This Week in MLB Baseball Betting By the Numbers
by Aaron Smith - 4/22/2013
Who would have guessed that the Colorado Rockies would be on top of the National League West and the Boston Red Sox would be sitting on top of the American League East? There are plenty of surprises to go around early on this year.
The city of Los Angeles hasn’t had much to cheer about so far this year. The Angels and the Dodgers were two of the three top favorites to win the World Series before the season, but they have started 7-10 and 8-10, respectively. If that wasn’t enough, the Lakers lost Kobe Bryant due to a torn Achilles with just two games left in the regular season. Los Angeles sports fans can’t seem to catch a break of late.
Remember that while there are big surprises and big disappointments abound this April, the MLB season is 162 games long. That’s a lot of time for the standings to change multiple times.
Baseball is a numbers-driven game, and keeping track of the data can put you one step ahead of most bettors. Here is a look at some important numbers to keep an eye on when betting on baseball in the week ahead.
0- Tampa Bay is 6-0 in their last six home games against a team with a winning record. That will be tested this week as the New York Yankees come to town. Tampa Bay has been a tough team to figure out so far this year. Joe Maddon’s team has been one of the biggest disappointments in baseball, but they have still been beating top teams on their home field.
4- Four starters have a perfect 4-0 record, and $100 bettors are up more than $400 by betting on their team in each start. Who are these four starters? They are Tim Lincecum, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and Matt Harvey. The first three all had terrible seasons in 2012, but they appear to be back in 2013. Harvey is quickly becoming the hottest young pitcher in all of baseball. Don’t expect to be seeing these studs as underdogs very much longer.
7- The Oakland Athletics are 7-0 in their last seven games against a left-handed starter. How good have they been against lefties this year? The A’s are hitting .299 against lefties. Oakland is averaging 7.29 runs per game when matched up against a left-handed starter. This team continues to defy the odds and lead the AL West.
7- The Atlanta Braves bullpen has only allowed seven earned runs in nearly 52 innings pitched. Should it really be a surprise though when they have guys like Eric O’Flaherty, Jordan Walden, and then Craig Kimbrel at the back of the bullpen? If you are going to beat Atlanta, you better get after their starting pitcher, because this Braves bullpen is amazing.
22- The number of runs driven in by Mets catcher John Buck so far this season. Raise your hand if you expected John Buck to be leading the majors in RBI after three weeks. Those of you who just raised your hand either have one heck of a crystal ball or you are a habitual liar.
24- In Dan Bellino’s last 33 games behind home plate, the “under” has cashed in 24 times. Bellino is becoming one of the most pitcher-friendly umpires in baseball. Don’t expect many high-scoring affairs with him calling the balls and strikes.
31- Adam Dunn went hitless for 31 straight at bats before hitting a homer on Sunday to snap that career-long drought. If you were looking for someone to blame for the White Sox averaging only 3.39 runs per game so far this year, Dunn’s name should be right at the top of the list. No wonder the under is 6-0-1 in the White Sox last seven games.
41- Detroit is 41-15 in their last 56 home games. They were just swept by the Angels in Los Angeles, but now they return home to square off with the Kansas City Royals. Detroit is 7-0 in their last seven home games against the Royals. With Scherzer, Verlander, and Sanchez starting in this three-game series, the Tigers have a real chance of running that winning streak to 10.
184- The Pirates are 86-184 in their last 270 games as a road underdog. Pittsburgh is off to a good start, but they’ve only played six games on the road so far this year. You could say that the Pirates have feasted on a bit of an easy schedule. That is about to change in a big way. The Pirates now embark on a 10-game road trip with stops in Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Milwaukee.
315- The Atlanta Braves are now favorites at +315 to win the NL Pennant according to odds from 5Dimes. The Braves are first in the league in team ERA, and they are also first in the league home runs. A team with this much balance is always tough to beat in the postseason.
Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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