This Week in MLB Betting By the Numbers
by Aaron Smith - 9/3/2013
The calendar has flipped to September, which means we are only a month away from playoff baseball. The temperatures should start cooling down soon, and the playoff races will be heating up. The hottest divisional races are in the AL West and the NL Central. Texas and Oakland are tied atop the AL West, while the NL Central is a three-team battle with the Pirates slightly ahead right now.
The battle for the second wild card spot in the American League is sure to be heated right up until the final day of the season. The Tampa Bay Rays are in position to take that spot right now, but the Yankees, Orioles, Indians, and Royals are all within striking distance. The National League wild card race seems a lot more straightforward with the Reds having a solid seven-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the chase for the final spot.
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- The Texas Rangers are 0-4 in Yu Darvish’s last four starts against the Oakland Athletics. Darvish will start against Oakland on Wednesday in the third and final game of a crucial series between the two AL West contenders.
2- The Cleveland Indians are 2-12 in their last 14 games against a team with a winning record. They’ll get another chance against a good team when Baltimore comes to town this week. If you were looking for a good reason why the Indians are on the outside of the playoff race right now, this one definitely fits the bill. Still, if the Indians can’t beat a team with a winning record, they certainly wouldn’t be a team that would do any damage in the playoffs.
9- The Los Angeles Angels are 9-1 in their last 10 games overall. They have won five straight games. It seems like now that the team is out of the playoff race they have finally started playing like most people expected them to play the entire season. The play of Grant Green and J.B. Shuck has to be encouraging for the team as they look toward next season.
10- The San Francisco Giants are 10-1 in Madison Bumgarner’s last 11 starts against the San Diego Padres. Bumgarner will start for the Giants on Tuesday night in San Diego. The Giants are actually 0-5 in Bumgarner’s last five starts overall, but that says more about the lack of offensive output than anything else.
10- The Pittsburgh Pirates have won only 10 of their last 55 games played in Milwaukee. The Pirates have some important games in Milwaukee this week. Keep in mind that most of these losses came when the Pirates were a bottom-feeder and the Brewers were a contender, so the circumstances are definitely different in 2013.
18- The Detroit Tigers are just 18-40 in their last 58 games against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. These teams enter Tuesday night’s action with the same number of losses on the season. Many believe one of these two teams will represent the American League in the World Series.
23- The Los Angeles Dodgers are 23-3 in their last 26 road games overall. I’d love to say this team should be considered the road warriors, but truthfully the Dodgers are just winning regardless of where they play right now. After all, this is a team that has won 52 of their last 65 games overall. Who would want to play the Dodgers in the playoffs?!
24- The Atlanta Braves are 24-4 in Kris Medlen’s last 28 starts against a team with a losing record. They are also 7-1 in his last eight starts against the Mets. He’ll be against the Mets on Tuesday night as the Braves go for their seventh win in eight games.
43- The Colorado Rockies are 43-15 in Jorge De La Rosa’s last 58 home starts. This is a guy who continues to fly under the radar, but he has clearly learned how to pitch at Coors Field, which means there is plenty of money to be made on the Rockies when he takes the mound at home.
135- The Los Angeles Dodgers are listed at +135 to win the 2013 NL Pennant at Bookmaker. The Atlanta Braves are the second favorite at +245. It’s been a very long time since Major League Baseball has seen a turnaround during the middle of the season like the Dodgers have had this year. They went from the most overrated team early in the year to one of the most underrated teams during the middle of the season. Are the Dodgers finally fairly rated by the oddsmakers?
Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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