The baseball season is 15 games old for most teams. The Cincinnati Reds sit in first place in the NL Central. The Colorado Rockies are tied in first place with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West. Those are definitely some strange early-season results, but I strongly encourage everyone to not read into this too much. Remember, this is a 162-game season, so we are less than 10 percent of the way done with the season. It's easy to have some statistical anomalies at this point in the season. The Reds aren't going to win the NL Central, and they probably won't end up being very good. Overreacting to early results can get bettors in a lot of trouble.
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Doc's Sports has done an MLB Totals Trends Report in the past, and we'll be doing it again this year. This will be a bi-weekly article here on the site. We'll highlight the Top Five 'Over' and the Top Five 'Under' teams of the past couple weeks in each article. Because the baseball season is a long grind, there can be some impressive streaks inside the season, and catching one of these can boost your bankroll . The statistics in this article are for games from the beginning of the season through April 19.
The 'under' is 116-100 in the first 216 games in the Major League Baseball regular season. We'll keep track of where that number stands through the year.
Top Five "Over" Teams (Over Listed First)
1. Atlanta Braves (9-5) The Atlanta Braves top this side of the report. Atlanta has the sixth-best team batting average in all of baseball. This might surprise you, but it probably shouldn't. Atlanta was scoring runs at an impressive clip to finish off last year as well. Additionally, the Braves are playing in a new ballpark that should be more hitter-friendly than their previous home. Braves pitchers have a combined WHIP of 1.40, and I expect that to be an issue all year.
2. New York Mets (9-5-1) The New York Mets have gotten some big production out of Jay Bruce early in the season. Bruce ranks in the top five in the majors with six home runs already this year. His on-base-percentage is .387. As a team, the Mets rank second in the majors with 24 home runs. The Mets offense has been better than expected so far, and the pitching hasn't quite been as dominant as you might expect.
3. New York Yankees (9-6) It does surprise me to see the Yankees offense doing so well this year. The Yankees are fifth in the majors in team batting average and fourth in on-base-percentage. New York is third in the majors in home runs with 22 so far this season. Their pitching should improve, but I think their hitting will experience some negative regression before long. Don't be surprised if they are on the other side of the report soon.
4. Philadelphia Phillies (8-6) The third team from the NL East on this side of the report. Philadelphia's team ERA is 4.73, which is 28th in the majors. The over is 4-2 in their six games at home so far this year. This is a young team that is improving offensively, but the Phillies still have major pitching problems. The Phillies start a weekend set with the Braves at home this weekend.
5. Detroit Tigers (8-6) The Detroit Tigers are a team I would expect to have more overs than unders this year. Detroit can pile up the runs with names like Kinsler, Cabrera, and Martinez in the lineup. They are also a team that I would expect to give up a bunch of runs late because of their very shaky bullpen.
Top Five "Under" Teams (Under Listed First)
1. Colorado Rockies (12-4) Who would have guessed the Rockies would be on top of the under list? Well, this isn't the same Rockies team we remember from the past decade. This is the most depth the Rockies have had in the rotation. Also, the bullpen is much improved from a couple years ago. The Rockies offense is good, but they aren't one of the best in the majors as they have been at some points in the past.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers (11-5) Before placing your bets, you need to pay attention to whether the Dodgers are facing a lefty or a right-handed starter. The Dodgers are one of the best offenses in baseball against right-handed pitching. They are one of the worst offenses in baseball against left-handed pitching. The under is 21-9 in the Dodgers last 30 home games against a left-handed starting pitcher.
3. Minnesota Twins (9-3-2) This one surprises me. Last year as I wrote up this article, the Twins were constantly on the over side of the report. In fact, those who started playing overs on Twins games in the middle of last year and just rode that trend made a huge amount of money. Minnesota ranks first in the majors in WHIP at 1.04. They also rank second in baseball in team ERA at 2.98. Do we really think a team with Hector Santiago and Kyle Gibson in the rotation will continue to pitch this well? I know I don't!
4. Pittsburgh Pirates (9-5-1) The Pirates were in the news for the wrong reasons this week as Starling Marte was suspended for 80 games for testing positive to a banned substance. That's a huge loss for the Pirates. Marte is their best defensive outfielder and one of the team's most consistent hitters. Pittsburgh is still without Jung Ho Kang, and no one really knows when or if he'll get to play this year.
5. Los Angeles Angels (10-6) The under is a whopping 9-1 in the Angels 10 road games so far this year. The over is 5-1 in their first six home games. That's a trend we'll keep an eye on moving forward. The Angels start a four-game series against the underachieving Toronto Blue Jays on Friday. That's a series that should be closely watched. The Blue Jays offense is bound to positively regress, and the Angels have been a good over team at home.
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