MLB Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
It doesn't quite seem fair how good the Houston Astros pitching staff has been this year. They have three starters with an ERA of 2.04 or lower. Their other two starters happen to be studs as well: Lance McCullers Jr. and Dallas Keuchel. The Astros are the team to beat again with this kind of a rotation and a tremendous bullpen as well.
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 under is 364-334 on the season.
The numbers below are for games played from May 11 through May 24.
Top Five 'Over' Teams (Over Listed First)
1. New York Yankees (7-2) Remember how hot Didi Gregorius was at the beginning of the season? Gregorious has been ice cold in the last few weeks. Others have stepped up and the Yankees offense has continued its torrid pace. Aaron Judge has a really impressive .412 on-base-percentage on the season. Gleyber Torres has a .323 average, and he's come through with all kinds of big hits lately. The bullpen continues to be great, but the starting rotation hasn't been very good in recent weeks.
2. San Francisco Giants (7-3-2) The Giants offense is quite a bit better this year. The additions of Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria help the team, but the breakout season Brandon Belt is having is the biggest reason San Francisco's offense is much better this season. This team has dealt with a ton of injuries already this year.
3. Cleveland Indians (7-5) The Cleveland Indians rank first in the majors in weighted on-base average at .350 in the past 30 days. Cleveland has a couple stars in Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez. If Edwin Encarnacion would ever find his form, this offense could really be dangerous. It isn't just improved offense sending Cleveland games over the total though. Their awful bullpen work is a large reason as well. How ugly has it been? Cleveland's bullpen has a miserable 7.79 ERA in the last month. That is nearly two full runs worse than the second-worst bullpen during that period.
4. Cincinnati Reds (6-5-2) The Cincinnati Reds offense has been much better in the last few weeks. This lineup is significantly better when Eugenio Suarez and Scott Schebler are healthy. Joey Votto still isn't hitting as he normally does, but I wouldn't bet against him getting it going. The Reds bullpen will be much worse in the interim since Raisel Iglesias is out with an injury. I would continue to look toward the over with the Reds.
5. Tampa Bay Rays (7-6) I continue to be surprised at how well the Tampa Bay offense is producing. They are 10th in the majors in weighted on-base average on the season. I still believe this offense will regress to the mean, and I'll look for spots to play unders with this team. Blake Snell's emergence as a budding star is huge for this pitching staff.
Top Five 'Under' Teams (Under Listed First)
1. Philadelphia Phillies (8-2) The Phillies have been a nice surprise this year. They are 18-7 at home but only 10-12 on the road. The Phillies rank fourth in the majors in overall team ERA. They are fifth in the majors with 25 quality starts on the season. This starting rotation has been a huge surprise. Philadelphia's rotation is better this year, but I don't think they are as good as their current numbers suggest, so I think there will be value on the over soon with this team.
2. New York Mets (8-3) The Mets offense is terrible without Yoenis Cespedes and Todd Frazier. The Mets have scored three runs or less in 9 of their last 13 contests. Jacob DeGrom is flying under the radar a bit because the bullpen has blown several games for him, but his numbers have been absolutely fantastic this year. Watch for the oddsmakers to adjust the Mets numbers downward in the coming days.
3. Houston Astros (8-3-1) Some are talking about the Astros rotation as the best ever. I'd like to wait until the season is a lot further along to discuss something like that, but there's no doubt the Astros have been a fantastic under team thanks to the amazing rotation and top-notch bullpen. On the season, the under is 31-17-3 in the Astros 51 games. Houston's opponents are averaging a measly 2.5 runs per game on the season.
4. Minnesota Twins (8-4) The Twins have been without Miguel Sano and Joe Mauer for much of this period, and it has hurt the offense a great deal. Sano is finally back in the lineup, and he should provide a much-needed spark. The Twins have been a little disappointing so far this season. However, because the Indians have been playing .500 baseball, the Twins aren't in a bad position in the AL Central.
5. St. Louis Cardinals (8-4) The Cardinals lineup takes a big hit without Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong. They have enough depth to still be a solid offense, but many of their key contributors are underachieving offensively thus far. They are on a road trip now where they play at Pittsburgh and then at Milwaukee. This is a key stretch for the Cardinals. If this team can get healthy, I think they have a shot at winning the NL Central.
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