Football is starting to get all the coverage now with the college season fast approaching and NFL Preseason action underway. Look for under-the-radar trends in baseball the rest of the way and see if you can latch onto something while the oddsmakers are a little slower to react than they were in the middle of the summer when it was all about baseball.
Doc's Sports has done an MLB Totals Trends report in the past, and we'll be doing it again this season. We'll highlight the Top Five 'Over' teams and the Top Five 'Under' teams in each article. Throughout the course of the long season, it can be very profitable to catch a team that is streaking in one direction or the other. This report will be offered on a bi-weekly basis throughout the Major League Baseball regular season. The numbers listed are for games played between August 5 and August 18.
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It's been back and forth between the over and under dominating in Major League Baseball this year, and in the past week it has been all about the over. In the last seven days alone, the over is 58-35 (62.37 percent to the over). It hasn't been because of extra innings, either. In fact, there have only been two extra-innings games in the past week and both of those went under the total.
Top Over Teams (Over Listed First)
1. Philadelphia Phillies (10-0-2) In the last 12 games, the Phillies haven't played a single game that has stayed under the total. It's been hard for the oddsmakers to know what to do in this situation. For much of the year, the Phillies had the worst offense in the majors. In their last seven games, the Phillies have scored five runs or more six times. Philadelphia's pitching staff and their bullpen have gotten worse as the season has gone along as well.
2. Tampa Bay Rays (10-2) Here's another really bad offense that lands near the top of the over list. I wouldn't have expected this run of overs from the Rays. It is important to remember, though, that Tampa Bay is solid against left-handed pitching. Tampa Bay has a .324 on base percentage against lefties and only a .304 on base percentage against right-handed pitching. Don't expect this team to keep up their over run for much longer. I just don't think the offense is good enough.
3. Arizona Diamondbacks (10-3) No one should be surprised to see the Arizona Diamondbacks here. Arizona has the worst bullpen in baseball. The Diamondbacks bullpen has an unbelievably terrible 7.01 ERA in the past month. The second-worst bullpen ERA during that time is the Mets with an ERA of only 4.93. When you are giving up that many runs late in the game, it is hard to keep games under the posted total.
4. St. Louis Cardinals (9-3) The Cardinals have been a difficult team to figure out this year. I do know this is a good lineup, though. St. Louis has gotten almost no production out of Matt Holliday (.242 average), and yet they still rank fifth in the majors in runs per game at 4.99 per contest. Aledmys Diaz has been huge for this team. The over is 36-20-3 in the Cardinals road games this season.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers (8-2-2) The Dodgers offense was never as bad as it looked early in the year, and they are proving that in the last couple months. Corey Seager is already the best player on the team, and a lot of the veterans have picked up the slack of late as well. The Dodgers have managed to grab a half game lead in the NL West. That division should be a lot of fun the rest of the year.
Top Five Under Teams (Under Listed First)
1. Texas Rangers (9-2-2) How about this bullpen? Early in the year, the Rangers bullpen was consistently one of the worst in the majors. Their amazing turnaround has been key to the team's success, and it has been crucial to their games staying under the total. How about the Rangers record in the one-run games this year? A ridiculous 27-8 record. That's actually the single best winning percentage in Major League Baseball history. Second best was the Baltimore Orioles at 29-9 in 2012.
2. Kansas City Royals (9-3) The Royals have gotten some tremendous pitching efforts of late. Kansas City's pitching staff held the Detroit Tigers very good offense to one run in each of their three games in Detroit. The Royals then beat Minnesota 8-1 in the first game of a four-game series at home this weekend. Kansas City is now only 3.5 games back in the wild-card race. I don't think this team will make it, but they are the defending champions for a reason and they won't quit easily.
3. Detroit Tigers (9-3-1) The Tigers offense has struggled of late, thanks in large part to some key injuries. Miguel Cabrera missed some time recently, and when he is out of the lineup things aren't even close to the same. Jose Iglesias was also hitting the ball well before he went down with an injury. Justin Upton has been in a miserable slump and recently got two straight days off.
4. Oakland Athletics (9-4) Oakland's offense just isn't any good. The Athletics traded away their best hitter (Reddick), and they are simply playing a bunch of young guys to see if they can build for the future. The Athletics play a three-game series in Chicago against the White Sox this weekend. They start things out against James Shields on Friday night. Shields has been absolutely blasted of late, so if they can't hit him it is a major sign of problems.
5. Chicago Cubs (8-5) This is likely just a sign that the oddsmakers got a little bit ahead of themselves with Cubs totals. The Cubs rank first in the majors in overall team ERA, so despite their good offense, it is dangerous to take high overs in Cubs games. The Cubs are in Colorado now, and it will be interesting to see how their games in Coors Field go this weekend.
Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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