’s Angels are off to yet another horrible start, and he may be on the hot seat. The Red Sox have the best record in baseball. Remember, we are only one month into a season that is slightly more than six-months long.
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 very profitable baseball season. Due to the length of the season, baseball betting is even more about trends and recent play than other 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 April 16 and April 30.
Top Five “Over” Teams (Over listed first then under)
--Oakland Athletics (11-3) For the second straight report, the Oakland Athletics top the charts as the best over team in baseball. I’ll be the first to admit that this one doesn’t make much sense. This lineup isn’t much different than the one that was dead last in the majors in batting average almost all of last year. I’m still convinced that the red-hot offensive performance from Oakland can’t continue. Can it?
--Los Angeles Dodgers (10-3) Some teams are on this side of the report due to their offense being great and others are on it because of a disappointing pitching staff. For the Dodgers, it is definitely their disappointing pitching staff. Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu have been solid at the top of the rotation, but after that the Dodgers rotation has been a mess so far this year. The bullpen was great at the start of the season, but the long relievers have been hit hard of late.
--Boston Red Sox (10-3-1) Boston has the best record in baseball, and they have been crushing the ball so far this year. The Red Sox are averaging 5.19 runs per game, which is good for third-best in the majors. Dustin Pedroia hasn’t homered yet this year, but he has a .337 batting average and 12 RBI. Mike Napoli has been a great addition to this offense. Napoli is coming through in all kinds of clutch situations so far this year. He leads the team with 27 RBI. David Ortiz seems to be heating up of late, and that will make this lineup much more dangerous.
--Los Angeles Angels (9-4) In the first MLB Totals Report the Angels were 9-4 to the over as well. This team is 18-8 to the over so far this season. There is no doubt that the brutal performances from their pitching staff is the reason this team has been an over machine. The Angels have a team ERA of 4.91. The defense hasn’t helped either, as they have committed 20 errors already this season. C.J. Wilson has the best ERA on this team, and his ERA is 4.30. That tells you all you need to know about the pitching of the Angels!
--Baltimore Orioles (9-4-2) The Orioles haven’t quite been able to keep up with the Red Sox, but they are off to a solid 16-11 start overall. Baltimore is off to a nice start thanks to their offense. Chris Davis has been the biggest surprise in baseball this year. He is hitting .348 with nine homers and 28 RBI. In the last week, Manny Machado has been knocking the cover off the ball. Baltimore’s lineup is much better than they were last year.
Top Five “Under” Teams (Under listed first then over)
--Arizona Diamondbacks (11-3-1) If you asked people to name the best rotations in baseball, not many people would think of the Diamondbacks, but they probably should. Patrick Corbin is one of the best young pitchers in baseball, and bettors who have backed him have padded their bankroll in a big way in 2013. Wade Miley has been consistently very good since coming up to the majors last season. Ian Kennedy is still overlooked though he has been great for the past few years. The offense has been struggling due to injuries, but this pitching staff is great.
--Chicago Cubs (10-4) The Cubs have to be pleased with their pitching staff, which ranks in the Top 12 in baseball in all the major pitching categories. In fact, this team would probably have a few more wins if the defense hadn’t committed 21 errors already this year. Chicago’s offense already has 35 home runs as well, led by Anthony Rizzo’s eight. Time will tell if Travis Wood and Carlos Villaneuva can keep up their amazing pitching, but they have definitely started well.
--Minnesota Twins (7-3-1) Minnesota has been more competitive than expected so far this year, and that is largely due to a solid start from their pitching staff. This was the worst pitching staff in the majors last year, but they are 15th in team ERA so far this season. Kevin Correia has been the team’s most consistent starter so far in 2013. Scott Diamond is a talented youngster as well. The bullpen has pitched pretty well so far this year, but they are getting a lot of work. Count me among those who doubt Minnesota’s ability to keep pitching well.
--Miami Marlins (8-5) The Miami Marlins probably have the worst lineup in baseball. Giancarlo Stanton is the team’s only star, and he is out for a month with a hamstring injury. Miami is hitting .224 as a team, and they are averaging just 2.70 runs per game. Look for a lot of low-scoring games from the Marlins all year long.
--Cincinnati Reds (8-6) Cincinnati’s lineup is one of the best in the National League on paper, but they haven’t been hitting very well of late. At the same time, guys like Mat Latos and Homer Bailey have been dominating on the mound. Aroldis Chapman has a 0.68 ERA, and he is a perfect 6 for 6 in save opportunities. It will be interesting to see if the Reds offense can get it going at Wrigley Field in Chicago this weekend.
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