MLB Betting Trends: Totals Report for Hot Over and Under Teams
The baseball season is now two weeks old. Not many people could have picked the Mets as the team to have the best winning percentage in baseball at this point. They have had some injuries already as well, but they have continued to play great baseball. The Angels are the other standout early in the season. Shohei Otani has gotten much of the attention (and he's been awesome), but the addition of Zack Cozart has been far more important than most realize as well. The Yankees, Nationals, and Dodgers have all been disappointments so far this year. It's a long season though, so don't get caught up in the standings this early.
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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 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 96-83. Interestingly, extra inning games are 11-11 so far on the season.
The numbers below are for games played from the beginning of the season through April 12.
Top Five 'Over' Teams (Over Listed First)
1. Seattle Mariners (7-3) The Mariners are here primarily because their pitching has been really bad. Seattle ranks 28th in the majors in team ERA so far this season. The Mariners have received only three quality starts from their pitching staff. This team is fortunate to be where they are in the standings, but the schedule will get tougher in the coming days.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates (8-4) The Pittsburgh Pirates are a huge surprise in the early going. No one could have predicted their offense to be so strong. The Pirates already have 17 home runs, and the red-hot start of Gregory Polanco, who had a down year last year, has been a big driver of their early success. Don't expect this level of offensive success to continue for this team.
3. New York Yankees (8-4-1) Yankees pitching has struck out more batters than any other pitching staff, but that hasn't translated into overall success on the mound. The Yankees team ERA is toward the bottom of the league at 4.69. The over is 5-1 in the Yankees home games to start the season. You have to think that Giancarlo Stanton will heat up sometime soon.
4. Tampa Bay Rays (7-5) I was surprised to see the light-hitting Rays on this side of the report. Tampa Bay's pitching staff has delivered one more quality start this year than I have. The fact that you could be 12 games into the season and have one quality start is terrible. The Rays are now back home, and the under is 25-9 in their last 34 home games.
5. Los Angeles Angels (8-6) The Angels have played more games than anyone else, and they have been crushing the baseball. The Angels have scored 93 runs on the season. The Pirates are second with 77. It's interesting that the Angels have struck out at the lowest percentage of any offense this year. Let's see if that continues.
Top Five 'Under' Teams (Under Listed First)
1. Kansas City Royals (8-3) I'm not high at all on the Royals potential this year. Royals fans have been treated to a contender in many recent seasons, but this year is going to be ugly. The Royals are easily last in baseball in runs scored so far this year at 32. No one else has fewer than 38 runs. The pitching staff is bad as well, though, so I wouldn't want low unders with this team.
2. Houston Astros (9-4) Not surprisingly, the Astros rank second in the majors in team ERA at 2.57. The under is 5-1 in the Astros first six home games. Their offense is only 14th in the league runs scored per game thus far. They have a lot of games against teams with subpar pitching in the next couple weeks, so let's see if that number changes.
3. Cleveland Indians (9-4) The Indians have done well to have a winning record so far this year with the kind of offensive numbers they are putting up in the early season. No one in the Indians lineup is hitting better than .208 among their regulars who have at least 40 plate appearances on the season. This offense is better than that, and I expect these numbers to improve drastically in the near future. The pitching will continue to be very good.
4. Detroit Tigers (8-4) The Tigers swept the White Sox in Chicago, but other than that series they have only one win on the season thus far, and that was at home against lowly Kansas City. The Tigers have a grand total of three home runs so far this year. That's worst in the majors, and it's pretty shocking. Though the Tigers don't have the power they had in past years, only three home runs after 12 games is awful.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers (7-4) The Dodgers offense has been a big problem so far this year. The Dodgers team on-base percentage is only .293. Their batting average on balls in play is only .275, which is among the lowest in the majors. That's a sign that the Dodgers are getting a bit unlucky on offense, and that should improve with time. Still, this team clearly misses Justin Turner.
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