The St. Louis Cardinals controlled the first third of the season by racing out to a 38-20 record and inserting themselves as one of the favorites to win the 2015 World Series. St. Louis currently holds the best record in baseball and has the largest run differential in both leagues with a +62 mark. The 2011 World Series Champions may be on course for another deep postseason run, but the question bettors are after is whether that gaudy record and huge run differential has led to a profit.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates are the three other teams with large runs differentials and very good records, with the exception of Toronto, who is sitting a game below. 500 at the moment. Let's take a closer look at the 2015 run differential stats and figure out if more runs actually leads to more profit.
Top Run Differential Teams
St. Louis (38-20): +62
Los Angeles (33-25): +55
Toronto (29-30): +53
Pittsburgh (31-26): +43
Kansas City (32-23): +43
The top run differential teams in baseball, with the exception of Toronto, have also been the best teams in the league. Each club is near the top of its division, and the four above-.500 teams on the list all have a Top 6 record in all of baseball. At this point, the fact that a big run differential leads to an excellent record is obvious. However, let's take a deeper look and figure out if its leads to a bigger profit for bettors.
1) St. Louis: +$1,594
17) Los Angeles: $-137
18) Toronto: $-281
12) Pittsburgh: +$109
5) Kansas City: +718
St. Louis and Kansas City have both turned their large run differentials into massive profit for bettors. The Cardinals have earned $100 bettors $1,500 over the first third of the season, while Kansas City has earned bettors $700 in that span. The key for St. Louis' profits has been winning as a favorite, while most of Kansas City's profits has come from the underdog role. The rest of the Top 5 run differential teams, however, have struggled to turn that success into actual wins for bettors.
Los Angeles, Toronto and Pittsburgh have all struggled to produce a profit while on the road, and neither team ranks in the Top 10 as a runline team. The analysis seems to be that those clubs have tacked on meaningless runs in certain games and the majority of their run differential points came in a few blowouts over the course of the season. For Los Angeles in particular, the team continues to be a huge favorite during most of its matchups, so one loss counts for two wins because of the large moneylines the team faces on a nightly basis.
Top Moneyline Teams
2) Minnesota: +$1,566; +16 runs
3) Texas: +$1,261; +11 runs
4) Houston: +$784; +16 runs
The three other top moneyline teams besides St. Louis and Kansas City are second-tier run differential teams ranking just outside the Top 7. These stats do not provide any definite answers because two of the Top 5 run differential teams are also two of the Top 5 moneyline teams. The biggest takeaway that bettors should leave with after viewing these numbers is that a huge run differential does not necessarily lead to a huge profit.
Read more articles by George Monroy
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