MLB Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
The Red Sox continue to crush the competition in the early going. Boston is off to a 19-5 start to the season, but the Yankees and Blue Jays look like teams capable of making a run in the American League East as well. Baltimore is a miserable 6-19 on the year, and they are already 13.5 games out of first place. The Angels are 16-9 on the season so far. The Angels are just 5-7 at home, but they are a whopping 11-2 on the road in the early going.
Doc's Sports has done an MLB Totals Trends report in the past, and we'll be doing it again this season. This will be a bi-weekly article here on the site. We'll highlight the Top Five 'Over' and the Top Five 'Under' teams in the last couple weeks. The MLB season is the ultimate long grind, and it is probably the single best sport to try to find a team on a streak and back that trend for a while. Hitting can be contagious both in a good and bad way, and that can lead to some major streaks. We'll try to find some value in the totals market through this report throughout the season.
What does the totals picture look like as a whole so far this year? The over is now 175-171 on the season. Interestingly, in the last week it is exactly 44-44.
The numbers below are for games played from April 13 through April 26.
Top Five 'Over' Teams (Over Listed First)
1. Tampa Bay Rays (9-2) I can't believe how well this Tampa Bay offense has performed in the last few days. Tampa Bay has scored eight runs or more in five straight contests. This is a Rays offense that lacks star power, and I still think they'll slide toward the bottom in offense before the end of the year. Their pitching staff isn't very good, either, though. Are the Rays getting at least somewhat lucky on offense? Yes. Their batting average on balls in play is .326, which is the highest mark in all of baseball.
2. New York Yankees (8-3) The Yankees rank first in the majors in runs scored per game at 6.08. It shouldn't surprise anyone that they are first in baseball with 39 home runs. The surprising part is Didi Gregorius is their home run leader thus far. Gregorious is also hitting .354 and leading the team in almost every major offensive statistic. The over is 12-4 in the Yankees first 16 home games.
3. Chicago White Sox (6-2-2) The White Sox are last in the majors in team ERA, and it isn't even close. The Reds are second worst at 5.42, but the White Sox have a 5.62 ERA on the year. Chicago's starting rotation is a mess. How does James Shields still have a spot in the rotation? This White Sox lineup has some capable hitters, but the rotation is awful and the bullpen isn't much better.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers (8-4) I'm very surprised the Dodgers don't have a better record so far this year, but I fully expect this team to get it going over time. Justin Turner is starting to swing a bat, so he should be back before too terribly long. The rest of the lineup has underachieved significantly so far this year as well. Their offense has been a bit better in recent games (leading to the overs), but their bullpen hasn't lived up to expectations. Expect improved performances all around from this team.
5. Minnesota Twins (6-3) Minnesota has lost seven straight games. They appeared to be set to break their losing streak at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, but Fernando Rodney fell apart in the ninth inning and they lost again. The Twins need a new closer in a big way. Rodney isn't getting the job done. I actually believe the Twins offense is better than they have shown thus far, and the over could still have value going forward.
Top Five 'Under' Teams (Under Listed First)
1. Milwaukee Brewers (9-4) The fact that Milwaukee has the fourth-best team ERA in the majors right now is a huge surprise. Milwaukee is a team that has improved a lot in the past year, but most expected their continued improvement to come from their offense. In the bullpen, Josh Hader has been as good as anyone in baseball. He has 31 strikeouts in 15 and 1/3 innings. Dan Jennings and Matt Albers have been great in the bullpen as well. I expect the pitching to regress toward the mean soon. I'd look for value on the over with Milwaukee.
2. San Francisco Giants (8-4) The over is 6-4 in the Giants 10 home contests this year. The under is 10-4 in their first 14 road games. San Francisco is averaging only 3.17 runs per game. This team has struggled to hit with runners in scoring position. Actually, that's an understatement, this team has been atrocious with runners in scoring position. The Giants are batting a league-worst .172 with runners in scoring position. Second worst in the majors is the Royals at .187.
3. Cincinnati Reds (8-5) The poor Cincinnati Reds. They sit at 5-20 on the year, and this team appears to already be going through the motions. Cincinnati has the second-worst team ERA in baseball, but they have been a pretty good under team of late because their numbers have gotten so high. I'd be careful with unders here. I think Cincinnati's offense is better than they have shown. Scott Schebler just came back, and Eugenio Suarez is due back soon. Joey Votto will hit better than he has so far also.
4. Cleveland Indians (6-4) The Indians have the worst batting average on balls in play in the majors at .253. They also have allowed the lowest batting average on balls in play for any pitching staff at .253. Two strong signs that the Indians should have higher-scoring games in their near future. Be careful taking low unders with Cleveland.
5. St. Louis Cardinals (5-4-2) The Cardinals have the fifth-best team ERA in baseball at 3.22. I don't think their pitching staff can continue being this good the rest of the way. I do expect the Cardinals offense to be one of the best in baseball. St. Louis has great lineup depth, especially for a National League team. There are no easy outs in this Cardinals lineup. I'll look for value on the over here going forward.
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