MLB Betting and Handicapping: Totals Trends Report
by Aaron Smith - 8/30/2013
Four weeks remain in the Major League Baseball season. The playoff races are heating up, and there is more pressure on contending teams each day. Which players and teams are going to step up under the pressure, and which teams will fall apart?
Keep a close eye on totals down the stretch this year. Often you’ll find that totals between two teams that are contending for a playoff spot finish lower than a game between two teams with nothing to play for. Are there new pitchers making debuts late in the season that might be a good spot to make a wager on the “over”? There aren’t too many guys who can step right in and dominate from day one (outside of Jose Fernandez), so that’s definitely something to watch.
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 Aug. 13 and Aug. 29.
Top Five Over Teams (Over listed first then under)
-Milwaukee Brewers (10-5) Milwaukee is one of those teams with nothing to play for, and they have been consistently playing games that go over the posted total. The bullpen has slipped a bit since Rodriguez is no longer there. Offensively, there are getting some quality production from young guys who have recently been inserted in the lineup.
-Oakland Athletics (10-5-1) Oakland smashed out 34 runs during their four-game series with Detroit this week. The Athletics bats were red-hot at the beginning of the season, but they slumped for quite a while in the middle of the year. It looks like they are waking up as this team goes down the stretch trying to catch the Texas Rangers in the AL West.
-Detroit Tigers (9-5-2) One of the main reasons the Tigers are on this list as well is the fact that all four of the games in their series against Oakland went over the total. Detroit’s lineup is crushing the baseball right now, and no one should be surprised at all. They have the best lineup in baseball, and the best hitter in baseball is the anchor for this offense.
-Washington Nationals (9-6-1) The Washington Nationals lineup has finally woken up! This offense has frustrated a lot of Nationals fans all year, but they have finally started to produce. Washington has scored at least nine runs in three of their last eight games. Not surprisingly, as the offense has heated up, the team has started to win games. They are now on the fringe of the playoff race.
-Baltimore Orioles (8-6) We know the Baltimore Orioles can hit the baseball. But can they pitch well enough to get into the playoffs? Lately, the answer has been no. Baltimore’s pitching staff put together a terrific year in 2012, but they have been a big disappointment this year. The bullpen was one of the best bullpens in baseball last year, but they have a poor 3.74 ERA this season.
Top Five “Under” Teams (Under listed first then over)
-Cleveland Indians (10-3-1) The Cleveland Indians are trying to stay in the American League playoff race, but their inconsistent hitting is making it very difficult. In their last four losses, they have scored a total of four runs. They were swept in Atlanta despite not allowing more than three runs in a game all series. The offense has to pick it up if they are going to have any shot at a playoff berth.
-Atlanta Braves (10-4) The three games staying under the total against Cleveland certainly helped Atlanta land on this side of the report as well. Atlanta’s pitching staff has the best ERA in baseball at 3.17. The work of this Braves bullpen has been nothing short of amazing. Despite several key injuries, the Braves bullpen has a spectacular 2.42 ERA. Jason Heyward and Justin Upton are both going to be out of the lineup as the Braves start a new series at home against Miami Friday night.
-Chicago White Sox (10-4) The Chicago White Sox lineup wasn’t very good at the beginning of the season, and then they traded away their most consistent hitter in Alex Rios. The biggest surprise of the past couple weeks, though, is the White Sox pitching staff. They have held their opponent to two runs or less in six of the team’s last 10 games.
-Toronto Blue Jays (11-5) Toronto definitely misses Jose Bautista. Without Bautista in the middle of the lineup, the Blue Jays have been struggling offensively. It doesn’t help that Melky Cabrera and Colby Rasmus are out of the lineup at the same time. Toronto has a lot of new faces in the lineup now, and they haven’t been coming through.
-Boston Red Sox (9-5-1) All season long the Boston Red Sox pitching staff has been better than expected, and they have really been pitching well of late. Everyone knew the Red Sox would hit this year, but their pitching is what has escalated them to the top of the AL East. Jon Lester has looked great in his last few outings, and John Lackey has been better than ever in 2013.
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