MLB Betting and Handicapping: Totals Trends Report
by Aaron Smith - 4/16/2013
We’re only a couple weeks into the MLB season, but we’re getting to the point now where we have enough data to try to get a good read on some teams. Baseball is such a data-driven sport that keeping track of the numbers is a great idea.
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. Because of 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. So far this year, the “over” is 96-86 in 182 games played. Each team will play 182 games before the season ends, so we have a long way to go! Please note the statistics used in this article are for games played between March 31 and April 15.
Top Five Over Teams (Over listed first then under)
-Oakland Athletics (12-2) Oakland won the AL West despite having one of the worst offenses in baseball last year. Oakland’s offense lit it up over the first few games this year. They were actually the highest-scoring offense in baseball up until a couple days ago. Yoenis Cespedes is on the disabled list, and losing their top power hitter could be hard for Oakland to overcome. Don’t expect the Athletics to keep pounding the baseball the way they have. There should be some good opportunities for “under” plays on Oakland games in the near future.
-New York Mets (8-3) Not much was expected of the Mets this year, but they have started the season out on a nice run. The Mets are hitting .272 as a team. New York actually leads all of baseball in runs scored per game at 6.27 per contest. John Buck’s six home runs and 19 RBI through 11 games might be the biggest surprise in all of baseball. This young team can’t keep up the torrid pace that it’s on, but this is at least a bright sign for the future in New York.
-Detroit Tigers (8-3-1) If you look at the Detroit Tigers roster, you would have to say they have one of the best lineups in baseball. It should come as no surprise that they lead the majors in team batting average at .307 (the second highest team batting average is just .277). Prince Fielder and Torii Hunter are both hitting over .400 so far this year. Austin Jackson is one of the best leadoff hitters in baseball, and his .435 on-base-percentage is a big boost to this offense.
-Milwaukee Brewers (8-3) A lineup with Ryan Braun in the middle of it should always be relatively dangerous, but almost no one else is hitting the ball for the Brewers. Still, they have found a way to have some high-scoring games through the poor work of both their starting pitching and the bullpen. Milwaukee’s team ERA is 4.95, so the pitching has been terrible overall.
-Los Angeles Angels (9-4) If you want to talk about bad pitching, you have to start with the Los Angeles Angels. Through 13 games they have gotten only four quality starts from their rotation. The Angels pitching staff has an overall team ERA of 5.18. It doesn’t help a bit that the defense has been booting the ball all over the place. Los Angeles already has 12 errors this season.
Top Five Under Teams (Under listed first then over)
-Texas Rangers (8-3-2) Texas has been seen as a high-scoring offensive machine for quite some time, but most people overlook the depth of their pitching staff. In the past three years, Texas has upgraded their rotation as well as the bullpen in a big way. Alexi Ogando looks like the next pitching star for the Rangers. Joe Nathan has regained his form, and he once again looks like a dominant closer. The Rangers team ERA is just 2.92.
-Chicago White Sox (9-4) While the Rangers are on this report because of their pitching, the White Sox are on this side of the report due to their lack of hitting. Adam Dunn had a nice bounce-back year last season, but he is hitting just .125 so far this season. Even the normally-reliable Paul Konerko is batting only .222 so far this year. Gordon Beckham’s injury hurts this offense quite a bit.
-Kansas City Royals (8-4) Here’s another AL Central team on this side of the report. Kansas City has disappointed for the past couple years because their pitching staff has been so bad. So far this season, the reason the Royals are tied for first in the division is the huge improvement in their pitching. Ervin Santana and James Shields were both brought in during the offseason, and those two have both been terrific. I have my doubts on this rotation keeping it up. Expect a regression to the mean coming before too long.
-Miami Marlins (8-4-1) The Miami Marlins are one of the worst teams in baseball. Giancarlo Stanton is their only real star, and he is dinged up right now. Miami is dead last in almost all of the major offensive categories. Through 13 games, this team is averaging just 1.77 runs per game! In those 13 games the entire team has combined to hit a grand total of two home runs. It’s going to be a very long season for Marlins fans!
-Boston Red Sox (7-5) Boston’s pitching staff has been far better than anyone could have imagined so far this year. Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester both look like they did a couple years ago. Ryan Dempster is a very solid No. 3 starter. If these guys keep pitching the way they have so far, the Red Sox are definitely a team to keep an eye on in the AL East race.
Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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